Why did the Pilgrims leave their country?
Thirty-five of the Pilgrims were members of the radical English Separatist Church, who traveled to America to escape the jurisdiction of the Church of England, which they found corrupt. Ten years earlier, English persecution had led a group of Separatists to flee to Holland in search of religious freedom.
- The first colony was founded at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607. Many of the people who settled in the New World came to escape religious persecution. The Pilgrims, founders of Plymouth, Massachusetts, arrived in 1620. In both Virginia and Massachusetts, the colonists flourished with some assistance from Native Americans.
- The pilgrims and puritans were facing religious persecution in England. These religious groups left England hoping to find freedom to practice their religion, That these groups settled in New England was a fortunate mistake. So the pilgrims landed in New England which was not their intended landfall.
- The Pilgrims came to America in search of religious freedom. It's fair to say that the Pilgrims left England to find religious freedom, but that wasn't the primary motive that propelled them to North America. Remember that the Pilgrims went first to Holland, settling eventually in the city of Leiden.
In the storybook version most of us learned in school, the Pilgrims came to America aboard the Mayflower in search of religious freedom in 1620. The Puritans soon followed, for the same reason.
- The accepted wisdom is that the Puritans were forced to flee England and Europe because they were being persecuted for their religious beliefs, and that they arrived in the Americas, which they regarded as an empty, previously untrodden land despite the presence of the Native Americans, with ideas of creating a brand
- A scouting party was sent out, and in late December the group landed at Plymouth Harbor, where they would form the first permanent settlement of Europeans in New England. These original settlers of Plymouth Colony are known as the Pilgrim Fathers, or simply as the Pilgrims.
- The Mayflower Compact was the first agreement for self-government to be created and enforced in America. On September 16, 1620 the Mayflower, a British ship, with 102 passengers, who called themselves Pilgrims, aboard sailed from Plymouth, England. They were bound for the New World.
Updated: 3rd December 2019