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The Mayflower Compact
Transcript of The Mayflower Compact
England a lot. He basically outlawed every religion
that wasn't the one he believed in. In Early 1608, the Separatists* decided that they would move to Holland so they could worship in the church of their choice and choose any religion. Holland was an unusually large town for the Separatists, considering most all of them were farmers. So they moved again to the small town of Leyden. The Mayflower was originally built to carry cargo
and goods, not 102 passengers. Out of the 102 passengers, 74 were male
and 28 were female. (32 being children) There were also 30 crew members. Along with people, there were at least two dogs and and three cats. 11 years after moving to Holland, the Separatists became very unhappy. Their children came to think Holland was their home and the Dutch as their people. The Separatists wanted their children to know they were English, and so were their families. They decided to set off for Virginia, to start a colony of their own. To get money for their trip, the Separatists got a loan from merchants in England. The
merchants would pay them if the Separatists would give them fish and fur from the New World. It was very risky for the Separatists to go to the New World. They'd have no shelter, they'd have to hunt for food, and they could be killed by Indians. At the time, those were the only possibilities of death they could think of, although many were killed by disease. They set off on a summer morning in 1620. The merchants had loaned them enough money to hire an old ship named the Mayflower. They also had a small boat made, the Speedwell, to take more Separatists. Instead of starting for the New World, they first sailed back to England from Holland for supplies. On the way to England, the Speedwell proved itself to be leaky, so even more people had to board the Mayflower. Everybody on the Mayflower had to sleep in the crowded space between the decks. There was only one heat source which was a small bucket of coals in a bed of sand used for cooking. Basically, there was no heat. When the seas were rough, a lot of times the living space would be flooded with ocean water. A meal on the ship would consist of cold salted beef and a biscuit. Instead of reaching Virginia, after 66 days they finally reached land... in Massachusetts. They were a bit discouraged that the land wasn't as beautiful, but any free land would do. The Pilgrims wanted to choose their own leaders, so they wrote down their ideas so everyone could agree or disagree. The men wrote in the largest cabin of the Mayflower. It was later to be named the Mayflower Compact. The compact read:
"In the name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of out dread sovereign Lord King James,... having undertaken for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith, and the honor of our King and country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God, and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic... and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute and frame such just equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most convenient for the general good of the colony, unto which we promise all do submission and obedience..." The Pilgrims were the first group of people to elect a person to rule or govern. It basically means that they would govern themselves. They would not wait for a king to tell them what to do. Everyone who signed the compact agreed to this. *Separatists were people who worshiped in their own way even though it wasn't allowed. The End!