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In the Wake of War: Violence, Identity, and Cultural Change in Puritan Massachusetts, 1676-1713

By Charles Heaton

Abstract

This thesis seeks to grasp how King Philip's War influenced cultural evolution in Massachusetts in order to determine whether it produced a culture of violence and conflict amongst the Anglo-Puritan inhabitants of the Massachusetts Bay colony following the conflict. Specifically, this work uses primary sources produced by European inhabitants of Massachusetts Bay to examine the period between 1676 and 1713. Chapter II examines the impact of King Philip's War on the evolution of colonists' attitudes towards Indians by tracing the development of scalp bounties in Massachusetts. The use of scalp bounties highlights a trend towards commoditizing Indian lives in New England, and King Philip?s War proves critical in directing that trend. Chapter III explores the results of King Philip's War on the relationship between Massachusetts and the metropole in London. This chapter focuses on the riot of April, 1689, in Boston, that removed the London-appointed leader of the Dominion of New England, a political entity created, in part, in response to the weak showing of colonial government during King Philip's War. This chapter highlights the diverging views of empire and authority between the Massachusetts colonists and the royal officials in London. Chapter IV analyzes conflict and change within colonial Massachusetts society in the wake of King Philip's War. Here, I find that the war had the smallest impact on the overall course of subsequent cultural development in the colony. This does not mean that the war had no impact at all, but rather that such impact did not stand out against other patterns of cultural influence such as religion and economics

Topics: Violence, Massachusetts, Puritans, King Philip's War, Scalp bounties, Riot
Year: 2011
OAI identifier: oai:oaktrust.library.tamu.edu:1969.1/ETD-TAMU-2011-08-9865

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