The Mayflower Compact was an agreement signed by the 41 adult male passengers of the Mayflower in November 1620. The Mayflower was a ship that carried the English Separatists, later known as the Pilgrims, to the New World. The Compact was signed aboard the ship as the Pilgrims prepared to establish a settlement in what is now Massachusetts.
The Mayflower Compact was the first formal framework of government established in the New World and served as a cornerstone of the early American political tradition. The Compact established a system of self-government and set the framework for the formation of a civil society in the new settlement.
The Mayflower Compact was significant because it established the principle of self-government, whereby the settlers agreed to establish and abide by their own rules and regulations. This was in contrast to the prevailing European tradition of rule by a monarchy or other central authority.
The Mayflower Compact also contained language that committed the settlers to the “glory of God” and the “advancement of the Christian faith.” This religious language reflects the religious beliefs of the Pilgrims and the central role of religion in the early American colonies.
In summary, the Mayflower Compact was an important agreement signed by the Pilgrims in 1620 that established the principle of self-government and served as a cornerstone of the early American political tradition. The Compact remains an important historical document and a symbol of the early foundations of American democracy.