1620 Pilgrim Fathers depart for America

July 31, 2021

1620 Pilgrim Fathers depart for America

Pilgrim Fathers refer to a group of separatists who fled England because of religious intolerance against Protestant England. The intolerance was at its peak during the reign of James, who wanted to create another English colony in what was referred to as the New World. This group was looking for religious freedom. Unlike those colonists who first settled in Jamestown primarily for job opportunities in Virginia Company, the pilgrims moved here so they could practice their religion freely and maintain their identity as English.

Many separatists churches were established in the East Midlands, Norfolk, and London, but in 1593, pilgrims migrated to Holland, a place where they considered to be more religiously liberal.

Still, they were concerned about looking at their English identity, so they arranged with some English investors to help them build their own colony in North America.

This group made a very dangerous journey of crossing the Atlantic aboard the Mayflower. On July 31, 1620, the journey began when pilgrim Fathers departed Leiden, the Netherlands, for England on their way to America. After enduring miserable and harsh conditions for more than two months at sea, the team sighted land at a place they later identified as Cape Cod, in the New England territory.

This group arrived in Massachusetts and founded the Plymouth Colony. It came with Mayflower Compact, a historic charter that established the early autonomous self-rule. It came with the belief that God gave civil and political rights. The Mayflower Compact promised obedience and due submission to such equal and just laws.

The epic voyage by the Pilgrim Fathers, their perseverance in the face of unbearable hardships, and their settlement in the New England wilderness are regarded as part of the history of the birth of the United States of America. Their motivation to risk everything for the sake of their belief and freedom of worship set a precedent to what was later enshrined in the US Constitution’s First Amendment, guaranteeing all the US citizens to exercise their religion without hindrance.

The Plymouth Colony related peacefully with the Native Americans, despite several cultural misunderstandings. Their devout Christian culture and belief made them develop a sincere and genuine friendship with the Indian leaders, who believed they set an admirable model for interracial interaction and diplomacy.

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