Mayflower compact- the idea of self independence

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This booklet allows students to learn about the Mayflower compact. It tells about its significance, roots, and importance.
1. The Mayflower Compact
2. The Mayflower Compact
• November 11, 1620 – a ship called
the Mayflower lands off the coast of
• The ship carries 102 passengers from
3. Passengers
• Passengers can be divided into 2 groups:
 41 of the 102 passengers are Pilgrims,
seeking a new life in America where they
could practice their religion as they chose
 The remaining 2/3 of passengers are a mix
of common people in search of wealth and
a new life: merchants, craftsmen, workers,
servants, and young children – the Pilgrims
refer to these passengers as “strangers”
4. How the Voyage Came
• The Pilgrims had organized the voyage
and secured the right to settle on land in
• The Pilgrims had signed a contract to
share with London stockholders the
planned profits from the colony
• The 2/3 of the passengers who were
common people were added to increase
the chance of success of the colony
5. Roots of the Compact
• The voyage lasts 2 months and covers
3,000 miles
• The ship lands far north of its planned
destination in Virginia – landing instead
near present day Cape Cod
• The Pilgrims decide to land here to build
their community – causing an argument to
break out between the Pilgrims and the
“strangers” – some dispute exists about
whether landing here was intentional or not
6. Rebellion Brewing
• Many of the “strangers” wanted to
continue on as planned to Virginia
• Some “strangers” argued that, since the
Cape Cod area was outside of the
jurisdiction of the Virginia Company, its
rules and regulations no longer applied
• Result: 102 people cut off from any form of
government and a rebellion brewing
amongst them
7. The Mayflower Compact
• The first record of self-government in
America is actually derived from necessity
• The Pilgrims and “Strangers” make a
written agreement to make and obey laws
• The compact was signed by nearly all of the
adult male passengers
• The opening line of the Compact refers to
the passengers as “loyal subjects” of the
8. The Mayflower Compact
• Very short and simple document
• It binds the signers into a “Civil Body
Politic” for the purpose of passing
“just and equal laws…for the general
good of the colony”
• As simple as it is, it expresses the
idea of self-government in America
for the first time
9. Self-Government takes
• The signers elect a Pilgrim leader to be
governor of their colony – which they will
call Plymouth Plantation
• Each year, the “Civil Body Politic” (all the
adult males except the servants)
assemble to elect the governor and a few
• William Bradford was re-elected 30 times
10. Why is it Important?
• It contains the idea of law made by
• The compact of self-government would
evolve into the town meetings of New
England (a format still used today)
• Most important to remember: It
gave America the idea of self-
11. Review Questions
• What 2 groups made up the
passengers on the Mayflower?
• What events caused the passengers
to write and sign the Mayflower
• What is the most important idea
contained in the Mayflower Compact?