Six months ago, November 11, 1620, the first democratic document was written in America, declaring the pilgrims to be their own democratic commonwealth. This document was written by William Bradford. A simple agreement to form a crucial government and to submit to the will of the majority under the regulations was agreed upon by the inhabitants of the new world. It was signed by 41 adult males, 11 of them with the exalted rank of "mister", promising to step toward a genuine government. We have received a copy of the Mayflower Compact. It states:

Original Mayflower Compact
Autonomy in the British colonies: Autonomy means self-rule

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In ye name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwriten, the loyall subjects of our dread soveraigne Lord King James by ye grace of God, of Great Britaine, Fran, & Ireland king, defender of ye faith,&c. 

Haveing undertaken, for ye glorie of God, and advancemente of ye Christian faith, and honuor of our king & contrie, a voyage to plant ye first colonie in ye Norhterne parts of Virginia, doe by these presents solemnly & mutualy in ye presence of God, and one of another, covenant & combine our selves togeather into a civill body politick; for our better ordering & preservation & futherance of ye ends aforesaid; and by vertue heraof, to enacte, constitute, and frame shuch just & equall lawes, ordinances, acts, constitutions, & offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meete & convenient for ye generall good of ye Colonie: unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In witnes whereof we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cap-Codd ye .11. of November, in ye year of the raigne of our soveraigne lord King James of England, France, & Ireland ye eighteenth, and of Scotland ye fiftie fourth. 


William Bradford is one of the Pilgrim leaders and a colonial governor in America. He was born March 19, 1589. He was born  in Austerfield, Yorkshire, England. He was the only child of William and Alice Hanson. His parents died when he was just a child. After his parents' death he moved in with his grandparents temporarily, and then his uncle.


He came over on the Mayflower with his wife, Dorothy. He left their son, John, behind in Holland. Then a tragedy happened. December 7, 1620, Dorothy fell off the Mayflower while the ship was anchored at Provincetown Harbor and died. The marriage that started in 1613 had ended. Three years later, William met a woman named Alice Carpenter Southworth. They were married on August 14, 1623. The newly found couple had their first child on June 17, 1624. The little boy was named William, after his father. Together they had another child named Mercy. Mercy was born on May 22, 1627. After Mercy, the Bradfords had a third child named Joseph who was born in 1630.
William Bradford was elected the second governor of Plymouth colony after the first governor John Carver died.


A new band of colonials had just recently arrived in the new world. These people should be congratulated for having the courage and sense of adventure that lead them from there homes into a future that will be filled with danger, trials, and many hardships. Such changes in life calls for new ways of living and governing.  This group of brave men and women are not only adventuring into a new world but they are also developing new ways to work together and govern themselves. After much hard work and discussion these colonists have come up with the Mayflower Compact. In this compact they swear their loyalty to our King and they also promised to band together and to pass laws and ordinances for the general good of the colonists. They each pledge to submit and obey any laws that are passed by the majority of the members of the colony.

I admire them for many things. I admire them for the fact that they had the foresight to know that they will need rules and laws in their new colony. This shows that they are interested in succeeding in this difficult adventure. I admire them for the fact that they were able to sit down and come to a mutual agreement to produce such a document. I feel that they are going to survive this ordeal after all.


Johnson Masters,

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