The Mayflower Compact Essay

537 words - 2 pages

Olivia CapiersehoAMH 201030 June 2014New York: The Mayflower CompactIn September of 1620, the pilgrims embarked on their journey to America on the Mayflower. Holding thirty-five Puritan-Separatists and sixty-seven "strangers, which were people who were not full members of the church, they set off to the mouth of the Hudson River, what is now New York. On their way to America, however, the Mayflower drifted too far north and landed in what is now Massachusetts. The captain of the Mayflower, John Smith, subsequently named the new area of settlement "Plymouth", after the English port they departed from. Unfortunately, Plymouth was not included in the London Company's territory. To prevent discord, the Pilgrim leaders drew a compact. As a result, forty-one male passengers signed a document, the Mayflower Compact, which was meant to to emphasize the importance of laws and establish a temporary, loosely defined government. This also avoided the notion that the Pilgrims could do whatever they pleased.The establishment of this compact is very significant; for, it's one of the first instances of self- government in America. Although the compact asserted the signers' submission to the kings authority, it actually relied on the progressive notion that the government can operate only with the consent of the governed. The document was drawn without a consultation of the proper authorities, thus suggesting that people had the right to create laws. Furthermore, it emphasized the importance of colonists' involvement in the local government. In fact, right after the signing of the compact,, the Pilgrims went on to elect their first governor. The democratic overtones in the compact reflect the...

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