(BLUE STATE CONSERVATIVE) – The story of the Pilgrims began in the early part of the seventeenth century. The Church of England under King James I was persecuting anyone who did not recognize its absolute authority. Those who demanded freedom of worship were hunted down, imprisoned, and sometimes executed for their beliefs. A small group of separatists fled to Holland, where they established an outpost.
A decade later, about forty of the separatists decided to embark on a perilous journey to the New World, where they could live and worship God according to the dictates of their own conscience. On August 1, 1620, the Mayflower set sail from Plymouth, England carrying a total of 102 passengers, including forty Pilgrims led by William Bradford. On the journey, Bradford set up a contract that established laws that would govern the new settlement. The values and principles set forth in the Mayflower Compact were derived from the Bible.
Because of an unshakable belief in Divine Providence, the Pilgrims never doubted that their bold experiment would succeed. But their journey to the New World was long and arduous. When they landed in America, they found, according to Bradford’s detailed journal, a cold and desolate wilderness. There were no friends to greet them, he wrote, or houses to shelter them. There were no inns where they could find temporary lodging and no trading posts where they could buy food and other necessities. The numerous hardships they would encounter in the name of religious freedom were just beginning.
Advertisement - story continues below