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King Philip's War

History of King Philip's War

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The Wampanoag nation had been friendly with the settlers and colonists under Massasoit. However, his son, Metacom (nicknamed King Philip by the colonists) led the New England Native Americans to fight against the colonists as they seized more and more land. Further, colonial governments were increasingly forcing the native populations to accept European customs and laws.

The spark that started the war occurred in 1675 when a Native American Indian named Sassamon who had converted to Christianity was murdered. Plymouth Colony executed three Wampanoags for his murder. King Philip led his tribe to retaliate thus leading to King Philip’s War.

King Philip’s War lasted from 1675 to 1678. This long and costly war resulted in the deaths of many on both sides. Not only were entire settlements destroyed but also half of the villages of New England were damaged.

The New England Confederation was key in the colonial victory over the Native Americans. Through the confederation, the colonists organized a military force which eventually defeated the Indians. King Philip was killed in 1676. However, some fighting continued to exist until 1678. The power of the Native Americans, particularly the Wampanoag’s was permanently broken as survivors had to accept colonial authority.

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