To quell the conflict and preserve unity, the pilgrims (including William Bradford and William Brewster) devised the Mayflower Pact before disembarking. The brief document (about 200 words) tied its signatories to a political body with a view to forming a government and obliged them to abide by all laws and regulations that would then be adopted “for the common good of the colony.” The pact was signed by almost all adult men of the Mayflowers (41 passengers out of a total of 102), while the ship was moored in the port of Provincetown. His authority was immediately exercised when John Carver, who had helped organize the expedition, was elected governor of the new colony. The goal of the Mayflower Society is to “bring together the people who share this heritage and continue to remember our pilgrim ancestors.” The company`s website contains information on history, bibliographies, museums and membership opportunities (www.mayflower.org). The Mayflower Compact was signed on 21 November [O.S. November 11], 1620 aboard the ship.  The contract was signed by 41 of the ship`s 101 passengers, while the Mayflower was moored in Provincetown Harbour at the northern tip of Cape Cod.  The Mayflower Pact was not a constitution, but an adaptation of a puritanical ecclesial union to a civil situation. Moreover, the document, as a provisional instrument adopted exclusively by the settlers, did not resolve the issue of their dubious legal rights over the lands they were colonizing. (A patent was finally obtained by the Council for New England in June 1621)) Yet the Mayflower Pact became the basis of Plymouth`s government and remained in effect until the colony`s entry into the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1691. Although, in practice, much of Plymouth`s power was retained by the founders of Pilgrim, the pact, with its fundamental principles of self-management and common agreement, was interpreted as an important step in the development of Democratic American government. The pilgrims had arranged the trip. William Brewster and the other pilgrimage guides 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 return, the shareholders would participate in the profits of the planned colony. The pilgrims had gathered the “foreigners” to increase the chances of success of their business. The 3,000-mile journey across the Atlantic lasted more than two months. On November 9, 1620, the captain of the Mayflowers immediately knew they were on Cape Cod, far north of their destination. The captain flew the Mayflowers south, but dangerous sandbanks and heavy lakes forced them to turn back. The Mayflower eventually molded into a port at the tip of Cape Cod. Instead of spending more days at sea, the pilgrims decided to disembark. An argument broke out almost immediately. According to William Bradford (who later wrote a report on the pilgrims` experience), several “foreigners” made “disgruntled and mutinous speeches.” They apparently argued that because the territory of Cape Cod was outside the jurisdiction of the Virginia Company, its rules and regulations no longer applied. Troublemakers threatened to do what they wanted, “for no one had the power to command them,” wrote William Bradford.
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