Q:

What is a summary on the Mayflower Compact?

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Quick Answer

The Mayflower Compact, a document signed by the passengers of the English ship the Mayflower in November 1620, established that those who came to shore together agreed to abide by the laws and government they would establish for the good of the colony. Almost all male passengers signed this document before they got off the ship.

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Although the original destination of the Mayflower was the colony of Virginia, the ship was blown off course and landed at Cape Cod in Massachusetts. Because this was outside the jurisdiction of the charter they had received from the Virginia Company, they created the Mayflower Compact to preserve unity within their group. Of the 102 men, women and children on the ship, 41 men signed the accord, among them Miles Standish and John Alden. They named the new colony Plymouth after the port in England from which they departed. After signing the agreement, the colonists chose John Carver as their first governor.

The original Mayflower Compact was lost, but a number of versions exist in texts from the 17th century. Though these versions have slight differences in spelling, punctuation and capitalization, the wording is similar. The document was the first written affirmation of government in what later became the United States. It had a significant impact on those who wrote the U.S. Constitution.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why is the Mayflower Compact important?

    A:

    The Mayflower Compact was the first formal framework of government established in what is now the United States. The Mayflower Compact was created to prevent dissent amongst Puritans and non-separatist Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth a few days prior to the drafting.

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  • Q:

    What was the Mayflower Compact an example of?

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    The Mayflower Compact is an example of a governing document. It was an attempt by the first pilgrims who had settled in Massachusetts to form a legal government. The compact was intended to last until the Virginia Company could get official permission from the New England Council in England.

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  • Q:

    What was the main purpose of the Mayflower Compact?

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    Before arriving in North America, the Pilgrim leaders, including William Bradford and William Brewster, developed the Mayflower Compact to establish a provisional government and prevent civil disorder in their new settlement, according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Forty-one adult males on the voyage were required to sign the document, which was a formal pledge to adhere to future laws created by the governing body.

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  • Q:

    How many people died on the Mayflower?

    A:

    Out of the original group of 102 passengers and approximately 30 crew members on the Mayflower, five died on the ship. Another 44 died before reaching Plymouth.

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