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Persecuted for their beliefs, the religious non-conformists fled to the Netherlands, then back to Plymouth for an exodus to America. It must have been exciting times, fraught with the fear of the unknown. One important legacy of The Mayflower is its role in pioneering democracy. But, life was hard in their new land. The winter was severe and many of the passengers remained aboard the Mayfower. The ship became a sanctuary for the sick and those who were dying, many of them died of a combination of contagious diseases. By the end of the first winter, less than half of the crew and passengers were alive.

Added to that, the fledgling colony feared they would be attacked by the Native Americans. Four months after landing, in February, captain Christopher Jones ordered the ship’s cannons to be moved to the mainland. Each cannon must have weighed almost half a ton, so quite a task.

The actions of King Henry VIII may be said to have been a major contributory factor in the Founding Father's eventually taking to the high seas in the Mayflower, despite the two events being seemingly un-connected. Intolerance on the part of the British monarch would lead to a pilgrimage that planted a political seed, that would eventually germinate into the War of Independence, so severing ties with England's colonial rule. But first, England would attempt to colonize the America's bent on exploiting mineral and plantation wealth, ignoring that those poor colonists in Massachusetts were actually the non-conformists the Crown had persecuted so much that they fled to save their heads. 'Henry the Butcher,' being famous for head lopping to quash political rebellion. Then, heavy taxations would cause unrest and ultimately violent severance, with the British again footing heft costs, that they would then need to exploit other countries to settle.




Written Constitution, Compact signed by 41 men aboard the Mayflower


In England, there is no written constitution, they have an honours system where the Head of State (HOS) rewards services to the Crown with titles. Many judges receive such rewards in return for helping the HOS keep control of the electorate, quashing dissent in a variety of ways (civil actions, rather than executions), including planning enforcement, false imprisonment, bankruptcy petitions. The Pilgrims would have none of that. The first thing 41 of the crew did was to draft up and sign a Compact, amounting to a Written Constitution. They did not want any repeat of a unfair system like that in the Britain they had just escaped from, where control of the masses is via secret meetings, by secretive bodies, with what is in reality, a dictator in all but name, holding the reins. If there were ever a computer with such control, it would be called SkyNet.






Between the late 1610s and the American Revolution, the British shipped an estimated 50,000 to 120,000 convicts to their American colonies. Australia is famous for such use of criminals to found that giant colony.

Meanwhile, the Plymouth Council for New England sponsored several colonization projects, including a colony established by a group of English Puritans, known today as the Pilgrims. The Puritans embraced an intensely emotional form of Calvinist Protestantism and sought independence from the Church of England. In 1620, the Mayflower transported the Pilgrims across the Atlantic, and the Pilgrims established Plymouth Colony in Cape Cod. The Pilgrims endured an extremely hard first winter, with roughly fifty of the one hundred colonists dying. In 1621, Plymouth Colony was able to establish an alliance with the nearby Wampanoag tribe, which helped the Plymouth Colony adopt effective agricultural practices and engaged in the trade of fur and other materials. Farther north, the English also established Newfoundland Colony in 1610, which primarily focused on cod fishing.




American 13 states, Atlantic Ocean


THIRTEEN COLONIES - After several abortive attempts to found workable colonies, eventually a formula that enabled colonists to flourish in America saw a massive expansion of across the country. Much of this must be attributed to the generous sharing of farming and fishing know how from the native Americans.


All wealth ultimately rests on food production. Food feeds thinking humans that generate ideas and technology. Food can be produced and sold as cash crops. This includes farming and fishing, where fish and livestock are also excellent money earners. Our problem at today is that we have reached a tipping point, where our need for feed, exceeds the seeds of yesteryear. We are now generating deserts and sterilizing the oceans with plastic and acid, at a progressive rate - such that the planet can no longer support population growth. We would need another planet to keep going as we are, and replacements are in short supply. But if we did find one within striking distance, we could build a space Mayflower.




All in all, 13 American colonies were founded and flourishing as British subjects, believing that the unwritten British constitution (still is unwritten today) protected their rights and that the governmental system, with the House of Commons, the House of Lords, and the monarch sharing power found an ideal balance among democracy, oligarchy, and tyranny. However, the British were saddled with huge debts following the French and Indian War. As much of the British debt had been generated by the defense of the colonies, British leaders felt that the colonies should contribute more funds, and they began imposing taxes such as the Sugar Act of 1764. Increased British control of the Thirteen Colonies upset the colonists and upended the notion many colonists held: that they were equal partners in the British Empire. Today, the remnants of the British Empire is the Commonwealth, where Queen Elizabeth II is still regarded as the Head of State.

The Thirteen Colonies became increasingly divided between American Patriots opposed to Parliamentary taxation without representation and Loyalists who supported the king. Cruelty and injustice by the British sparked conflict.




Pligrims, John Robinson, pastor and teacher 1611 - 1625, Plymouth




The descent into armed conflict between patriot (anti-British) and loyalist (pro-British) sympathisers was gradual. Events like the Boston 'Massacre' of 1770, when British troops fired on a mob that had attacked a British sentry outside Boston's State House, and the Boston 'tea-party' of 1773, when British-taxed tea was thrown into the harbour, marked the downward steps. Sam Adams and Paul Revere envisaged a break with Britain when many of their countrymen still hoped that it might be avoided.

At the Battles of Lexington and Concord in April 1775, the Patriots repulsed a British force charged with seizing militia arsenals. The Second Continental Congress assembled in May 1775 and sought to coordinate armed resistance to Britain. It established an impromptu government that recruited soldiers and printed its own money. Announcing a permanent break with Britain, the delegates adopted a Declaration of Independence on 4 July 1776 for the United States of America.

Although the war was not formally ended until the Treaty of Paris in 1783, it was clear after Yorktown that the British, with their world-wide preoccupations, no longer had any realistic chance of winning. Around 100,000 loyalists fled abroad at its end.

The American Revolutionary War (April 19, 1775 – September 3, 1783), also known as the Revolutionary War or the American War of Independence, was initiated by delegates from thirteen American colonies of British America in Congress against Great Britain over their objection to Parliament's taxation policies and lack of colonial representation.






On 16 September 1620, the Mayflower set sail with approximately 30 crew and 102 passengers on board. Almost half of them were Separatists, or “Saints”. They had chosen this name to emphasize the fact that they were part of a specific group with particular views. All others were referred to as “Strangers”, as this is how the Saints regarded anyone who was not part of their group, and did not understand their faith. The 'Strangers' were a group of skilled workers who were sent along by the investors to help build the colony.


The original wooden 30-meter Mayflower took 66 days to carry the Pilgrims, Founding Fathers from the U.K. to what is now the U.S.


More than 30 million people can trace their ancestry to the Mayflower. They include celebrities and US presidents.

Actors Clint Eastwood, Bing Crosby, Katharine Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart and Richard Gere, were all descended from those aboard, along with presidents Zachary Taylor, Franklin D Roosevelt, George Bush Sr and George W Bush. A genealogist descended from the Mayflower, who keeps tabs on such matters is: Brenton Simons.










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