What were some of the causes of King Philip's War?

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Emily Share
Feb 25, 2017


The primary causes of the war were the colonists' desire for territory and the outrage caused by their execution of King Phillip's men.


King Phillip's War was a long and bloody battle between the Wampanoag, led by Metacom or King Phillip, and the English colonists. It was caused largely by the colonists' desire for territory and the outrage caused by their execution of Metacom's men.

In the 1670s, English colonists, in an attempt to gain more land, began to attempt to take over some of the Wampanoag's land. They also desired to uphold the increasingly popular concepts of imperialism and colonialism. Tension increased as the English and the Wampanoag tribe fought over territory. Metacom and his men began attacking and destroying English settlements throughout Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. When the colonists held a tried and executed three of Metacom's men, the Wampanoag tribe became outraged, leading to further aggression.

There were several additional factors that created tension between the English and the tribe. The bonds that had been constructed between the Wampanoag people and the first settlers had been broken on the death of Metacom's father. In addition, the colonialists had declined trade with the Native Americans, leaving much of the tribe with little resources. Furthermore, the English had sent livestock and men to trample over Wampanoag fields and constructed forts to antagonize the tribe.

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