Founding of Plymouth Colony

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Founding of Plymouth Colony

1620 –  Founding of Plymouth Colony

Founding of Plymouth Colony

Another foundational principle of America was religious toleration. In the mid-1610s, a group of religious dissenters in England known as the Separatists (or more commonly, the Pilgrims) left England in search of a place where they could worship freely. After spending time in Holland, the group petitioned the King of England for the right to settle in the New World. A group of these settlers arrived off the coast of Massachusetts on the ship Mayflower. Prior to disembarking, the Pilgrims signed the Mayflower Compact, which is considered the first document of self-government created by the English in the New World.

On December 21, 1620, the Pilgrims stepped ashore at Plymouth and began the process of establishing housing. Although the colony survived its first winter, it was hard-pressed to feed its members, and without the help of the local natives, the colony would likely have failed. In response to the natives helping with the colony’s first harvest in 1621, the two groups set aside a time of “Thanksgiving” to celebrate their joint success.

 

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