The Wampanoags and the English were allies prior to King Philip’s War (Hewitt and Lawson, 53). In fact, the Wampanoags helped the pilgrims colonize Plymouth, Massachusetts. Over time, English settlements encroached on Indian land. This eventually became the primary cause of the Wampanoag’s rebellion. The Grand Sachem of the Wampanoag Confederacy was Metacom and he did not trust the colonists because he felt that they were at fault for his father’s and brother’s deaths. He was also upset because the colonists charged and killed people of his tribe under their judicial system (Hewitt and Lawson, 58). When John Sassato, a Christian Indian messenger, was murdered, three Wampanoag indians were sentenced to execution by the Plymouth Colony jury. Metacom and his tribe were outraged at their mistreatment by the colonists. Disease was another factor that caused Indian resentment because they were not immune to various deadly diseases that were introduced by the settlers. The Wampanoags were unhappy for various other reasons as well, such as because the English intruded on their hunting grounds, herded cattle on their lands, destroyed their crops, and many indians were used as slaves. Another reason the indians complained about the settlers was because the settlers tried to convert them to Christianity (Hewitt and Lawson, 60). The Indian’s were given alcohol but if they were caught drunk in Massachusetts, then they would have to either pay 10 shillings or be whipped. This was an unsuccessful attempt to generate revenue as most Indians accused chose to be whipped. So the Massachusetts law changed the punishment from whipping to 10 days of unpaid work. This was upsetting for Indians and it shows how the colonists viewed the Indians as inferior. The English leaders of the colonies used and abused the Indians for their own economic gain.
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