Mayflower Compact Essays

The Mayflower Compact had great significance to American history. The compact kept peace for the people of Plymouth and set limits to the pilgrims. The signing was a historic event and was depicted in writings and pictures. The Mayflower Compact was an extremely important part of American history.

There were many pictures and writings that depict the signing of the Mayflower Compact and how important it was to the Pilgrims. In the picture by Allyn Cox, the Pilgrims are gathered inside the Mayflower and writing the compact. The painter was for the creation of the document and it impacted the painting in the fact that there is no aggression between the pilgrims and the Indians. The painting represents a good description of what the scene could have been like when signing the document. The painter shows all points of view in order to present a fair standing of what could happen. In the painting it has the women doing chores and taking care of the children while the men were deciding the fate of the colony.

There have been many significant documents in American history, the Mayflower Compact being one of them. The document was a contract that the colonists would follow in order to survive and prosper. Originally the colonists were set to land in present day Virginia but storms forced them off course and made them land at Cape Cod and create the colony there. Since the king only warranted that the pilgrims settle in the Colony of Virginia, they settled in present day Massachusetts and wrote the compact.

In conclusion, the mayflower compact was a significant document to American history. The document allowed the pilgrims to organize and survive even though they didn’t land where they intended. It allowed the colonists to have a general Idea of rules to follow and how to survive on their own. The art of this era has also depicted the event in many ways but with a general idea of the colonists working together to survive with help from the Native Americans.

The Mayflower Compact

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The Mayflower Compact


The Mayflower Compact was signed on November 11, 1620 on board the vessel Mayflower. The Mayflower Compact was signed by forty-one men on board the ship. The main person responsible for this was William Bradford. He said the reason for writing this is he was afraid of mutiny, and another reason was he thought they needed a form of self-government. This document was the first colonial agreement that formed a government by consent of the governed. The compact gave the settlers a plan to frame and enact laws for the general good of the organized settlement.
Most of the Pilgrims were members of the Separatist congregation that had split from the Church of England. However, some were not, and these people sought independence from the Separatists. To prevent this, Separatist leaders wrote the Compact, which was formed after the covenant that had established their Separatist faith. Each male adult signed the document. The signers agreed to follow all "just and equal" laws that the settlers enacted and to be ruled by the will of majority. Plymouth Colony did not receive an English royal charter, and so the compact determined governmental authority in the colony until it became part of the Massachusetts colony in 1691. They thought that they needed to this to survive, because they needed rules. Without this they might have ended up killing each other. People thought with this it would give equal power to the separatist and the people who was against them. Was also good because it kept mutiny contained.
The Pilgrims had many reasons for writing the Mayflower Compact. The Pilgrims declared their purposes for writing and forming the colony and the compact was "for the glory of God and advancement of the Christian faith". Following by what the compact says, they declared that they had the authority " to enact constitute and frame such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts". Following by what the compact says that they had to authority to create "constitutions and offices from time to time, as shall be thought most convenient for the general good of the Colony". What that means is that the government doesn't have the authority to change or expand itself. The authority to create and void governments and new offices, remains with the people.

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The Common Law of England was not adopted by the Plymouth Colony. The people were " to enact, constitute and frame such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts…from time to time, as shall be thought most convenient for the general good of the Colony".
The Mayflower Compact is often described as America's first constitution. The Compact set the standard for all government that was self-governed, as it was used in writing the Declaration of Independence. Mayflower Compact set the standard for all documents pertaining to rights and freedoms of people. It also gave an outline of rules and regulations that should be set. The original copy of the Mayflower Compact has never been found, and it is assumed destroyed. People think that the Compact fell victim to either looting or fires set during the Revolutionary War.



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