What is 'King Philip's War'?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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King Philip's War is also known as the First Indian War, and was a conflict that occurred between Native Americans and English colonists in what is now known as New England. It occurred in 1675 an 1676 and the war was named after the main leader of the indigenous Americans, Metacomet, who was called "King Philip" by the English. It was a company of Purtain rangers led by Major Benjamin Church who managed to finally track down and kill King Philip in August 1676. The war continued until a treaty was signed in April 1678.

The war was significant because it represented the biggest problem to occur in 17th century New England. As a result of the war, twelve towns were destroyed, the economy was ruined and a large percentage of the population was killed, greatly reducing the number of men available for military service. It goes down in history as being one of the bloodiest and most violent wars in New England's history proportionately.

Also, the war has been recognised as the beginning of a sense of American identity as the war created suffering that was borne by the colonists without any support from the British government that helped to establish them as being separate and formed a group identity that was definitely apart from the English Crown.


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