Approximately one year prior to the pilgrims’ landmark feast in 1621, the Mayflower landed off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, a waterside settlement later deemed Plymouth Colony. In an attempt to establish a united body between the colonists, the pilgrims enacted a unique set of laws under the Mayflower Compact, a document that ultimately paved the way for the creation of America’s modern-day democracy.
Here are a few fun facts about the Mayflower Compact:
- Before any settler disembarked the ship, the Mayflower Compact was drafted and signed by 41 passengers.
- It established a “civil body politick” that worked for the good of the Colony by following the same laws, ordinances, and other ruling acts.
- The 1620 document became the New World’s first written constitution.
- The Mayflower Compact was the first in Western history to establish a consensual government between settlers and not between individuals and a monarch.
- It inspired both the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and the revolutionary notion that powers should be derived from the consent of the governed.