King Philip's War - Historical Context

Historical Context

Plymouth, Massachusetts, was established in 1620 with significant early help from local Native Americans, particularly Squanto and Massasoit, chief of the Wampanoag tribe. The colonists founded Salem, Boston, and several small towns around Massachusetts Bay between 1628 and 1640, at a time of increased English immigration. With a wave of immigration, their building towns such as Windsor, Connecticut (est. 1633), Hartford, Connecticut (est. 1636), Springfield, Massachusetts (est. 1636), and Northampton, Massachusetts (est. 1654), on the Connecticut River and towns such as Providence, Rhode Island, on Narragansett Bay (est. 1636), progressively encroached on traditional territories of the several Algonquian-speaking tribes in the region. Prior to King Philip's War, tensions fluctuated among specific bands and tribes of Native Americans and the colonists, but relations were generally peaceful.

During the period of the Great Migration, the colonists were joined by 20,000 immigrants. English colonial officials of the Rhode Island, Plymouth, Massachusetts Bay, Connecticut and the New Haven colonies each developed separate relations with the Wampanoag, Nipmuck, Narragansett, Mohegan, Pequot, and other tribes of New England, whose territories historically had differing boundaries. Many of the neighboring tribes had been traditional competitors and enemies. As the colonial population increased, the New Englanders expanded their settlements along the region's coastal plain and up the Connecticut River valley. By 1675 they had established a few small towns in the interior between Boston and the Connecticut River settlements.

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