Mayflower Compact Explained

hello welcome to a plush simplified

today we're looking at the famous

Mayflower Compact written in 1620 during

the voyage of the pilgrims and others to

establish the Plymouth Colony first but

for the document in historical context

in the early 1600s Great Britain was

catching up to other European powers

especially Spain who had suffered a

major defeat with their failed invasion

of England a few decades prior the

Virginia Colony had been established but

was in need of more settlers in other

important developments the Protestant

Reformation had swept through Great

Britain several decades prior Henry the

eighth's cemented a split with AG Roman

Catholic Church which then created the

Anglican Church of England however some

people within Great Britain felt the

Anglican Church needed more Protestant

reform one of those groups were the

Puritans who followed Calvinist

Christian beliefs including that of

predestination at certain points

Puritans were persecuted for their

beliefs as they ran counter to the

official teachings of the Church of

England a subgroup within the Puritans

were the pilgrims who felt they needed

to completely separate from the Church

of England this small group was able to

line up a few investors for a Plymouth

Colony in the new world about a hundred

to settlers set sail for Virginia on the


an important note is that not all of

them were pilgrims and there was a real

divide aboard the Mayflower between the

Pilgrims and others who they referred to

as the strangers trouble struck when

rough seas blew the ships off course and

they would need to land well north of

the Virginia Colony

this caused heightened tensions between

the pilgrims and the strangers on board

the Mayflower the divide threatened the

whole journey as mutiny was a real

possibility an agreement was signed

between the strangers and the pilgrims

we know as the Mayflower Compact


now taking a look at the compact itself

an important detail is that it mentions

King James as their sovereign and the

colonists would remain loyal subjects

this was probably a compromise between

the strangers and pilgrims as the

pilgrims were originally seeking

complete separation however the

strangers had no intention of next is

that Christian faith is very prevalent

in the documents as the Grace and

presence of God is mentioned the purpose

of the Mayflower Compact is for a social

contract that establishes law and order

for the sake of survival a few key

quotes include covenant and combine

ourselves together into a civil body

politic for our better ordering and

preservation and by virtue hereof do

enact constitute and frame such just an

equal laws ordinance Acts constitutions

and officers from time to time thou

shalt be thought most meat and

convenient the general good of a colony

end quote finally let's look at the

impact and legacy of the Mayflower

Compact the early years of the Plymouth

Colony were very difficult half died in

the first year alone however despite the

difficulties the colonists worked

together also more settlers arrived and

set up small towns nearby these

Commonwealth's had a degree of democracy

as male church members could vote on

local laws and issues they all sent

representatives to a General Court this

shows an early successful attempt at

democracy in the British colonies thanks

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