Describe the cause of King Phillip's War.

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In contrast to the other wars of Colonial America that were named after British monarchs, King Philip’s war was named after a Native American chief.  This was not a war between European powers.  Instead, it was a war between Native Americans and British colonists.  This war took place in New England.

King Philip’s War was named after a chief of the Wampanoag Indians in New England.  This chief, also called Metacomet, was the son of Massasoit, the chief who had helped the Pilgrims at Plymouth.  In 1675, Philip created an alliance among the tribes that still remained in the southern part of New England.  War erupted between them and the colonists when a “praying Indian,” one who had become Christian and had become somewhat absorbed into white society, was killed.  The English executed three Indians for having killed this man.  The Native Americans of the alliance did not like having their people subjected to English laws and punishments and attacked.  This started the war.  The main fighting of the war lasted about a year, with something in the range of 20,000 people being killed.  This was the last major Indian war in New England.

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