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What is a summary of the first episode of We Shall Remain entitled "After the Mayflower"? 

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"After the Mayflower," which is the first episode of the series We Shall Remain, is an account of the lives of American Indians and European settlers in the 1600s, which was a century of territorial exploration and war on the newly discovered continent of North America. One astounding, though often forgotten, fact which is salient to mention is that what would eventually become the longest war in the recorded history of the world started in the 1600s between American Indians and European settlers. For about 300 years, the two cultures fought against each other over land, preservation of culture, and survival, and this first episode captures the scenes which lead up to the start of this incredibly long and costly war. Through this lens, we understand why and how the American Indians and European settlers have had such a troubled past.

In present-day Massachusetts, English colonists began to settle in the early 1600s. After embarking on a perilous journey and arriving in a land that was still foreign to so many travelers, the starved, dirty, and ill group of settlers were in a struggle for survival. Naturally, they sought out assistance from the Native Americans. So Massasoit, a leader of the Wampanoag, a group of American Indians who had been afflicted with mysterious illnesses and were in a vulnerable condition themselves, agreed to negotiate with the English colonists. Fearing that his own people could be conquered by the Narragansett group, Massasoit calculated that forming an alliance with the European settlers could strengthen his people's chance of surviving and thriving in the years ahead.

Massasoit agreed to assist the English colonists with providing basic necessities in exchange for protection of his people against their enemies. For decades, this agreement was essentially honored, and there was a fragile peace between the groups. However, by the 1670s, the Wampanoag began to question whether the alliance formation was a prudent decision. Almost every facet of Native American life was being destroyed or threatened.

The English colonists continued to flood the North American continent, and they brought foreign and lethal diseases, abuse of the Native American people in a quest for acquiring power, and immoral land grabs that made the American Indians' way of life seem doomed for eradication. Throughout the years in which these atrocities were committed, a brutal war between the groups raged, and the Native Americans fought back against the English colonists with impressive force and determination. Metacom, who was Massasoit's son, led a valiant effort to resist the English colonial forces and almost push them back into the Atlantic Ocean.

Known as Metacomet's Rebellion, this battle is considered by many historians, Native Americans, and scholars to be the great catalyst for the struggles and skirmishes that would follow for centuries. Thus the first episode certainly strikes the appropriate tone, displays the proper setting, and demonstrates the high level of tension and hostility. It sets the stage for the development of the future episodes. In this way, observers can fully understand how and why the American Indians and European settlers have had such a tumultuous and violent past.

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Debuted on PBS in October 1988, "After the Mayflower" is an episode in the multi-part program We Shall Remain which was presented as part of the network's long-running history series American Experience.

"After the Mayflower" recounts the early history of the English colony Massachusetts Bay which, at the time, had yet to be unified with neighboring Plymouth into the single polity of Massachusetts. The story focuses on the interaction between colonists and the leading tribal nation in the region, the Wampanoag Confederation. Covering the time period 1621 to 1675, it culminates with the disastrous King Philip's War—also known as Metcomet's rebellion—in which the Wampanoag under the sachem Metacomet or Metacom (sometimes also called by his English name King Philip) battled the several colonies of the New England Confederation in a conflict that climaxed with the Great Swamp Fight. During that bloody battle, colonial forces—and their Mohegan and Pequot allies—besieged and overran the great fortress city of the Narragansett.

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We Shall Remain is a 7and 1/2 hour PBS documentary concerning the history of Native Americans.  It spans four hundred years, covering the 1600’s through the 1900’s.  It is broken into five episodes, each 90 minutes long, with different directors, writers and producers contributing to the project.  The first episode is titled, “After the Mayflower”.

This first episode, “After the Mayflower”, begins in 1621 when English colonists in Plymouth colony find themselves in dire straits, sick and hungry. They were in desperate need of help.  The leading sachem of the Wampanoag, Massasoit, had his own problems to worry about.  He was open to attack from the rival Narragansetts in the west after disease ravaged the Wampanoag.   In order to protect his people from their enemies, Massasoit helped the English colonists and entered an alliance with the foreigners in hopes that this alliance would protect his people from their enemies.  For fifty years there was an uneasy peace between the English and the Native Americans. With increasing English immigration came the mistreatment of the Native Americans and the degradation of their land, along with devastating epidemics.  Finally, in 1675, war erupted between the English colonists of New England and the Wampanoag and their allies, led by Metacom, son of Massasoit.

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