Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Josh Reid

Second Advisor

Bonnie Miller

Third Advisor

Jonathan Chu


Early in the seventeenth century Algonquians peoples of southern New England and English colonists built a middle ground which benefitted both groups. Trade, the existence of competition from Dutch and French colonies and powerful Algonquian tribes maintained this middle ground. However, as trade items, such as beaver pelts and wampum became rare or lost value and continued English immigration to New England weakened Dutch claims to the area, the middle ground began to crumble. As English-style farms and livestock changed the ecology of New England and the colonists sought to assert their will, Algonquians lost the ability to live as their ancestors had done for millennia, land and their places in society. The Wampanoag sachem, Metacom, or Philip, and his Native allies fought a bloody war against the English and their Native allies to force the colonists back to the middle ground. The English victory in King Philip's War (1675-76) signaled the end of the middle ground in New England and Native sovereignty in the region.