Foundation for Constitutional Rights. „The foundations of our constitution: the Mayflower Pact.” (2002). Foundation for Constitutional Rights. www.crf-usa.org/Foundation_docs/Foundation_lesson_mayflower.html. Imagine the situation: more than 100 people, cut off from any government, with a rebellion coming. Only a firm determination would help the pilgrims to land and establish their colony. If they didn`t work in groups, they could all die in the wild. The pilgrims realized that they needed a temporary government agency. Back in the homeland, this authority came from the king.
Isolated as in America, it could only come from men themselves. On board the Mayflower, pilgrims and „Strangers” necessarily made a written agreement or made it compact to each other. The Mayflower Compact was probably composed by William Brewster, who had a university education, and was signed by almost all adult male settlers, including two of the arrived servants. The format of the Mayflower Compact is very similar to the written agreements used by pilgrims to found their separatist churches in England and Holland. As part of these agreements, the adult male members of each Church decided how they wanted to worship God. They also elected their own officials and other Church officers. This model of ecclesiastical autonomy served as a model of political autonomy in the Mayflower Pact. The settlers had no intention of declaring their independence from England when they signed the Mayflower Compact. In the opening line of the Compact, Pilgrims and „Strangers” call themselves „loyal subjects” of King James. The rest of the Mayflower Compact is very short. He simply implicated the signatories in a „civil body policy” to pass „fair and equal laws.” for the good of the colony. But these few words expressed, for the first time in the New World, the idea of self-management. The Mayflower Pact was not a constitution, but an adaptation of a puritanical federation to a civil situation.
Moreover, as a provisional instrument adopted exclusively by the settlers, the document does not resolve the question of their dubious legal rights over the country they have colonized. (A patent was finally obtained by the New England Council in June 1621. Nevertheless, the Mayflower Compact became the basis of the Plymouth government and remained in force until the colony entered the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1691. Although in practice much of Plymouth`s power was retained by the founders of the Pilgrim, the pact, with its fundamental principles of self-management and collective membership, was interpreted as an important step in the development of the American democratic government. The crew (seafarers and ship`s officers) lived on the upper decks. In 1620, there were between 20 and 30 crew members on Mayflower. The master in charge of navigation was Christopher Jones. He would be called a „captain” today. He probably had his quarters or living space at the back of the ship. It was the driest and most comfortable area of the ship. Ordinary sailors, or regular workers, had their quarters at the front of the ship, or bow, in a space called forecasting.