Was King Philip's War proportionally the worst war in American history?

Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
2,860
Republika Srpska
#1
American history is full of brutal wars, wars like the ACW, the Indian Wars etc. But perhaps one of the worst wars in American history is King Philip's War waged from 1675 to 1678 between English colonists from New England and their Native allies on one side and other Natives led by Metacomet or King Philip on the other side. The war was just so devastating to both sides. The English were forced to abandon a third of their settlements and lost about 5% of their total population. Over a half of English settlements also faced raids by the Natives. The economic damage was also devastating. At one point the English considered abandoning all of their possessions but those on the coast. The damage to the Natives was however much worse. They lost about 40% of their population in the region and most of the tribes were absolutely devastated. I mean, other American wars were much bloodier, but was any war this devastating to both sides?
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,107
#3
I don t understand how a war can be bloody when your weapons are:stone guns,darts,swords etc....
What's a stone gun? The British had guns. The native Americans also had guns, but may have used bows and arrows also. Not sure about darts.

I am not sure how well equipped the native Americans were. The took weapons when looting towns and villages early in the war. They also had guns acquired by trade. There were Dutch and French territories nearby, and it was probably difficult to prevent them from acquiring European weapons.
 
Last edited:
Jul 2019
107
New Jersey
#4
I've heard that said before, but I'm not sure why everyone discounts the Second Anglo-Powhatan War (1622-1632). The war was set off when Opechacanaugh launched a surprise attack on Virginia and killed about a quarter of its total population. Even when we account for the nascent New England colonies, that war must have been the most deadly in terms of per capita deaths wrt the total population. The Powhatan were pretty devastated by that war as well.
 
Jul 2019
107
New Jersey
#6
The 1622 war also had some other, more political consequences. The catastrophic loss of life it engendered enabled the Earl of Warwick to get King James I (already unfavorably inclined to Sir Edwin Sandys and the Earl of Southampton) to revoke the Virginia Company's charter and abolish Virginia's General Assembly.
 
May 2017
918
France
#8
The silex gun has been generalized in 1630.Before, it was the system of the arquebuzes where the soldier had to switch on the fire on the black powder, which projected the balls.And after,it was the system of percussion.
 
Jan 2019
16
Finland
#9
Even though proportionality is important, it can be overshadowed by sheer scale of things. 100% eradication of a people numbering some hundreds is not considered as grave as less than 50% eradication of a people numbering in the millions.
 
Likes: macon
Jul 2019
107
New Jersey
#10
Even though proportionality is important, it can be overshadowed by sheer scale of things. 100% eradication of a people numbering some hundreds is not considered as grave as less than 50% eradication of a people numbering in the millions.
Per Wikipedia, the total number of casualties during King Philip's War was 1,000 colonists and 3,000 Indians. Devastating in a local sense, to be sure, but hardly a massive scale.