Over 360 years ago, in England, there lived some people called “Pilgrims”, who were not happy with the laws of the king or the church of England.
The Pilgrims decided to leave England and, for a time, settled in Holland. At the time an English explorer, Captain John Smith, and other explorers and traders were charting new lands. Stories of their explorations and reached the Pilgrims in Holland. Hearing this, the Pilgrims decided to return to England to make plans to settle in the new world across the ocean.
There they might really be free!
Having obtained a ship called the “Mayflower” and ample provisions for a long journey, they (102 passengers and about thirty sailors) set sail from Plymouth Harbor, England, in the autumn of 1620, and headed westward toward the new world. The Pilgrims had plenty of courage.
For 65 days and nights, over a vast and furious ocean, the Pilgrims journeyed in the season of westerly gales. The Mayflower was driven off course by heavy storms while heading for a settlement in Virginia and sought shelter in Cape Cod Bay at Provincetown (Massachusetts).
Few moments of greater drama exist in American history than that morning in November 1620, when the Mayflower still lay at anchor in Provincetown Harbor, In the great cabin of the Mayflower, the Pilgrims drew up an agreement. It was the first set of laws in America that said the majority should rule.
It was called the Mayflower Compact. Forty-one (41) men signed the agreement.
The pattern for democratic government in the new world was set!