Religious reasons, primarily. The following is from http://teachers.henrico.k12.va.us/fairfield/saunders_d/homework/colonies/puritans.pdf "They came to explore, to make money, to spread and practice their religion freely, and to live on land of their own. The Pilgrims and Puritans came to America to practice religious freedom. In the 1500s England broke away from the Roman Catholic Church and created a new church called the Church of England. Everyone in England had to belong to the church. There was a group of people called Separatists that wanted to separate from the Church of England. The Separatists, under the leadership of William Bradford, decided to leave England and start a settlement of their own so that they could practice their religion freely. Bradford went to the Virginia Company and asked them for permission to establish a new colony in Virginia. The Virginia Company agreed, so the Pilgrims set sail on the Mayflower in September 1620 towards Virginia. "
Religious freedom. They were suffering alot of persecution by the Church of England and political leaders of the time wanted them out of England. They sailed to north america partly because they wanted a place they could worship as they wished and partly because their other choices were narrowing down to prison and/or death.