Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Pequot War

The Great Pequot War of 1637, which was the war between the Pequots and the English settlers of Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay Colony, resulted in England's expansion of land in the Americas. The Pequot were a tribe located in Southeastern Connecticut next to the Pequot (now Thames) and Mystic rivers along with other tribes such as the Mohegan and Narragansett. At first, the relationship between the Indians and the settlers was quite peaceful. They often traded fur and weapons in a fairly just manner, but as the Great Migration began to quicken in pace, more and more conflicts started to arise. There were a lot more Europeans than Pequots and the tension was growing ever so slightly. Like for example, the Europeans' livestock were constantly feeding on the tribe's crops. There was also a lot of confusion with hunting grounds and properties. 

In 1636, John Oldham, who was an English trader, and a group of other colonists were murdered by friends of the Pequot tribe. This triggered the start of the Pequot War that would then last for the next two years. Under the command of Captain John Mason and Captain John Underhill, the English Puritan militia, with the help of Mohegan and Narragansett tribes, surrounded the Pequot village and began to set it on fire. Anyone who escaped would be held captive or shot on the spot. During the war, around 400 to 700 Indians were killed. The Pequot tribe were nearly destroyed. The war ended in 1638 with a peace treaty that was signed at Hartford on September 21. The treaty mainly stated that no Pequot tribe or village were allowed and that if there were any who have escaped they would be known only as Mohegans or Narragansett.

As a result, the defeat of the Pequot tribe tipped the balance of power to the English, instead of the Indians, opening the way to future New England settlements and the expansion of American colonies. Aiden T. Vaughn wrote something in his book New England Frontier: Puritans and Indians 1620-1675 that I believe really explains the major effect of this war and he said, "...there was no combination of Indian tribes that could seriously threaten the English. The destruction of the Pequots cleared away the only major obstacle to Puritan expansion. And the thoroughness of that destruction made a deep impression on the other tribes..." The Pequot were a very powerful tribe; economically and politically. Other tribes often looked up to them and sometimes even envied them. Vaughn was saying that because of the defeat of this very powerful tribe, no other Native American group dared to challenge the colonies again for nearly 40 years, until King Philip's War.

"The Pequot War: A Documentary ~ The History." The Pequot War: A Documentary ~ The History. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Sept. 2014.
"The Society of Colonial Wars in the State of Connecticut - 1637 The Pequot War." The Society of Colonial Wars in the State of Connecticut - 1637 The Pequot War. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Sept. 2014.
"The History of the Pequot War." Battlefields of the Pequot War The Pequot War Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Sept. 2014.
"Pequot War." Pequot War. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Sept. 2014.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent! Keep using key transitions like "as a result" because it clues your reader in to the causes and effects :) Nice work