The United Colonies of New England, commonly known as the New England Confederation, was a short-lived military alliance of the New England colonies of Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, Connecticut, and New Haven formed in May 1643. Its primary purpose was to unite the Puritan colonies in support of the church, and for defense against the American Indians and the Dutch colony of New Netherland. It was the first milestone on the long road to colonial unity, and was established as a direct result of a war that started between the Mohegans and Narragansetts. Its charter provided for the return of fugitive criminals and indentured servants, and served as a forum for resolving inter-colonial disputes. In practice, none of the goals were accomplished.
The confederation was weakened in 1654 after Massachusetts refused to join an expedition against New Netherland during the First Anglo-Dutch War, although it regained importance during King Philip's War in 1675. It was dissolved after numerous colonial charters were revoked in the early 1680s.
- Dominion of New England, an entirely different entity, 1686–1689
- History of New England
- New England Colonies
- William Henry Carpenter, Timothy Shay Arthur. The history of Connecticut: from its earliest settlement to the present time (1872) ch 5
- John Andrew Doyle. English Colonies in America: The Puritan colonies (1889) ch 8
- The Articles of Confederation of the United Colonies of New England Settlements
- New England Confederation
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