King Philip's War: Civil War in New England, 1675-1676

King Philip's War: Civil War in New England, 1675-1676

King Philip's War: Civil War in New England, 1675-1676

King Philip's War: Civil War in New England, 1675-1676

Synopsis

An authoritative history of the war that altered the world of colonial New England.

Excerpt

What many consider the deadliest war in American history began in June 1675 when some Wampanoag Indians under the leader Philip, pressured by the loss of land and political autonomy, rebelled against Plymouth Colony in New England. Philip and his followers, like many Indian groups in seventeenth century New England, had submitted to a colony in an arrangement of mutual obligation. Philip's supporters believed that in exchange for their loyalty they could rely on Plymouth as a kind of protectorate. Events of the 1660s and 1670s, however, made it clear to the Wampanoags that their relationship with the colony had failed to protect them from English expansion. They had lost land while rival Christian Indians appeared to be gaining it. The Wampanoags felt they had to break off their political ties to Plymouth. They had to rebel.

First they attacked the southwestern Plymouth town of Swansea, killing a handful of colonists. At the time, no one foresaw that this relatively innocuous skirmish would initiate a chain of events leading all of southern New England into a full-scale war. The fault lines for such a conflict developed only over the next six months. Cultural differences, misunderstandings, the twists and turns of the war, and paranoia eventually lured most New England groups--Indian and English--into the contest. Although it involved both Indians and English, the opposing sides did not draw up neatly along ethnic lines. Some Indian groups even contributed more soldiers on a per capita basis than the English colonists to put down the Indian rebellion.

King Philip's War, as it came to be called, violently altered the course of New England history. For most of the fourteen-month contest, rebel . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.