7 August 2014
The Mayflower Summary
The difficult journey of the Pilgrims began when they left England for Leiden, Holland. At the time, King James required all citizens to follow the Church of England. However like many separatists of the time, the Pilgrims wanted to worship as they pleased (4). After many years in Holland, the Pilgrims decided that it was once again time to move. While Holland was religiously tolerant, the country required the Pilgrims to work difficult jobs that were hard on their bodies. In addition to health concerns, the Pilgrims were afraid that the younger members of their congregation were losing touch with their English heritage. They felt like embarking on a journey to the New World would let them establish a community with their own religion and English culture (17).
The Pilgrims' journey was supported by a group of investors known as Merchant Adventurers. Represented by Thomas Weston, the investors were responsible for finding a boat to transport the Pilgrims and periodically sending them supplies during their first years in the New World. In return, the Merchant Adventurers would receive a profit from the resources that the Pilgrims sent back to England (20). After months of preparation, a group of Pilgrims boarded The Mayflower. Driven by Captain Christopher Jones, the boat spent 75 days at sea before finally reaching the shores of Cape Cod (35). However before they could get off the boat the Pilgrims had to decide where their community should settle. Three exploration expeditions were launched on the shores of Cape Cod Bay (62-63). On the third expedition, Plymouth Rock was discovered and Plymouth was decided upon as the location for the Pilgrims' settlement. (78-79). Before leaving their boat dwellings for good, the Pilgrims constructed their first governmental document: the Mayflower Compact. This doctrine formed a rudimentary government for the new settlement...
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