Thanksgiving History with PBS LearningMedia


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Uncover the Origins of the Mayflower Compact
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Discover why most of the Mayflower’s male passengers signed a historic agreement.
In September 1620, religious dissenters, called “Separatists” by their detractors, were joined aboard the Mayflower by other English colonists recruited by the project’s financial backers. Many of these newcomers did not share the Separtists’ religious zeal. The ship set sail for America at a time of year when Atlantic storms were perilous. The Mayflower made landfall 66 days later. With tensions threatening to divide the passengers, a social compact was drafted and signed before going ashore. All who signed would submit to the government created, officers elected, and laws drafted.  View Resource

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