You are here: Home » History » Conflict Between The Natives and The Colonists in The 17th Century

Conflict Between The Natives and The Colonists in The 17th Century

Explains the source of conflict between the natives and the colonists during the early 1600s in Virginia and Massachusetts Bay.

     When the settlers moved to Virginia and Massachusetts Bay, there was friction between them and the Indians.  The friction between these groups is a reflection of the need for land in both Virginia and Massachusetts Bay.  The reasons however, were slightly different.  In both areas, the colonists’ need for land turned into greed and forced

the Indians to join them or retaliate.  In this essay, I will explain the sources of friction between the natives and the English settlers in Virginia and the Massachusetts Bay.

     In the early 1600s, the colony of Jamestown was nearly extinct primarily due to the colonists’ easy exposure to diseases such as malaria.  The courageous, yet offending, leadership of John Smith was both a gift and a curse to the survival of the colony.  With his help, the people of Jamestown finally had success in the colony.  Unfortunately, their

survival was a direct reflection of the raids led by John Smith to gather food.  These raids, in my opinion, created distrust and hatred towards the colonist in the Indians thus leading to the retaliation of the Indians.  The natives killed livestock belonging to the colonist and obstructed them to their own colony.  Because of the Indians’ retribution, the colonist had to eat what they could find.  They ate dogs, rats, cats and even dead humans.  By the next

summer, only about 12% of the population had survived.  The need to stay a colony resulted in the friction between the colonist of Virginia and the Indians.

     In the Massachusetts Bay, however, the reason for conflict was slightly different.  Some of the Indians sold their land to the English.  Others joined the Puritan communities by converting to Christianity.  The Indians also went as far as helping the colonist of Massachusetts Bay grow crop such as corn and beans.  The colonists’ growing quest for

more land quickly changed the natives’ position to befriend them.  As in Virginia, the colonists in Massachusetts became greedy for land.  However, the motive behind their greed was a little different.  The colonists were doing more and more hunting and the wild animals became scarce.  Due to the lack of animals to hunt, they decided to raise

livestock such as sheep, pigs and horses.  The growing population of the livestock was directly responsible for the colonists’ need for more land.  They kept moving in on the natives’ land until they were short of food and crops.  This conflict eventually drove the colonist and Indians to war.

     In conclusion, when the settlers moved to Virginia and Massachusetts Bay, there was friction between them and the Indians.  The biggest source of friction was the colonists’ greed or desperate need of land in both areas.   Some Indians were originally willing to sale their land.  Others were more reluctant to doing so.  In Virginia, the colonists needed the land to continue being a colony.  In Massachusetts, the need for land was due to their greed to have more livestock.  This greed also led to unwanted wars.

0
Liked it
Powered by Powered by Triond
-->