Why did the pilgrims arrive in Plymouth

November 1620: The "Mayflower" lands


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November 1620: The "Mayflower" lands

After a strenuous crossing, the "Mayflower" arrived on the American east coast after 66 days. But before the Puritan Pilgrim Fathers disembarked, they signed a treaty that is still considered one of the foundations of American democracy today.

The Mayflower landed on the east coast. The first English settlement was also founded on the east coast.

The first European settlers

A trading company from London founded the first English settlement on the American continent in 1607: the city of Jamestown in what is now Virginia. They promised themselves profitable deals with the Indians and hoped to find gold and silver.

But the desired success did not materialize. So the settlers began to grow tobacco. At that time, tobacco was in demand and very fashionable. The success attracted farmers from Europe who were increasingly impoverished in their homeland. They saw America as their chance for the future.

They dared to take a boat trip to America and founded numerous settlements and villages on the east coast. Over time, more and more English, Dutch, Swedes, Germans, Irish and Italians were drawn to the land of "unlimited possibilities".

On the "Mayflower" to America

Many of these resettlers belonged to church groups and religious communities that were persecuted in Europe. On September 16, 1620, the so-called "Pilgrim Fathers" boarded the sailing ship "Mayflower".

A total of 102 people traveled on the three-master, including 3 pregnant women and numerous children as well as 34 crew members. The route led from Plymouth in England to the English colony of Virginia in America. The voyage demanded a lot from the people, the hygienic conditions on board were poor, diseases broke out and seasickness bothered the people. Even two children were born on board.

A replica of the "Mayflower" can be viewed in what is now Plymouth.

"Mayflower Compact"

The ship arrived after 66 days. Because of the bad weather conditions, they had to go ashore and hibernate further north than planned, near Cape Cod.

But before that, the resettlers agreed on a common constitution, the so-called "Mayflower Compact". In this treaty it was agreed that everyone should have the same rights and that they wanted to form a self-governing community, a new colony in honor of God and the King of England. This treaty is still considered a foundation of American democracy today. They went ashore on November 21, 1620.

Emigrants for religious reasons

These people made their way to America from England to live according to their religious ideas. You were among the Puritans, a Protestant denomination. At that time there was the Anglican Church in England, which was formed from the Protestant and the Catholic. The "Puritans" - the Latin "puritas" means "purity" - no longer wanted Catholic influences in their faith.

The Puritans believe that man's fate is predetermined and that God's grace is shown in man's earthly success. They wanted to express their opinion freely, and campaigned for political freedom, but also for a reform of religion and morality. The Puritans turned against any pomp, against ornate churches or a life in luxury. Instead, they strictly followed the Bible.

Therefore, they were persecuted by both the Church and the Crown. Initially, many Puritans went to Holland - there they decided to emigrate to America in order to plant the "true church of Christ" there. Despite being persecuted in England, the Pilgrim Fathers felt like English and dedicated their colony to the English crown.

If you are looking at the Plymoth Plantation, you should also visit the ship replica of the Mayflower.

"Plymoth Plantation"

After the stormy crossing, they landed on Cape Cod in what is now Massachusetts. They selected an area for their settlement, with fresh water supplies and fertile soil, and cultivated the land. They called their settlement "Plymoth Plantation". Here they could live according to their faith and strictly according to the Bible. They were banned from alcohol and weapons. However, they did override this rule when it came to Indians.

The city of Plymouth in the state of Massachusetts still exists today. There is also the museum village "Plymoth Plantation", where the life of the Pilgrim Fathers is re-enacted and the visitor is given an impression of the life of the first settlers. In addition, the replica of the legendary "Mayflower" is anchored on the coast and can be viewed.

-ab-17.11.2005 Text / Illustration: WAS IST WAS Volume 18 "The Wild West"; Photos: Mayflower above: http://www.plymouth-ma.gov/. The Mayflower image below is from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. The author of the picture is Mikano (2000).

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