The Puritan Colonists

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During the late Seventeenth century, Puritan colonists in New England were faced with a dilemma. As their population increased, the colonists wanted and needed more land. They began to view the natives in the area as an obstruction to their expansion. Due to the Puritans’ belief in their superiority over the natives, they were able to justify their harsh treatment of the natives which led to King Philip’s War. The Puritan colonists’ actions toward the natives were cruel and excessive and resulted in about 40% of New England’s Indian population being killed or forced to flee (Hart). Leading up to King Philip’s War, there had been no other major Indian wars for almost fifty years. During that period of time in the first part of the seventeenth …show more content…
In response, Chief Metacomet (also known as King Philip to the colonists) allied with many of the other tribes in the area and attacked the colonists in 1675 (Hart). After this initial attack, there were many skirmishes and massacres by both sides. The biggest massacre occurred when the Puritan colonists destroyed a Narragansett camp in Rhode Island, killing almost all of the thousand men, women, and children in the camp. Six months after this, Major John Talbot and the colonists started capturing many of Metacomet’s followers and enslaving them. On August 12th of 1676, Metacomet was killed and the war ended. In one act of violence and to assess loyalty of the natives who were allying with the colonists, the colonists required them be the punishers. Benjamin Church ordered one of the natives to inflict a mortally damaging blow with a hatchet to the head of a relative. King Philip’s War is now considered one of the United States’ most destructive wars. It resulted in one out of ten soldier’s deaths on both sides. Around twelve hundred colonist’s homes were burned (Messina), and twelve out of the ninety New England cities in existence at that time were destroyed (Hart). The natives not only lost 40% of their population, but many were enslaved and they lost their land rights, their communities, and their rights to rule themselves. Their power was broken, their culture was destroyed, and they lived on as servants, tenants, and slaves to the colonists

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