Mayflower Compact

Definition

The Mayflower Compact is the agreement between the 41 male passengers of the ship Mayflower establishing the form of government of the Plymouth Colony (1620-1691 CE), signed on 11 November 1620 CE off the coast of present-day Massachusetts, USA. The passengers were almost evenly divided between religious separatists (who called themselves Saints) and others, not of their faith, whom they called Strangers. They were supposed to have landed in Virginia but had been blown off course, and upon realizing they were some 500 miles north of where they should be and that the authority granted to them by the Virginia Company who had issued their legal charter was void in this region, some of the Strangers noted that English law did not apply here and claimed that, once ashore, they would live as they pleased and it would be every man for himself.

More about: Mayflower Compact

Timeline

  • 11 Nov 1620
    The Mayflower lands in the region of modern-day Massachusetts, North America, bringing the pilgrims to the New World.
  • 11 Nov 1620
    The Mayflower Compact is signed by the pilgrims establishing democratic government of the Plymouth Colony.
  • 1621 - 1622
    The pilgrims establish the Plymouth Colony with the help of Native Americans who teach them how to survive and flourish.
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