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The Mayflower Summary Essay

1097 words - 4 pages

1ChambersAnna ChambersRountree- 1stAPUSH7 August 2014The Mayflower SummaryThe 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 and each male was required to sign his name on it, confirming that he agreed to follow the rules of the colony and its leadership (41).The Pilgrims wasted no time with their construction and quickly began building houses and roads. In addition, they decided to establish a military for protection against the natives. During one of their militia meetings, the pilgrims noticed an Indian watching them from afar. Upon approaching him, the Pilgrims realized he meant no harm and had the ability to communicate in English (92). The Indian's name was Samoset and was apart of the Pakanoket Tribe. Through this encounter the Pilgrims learned that the Pakanokets meant no harm to Plymouth and wanted to be friends. A few days later the sachem of the Pakanoket tribe, Massasoit, came to meet the Pilgrims himself. During the meeting a six-point treaty was created that established the alliance between the colonists and the Indian tribe (97-99). The relationship between the Pilgrims and Indians progressed and both communities helped the...

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