What was the purpose of the Mayflower Compact? (Video) (2023)

Hello and welcome to this Mayflower Compact review! In this video, we look at the circumstances that led to the writing of the Mayflower Compact, explore its highlights, and examine the historical significance and legacy of the document. Let's start!

So what was this document and why was it written? Well, as the name suggests, theMayflower Agreementwas written by the passengers of the Mayflower, the 17th-century English ship that brought Puritan Separatist settlers thereNorth America. LosPuritansThey were a sect of Protestant separatists who fled England to escape religious persecution. Desiring to preserve their language and culture while enjoying freedom of religion, the Puritans asked for itRey Jamesto found a colonyVirginia.

The development was funded in part by funds from the Virginia Company and investors in London. Two ships were commissioned to transport 130 passengers to the New World: thelily of the valleyit's himVeronika🇧🇷 The passengers on board both ships were either saints or strangers. The saints, as they called themselves, were the pilgrims who set out for religious reasons. The strangers were non-Puritan passengers simply trying their luck in the New World. There were also a handful of hired servants on board; They were laborers who paid for their journey by agreeing to a period of unpaid service.

(Video) Mayflower Compact Explained

The Mayflower and the Speedwell are goneSouthamptonon August 5, 1620. As the larger of the two ships, the Mayflower took on the most passengers with around 100. The Speedwell soon ran into trouble and began to take on too much water, forcing the two ships to turn back just three days later. away. Repairs have been madeDartmouthand the ships sailed a second time on August 23rd. As the ships ventured out to sea again, the Speedwell ran into trouble again and the ships hobbled back to England. After some debate, the colonists decided to abandon the Speedwell and take the rest of the passengers onto the Mayflower, although some colonists backed out, concerned about the conditions an autumn voyage with reduced supplies would entail.

The Mayflower sailed on September 16th.Plymouthwith 102 passengers on board, excluding the 25-30 crew members. Most of the passengers were adult males, 18 adult females and about 30 children. Much of what is known about the Mayflower and her passengers comes from the diary ofGuillermo Bradford, who made the trip with his wife Dorothy. The couple had left their son John behind, presumably with the intention of sending him away once the colony was established. Unfortunately, the family reunion never took place, as Dorothy drowned in December 1620. Bradford later served as Governor of Plymouth for 30 years.

With supplies depleted and a late departure, the colonists faced an awkward crossing of the Atlantic. Many fell victim to seasickness and things were made worse by the taunts of a crew member, an individual who Bradford described as a "very profane and proud young man". The young man explained that most of the passengers would be thrown overboard before the ship reached shore. In a twist of fate, the young man fell ill and died halfway and was buried at sea. Bad weather was another source of distress, forcing the colonists to huddle on deck for days.

(Video) The Pilgrims and the Mayflower Compact

After 65 grueling days at sea, land has finally been sighted. The crew quickly realized that the ship was at the 41st parallel, off the intended landing site at the 38th parallel. After some discussion, the passengers decided to proceed, but with an approaching storm and some difficult conditions, the Mayflower dropped anchor on Cape Cod to decide what to do next.

Supplies were dangerously low, but the settlers were far from their Crown-assigned location. In addition to the legal dilemma, the divisions among the passengers posed a threat to the colony's survival. Remember that saints and misfits had different motivations for travel, and colonists were as far removed from authority as was then possible. Without a unified sense of purpose and social structure, the new colony stood little chance of surviving its rocky start.

Ultimately, the Mayflower Compact was written as a means of establishing some form of self-government. It's unclear exactly who wrote the article, but William Brewster, the spiritual leader of the trip, is likely the candidate and tends to get the credit. The text of the agreement is incredibly short at around 200 words, so its content can be summarized in a few key points.

(Video) Mayflower Compact - PBS

The document begins with a declaration of Christian faith and loyalty to King James. The pact then promises that the people will unite into a "civilian political body", a temporary government to make laws and social structures for the benefit of the colony. This is the complete compact in modernized language:

“IN THE NAME OF GOD, AMEN. We whose names are signed, the faithful subjects of our fearsome Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, etc. Having, for the glory of God, and for the advancement of the Christian faith, and for the glory of our King and our country had made a voyage to establish the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia; By these gifts we solemnly and reciprocally bind and unite in the presence of God and with one another into a civil body for our best order and preservation and furtherance of the above purposes: And by virtue of this, I decree fair and just laws from time to time, to enact and enact ordinances, acts, constitutions, and business as seems most fit and expedient for the general good of the colony; to whom we all promise due submission and obedience. IN WITNESS WHICH we signed our names at Cape Cod on the eleventh day of November, under the reign of our sovereign lord King James, of England, France and Ireland on the eighteenth, and of Scotland on the fifty-fourth, Anno Domini; 1620

In essence, the Mayflower Compact was not a code of law, but a statement of general principles for uniting the colonists. The document represents a first experiment in the concept of government by consent of the governed. The signatories chose their leader and the rules by which they lived for the good of the colony as a whole.

(Video) Mayflower Compact: Roots of Our Democracy

Over time,PlymouthEstablished as a permanent settlement, it has survived the harsh conditions of colonial life. Many of the original passengers died within the first year, but the colony as a whole survived and grew to become theMassachusetts Bay Colony🇧🇷 The ideas embodied in the Mayflower Compact would last for several years, influencing future generations and even being considered one of the foundations of theUnited States Constitution.

Okay, before we go, let's just recap what we discussed. As the group of Puritan settlers moved away from the system of authority and government they had always known, they risked becoming separated and ultimately not surviving the pilgrimage. The short Mayflower Compact, likely written by William Brewster, provided the much-needed legal blueprint for Plymouth Colony. The document helped the colony get through the difficult early years by establishing a unified sense of purpose. The revolutionary concept of governing by the consent of the governed later influenced American leaders and served as the basis for the United States Constitution.

I hope this review was helpful! Thanks for looking and good studies!

(Video) Story of the Mayflower Compact: Why It Mattered


What was the purpose of the Mayflower Compact? ›

It simply bound the signers into a "Civil Body Politic" for the purpose of passing "just and equal Laws . . . for the general good of the Colony." But those few words expressed the idea of self-government for the first time in the New World.

What is the purpose of the Mayflower Compact quizlet? ›

The Mayflower Compact helped unify the travelers in the new world by giving the common man a political voice. The purpose of the Mayflower Compact was to establish basic law and order in the colony. The document was intended to be not just a contract between the colonists but also between themselves and God.

What is the Mayflower Compact in simple terms? ›

The Mayflower Compact was an agreement created by the passengers on the Mayflower. The Mayflower was the ship that carried the English settlers known as the Pilgrims to North America in 1620. The Mayflower Compact was the first government document to be signed in the land that became the United States.

What is the Mayflower Compact for kids? ›

The Mayflower Compact was the first document to include the principles of self-government in the land that would become the United States. The Mayflower left England with a charter from the Virginia Company. It gave the passengers the right to settle near the Hudson River, in what is now New York.

What did the Mayflower Compact promise? ›

After citing their common loyalty to King James I, the signatories to the Mayflower Compact pledged to “covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid: And by Virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and ...

What were the big ideas of the Mayflower Compact? ›

The two main ideas of the Mayflower Compact were majority rule and the concept of the public good. This document spelled out that the colonists would follow the rules prescribed by the majority.

What was the Mayflower Compact answer choice? ›

The Mayflower Compact Was an Agreement to Bind Colonists Together. Back in England, the Separatists had signed a contract with the Virginia Company to establish a colony near the Hudson River, which at the time was part of Virginia.

What are two reasons why the Mayflower Compact is significant? ›

Explanation: The Mayflower Compact was important because it was the first document to establish self-government in the New World. It remained active until 1691 when Plymouth Colony became part of Massachusetts Bay Colony.

What did the Mayflower Compact say quizlet? ›

This document was drafted in 1620 prior to settlement by the Pilgrims at Plymouth Bay in Massachusetts. It declared that the 41 males who signed it agreed to accept majority rule and participate in a government in the best interest of all members of the colony.

What was the purpose of the Mayflower Compact Quizizz? ›

The Mayflower Compact was the first agreement for self - government to be created and enforced in America.

Why did the colonists decide to create the Mayflower Compact quizlet? ›

-To help establish ground rules and to show the pilgrims are self governed by the people. -It was written to create a framework for government in the American colonies. -It was also written to establish the idea of a self government for the new colonists in Plymouth.

Who created the Mayflower Compact and why? ›

To quell the conflict and preserve unity, Pilgrim leaders (among them William Bradford and William Brewster) drafted the Mayflower Compact before going ashore.

What was the Mayflower Compact and why was it created quizlet? ›

This document was drafted in 1620 prior to settlement by the Pilgrims at Plymouth Bay in Massachusetts. It declared that the 41 males who signed it agreed to accept majority rule and participate in a government in the best interest of all members of the colony.

What are two significant facts about the Mayflower Compact? ›

The Mayflower Compact was likely written by William Brewster, an educated pastor and Separatist. There were 41 signers, all adult males. Among them were several notable men: William Bradford: William Bradford was a Separatist who became Governor of Plymouth Colony after the death of John Carver.

What are 2 reasons why people went on the Mayflower? ›

Its passengers were in search of a new life – some seeking religious freedom, others a fresh start in a different land. They would go on to be known as the Pilgrims and influence the future of the United States of America in ways they could never have imagined.

How did the Mayflower Compact impact the colonists view of government? ›

The Mayflower Compact set up a government with the first written set of laws for the English settlers who arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620. This document introduced the very important idea of self-government in the colonies. Self-government is the idea of people creating and running their own government.


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