Mayflower compact


Mayflower compact
an agreement to establish a government, entered into by the Pilgrims in the cabin of the Mayflower on November 11, 1620.

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(1620) Document signed by 41 male passengers on the Mayflower before landing at Plymouth (Massachusetts).

Concerned that some members might leave to form their own colonies, William Bradford and others drafted the compact to bind the group into a political body and pledge members to abide by any laws that would be established. The document adapted a church covenant to a civil situation and was the basis of the colony's government.

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North America [1620]
      (Nov. 21 [Nov. 11, Old Style], 1620), document signed by the 41 male passengers (out of a total of 102 passengers) on the Mayflower prior to their landing at Plymouth, Mass. The compact resulted from the fear that some members of the company might leave the group and settle on their own. The Mayflower Compact bound the signers into a body politic for the purpose of forming a government and pledged them to abide by any laws and regulations that would later be established. The document was not a constitution but rather an adaptation of the usual church covenant to a civil situation. It became the foundation of Plymouth's government.

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Universalium. 2010.