The pact is the first known European agreement with which a government was created by the will and approval of the governed. Previous documents, such as the Magna Carta, were imposed on a monarch by the nobility, but the Mayflower Compact was designed and signed by Commoners, all on the same social status, recognizing that collaboration was more beneficial to the common good than insisting on pursuing his own at the expense of others. This equalizing aspect of the pact then influenced the philosophy and vision of the founders of the United States. Ron Collins: “The Overview of Pilgrims.” MayflowerFamilies.com www.mayflowerfamilies.com/colonial_life/pilgrims.htm. The “Mayflower Compact” was the agreement between the 41 male passengers of the mayflower, which founded the government form of Plymouth Colony (1620-1691 CE), signed on 11 November 1620 off the coast of Massachusetts, United States. The passengers were divided almost evenly between the religious separatists (who called themselves saints) and the others, not their faith, whom they called foreigners. They were supposed to land in Virginia, but they had deviated from their trajectory, and when they realized that they were about 500 miles north of what they were supposed to be, and that the authority granted to them by the Virginia company, which had issued its legal charter, was null and void in that area, some foreigners discovered that English law did not apply here, claiming that once they landed, they would live as they wished, and everyone would do it for themselves. On the Looking Glass website in www.mayflowerfamilies.com you will find a wide variety of information about colonial life, the Mayflower Compact, Mayflower passengers and Indians. The site also contains the Document Center for Access to Information on various documents in New England and early U.S.
documents. The pilgrims gained access to the present port of Provincetown, Massachusetts, and decided to develop an agreement that would give them an attempt at legal status. 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. Mourt`s relationship is also known because it is the first preserved source of the text of the Mayflower Compact, the agreement that the settlers entered into New Plymouth to form a new civil political authority as they set out to build a community in America.