Martin Janoušek

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No one knows exactly what happened to the original Mayflower Compact. The accepted translation was found in William Bradford`s Newspaper De Plymouth Plantation, in which he wrote his experience as a settlerist. 5. Take a final vote. Decide whether the pact`s approval should be approved unanimously, with a two-thirds majority or a simple majority. After the vote on the Mayflower II pact, everyone who agrees should sign it. 6. Debrief with the question: „What similarities and differences do you see between the circumstances of the signing of your Mayflower PACT II and the circumstances associated with the signing of the original Mayflower Pact in 1620?“ Imagine the situation: more than 100 people, cut off from any government, with a rebellion coming. Only a firm determination would help the pilgrims to land and establish their colony. If they didn`t work in groups, they could all die in the wild. The pilgrims realized that they needed a temporary government agency. Back in the homeland, this authority came from the king. Isolated as in America, it could only come from men themselves.

On board the Mayflower, pilgrims and „Strangers“ necessarily made a written agreement or made it compact to each other. The Mayflower Compact was probably composed by William Brewster, who had a university education, and was signed by almost all adult male settlers, including two of the arrived servants. The format of the Mayflower Compact is very similar to the written agreements used by pilgrims to found their separatist churches in England and Holland. As part of these agreements, the adult male members of each Church decided how they wanted to worship God. They also elected their own officials and other Church officers. This model of ecclesiastical autonomy served as a model of political autonomy in the Mayflower Pact. The settlers had no intention of declaring their independence from England when they signed the Mayflower Compact. In the opening line of the Compact, Pilgrims and „Strangers“ call themselves „loyal subjects“ of King James. The rest of the Mayflower Compact is very short. He simply implicated the signatories in a „civil body policy“ to pass „fair and equal laws.“ for the good of the colony. But these few words expressed, for the first time in the New World, the idea of self-management.

The pilgrims had organized the trip. William Brewster and the other pilgrim leaders had secured the right to settle on land, claimed by the Virginia Company, near the mouth of the Hudson River. To raise funds for the trip, the pilgrims signed a contract with a group of London shareholders. In exchange, the shareholders would participate in the profits of the planned colony. The pilgrims had rounded up the „foreigners“ to increase the chances of success for their business. The 3,000-mile journey across the Atlantic took more than two months. On November 9, 1620, when they saw the land, the captain of the Mayflower knew immediately that they were at Cape Cod, far north of their destination. The captain drove the Mayflower south, but dangerous sandbanks and heavy seas forced him to turn around. The Mayflower eventually docked in a port at the tip of Cape Cod. Instead of chanting more days at sea, the pilgrims decided to land.

An argument broke out almost immediately. According to William Bradford (who later recounted the pilgrims` experiences), several „foreigners“ made „disgruntled and mutinous speeches“. They apparently argued that since the cod cape was outside the jurisdiction of virginia Company, its rules and regulations were no longer enforced.