If there is one phrase that might best epitomize Native Americans in the seventeenth century, it is “the beginning of the end”—the beginning of the end of freedom, of self-governance, and for some tribes, of existence. Many coastal tribes are being forced inland, are under a European yoke, or have disappeared entirely. As European expansion grows, so does the forced retreat of Native Americans. Even so, many Native American peoples stand their ground. In some instances, they are aided by geography, in others by alliance with competing European nations. Often, both geography and alliance play a role. The colonial expansion of European powers is both hindered and abetted by Native Americans, inevitably to the detriment of these peoples. On a smaller scale, sea rovers—pirates and privateers—often benefit from an alliance with various Native Americans, but also exploit many as slaves, and often enough find themselves on the receiving end of Native American weaponry.