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Plymouth Colony

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30 pages

Summary

Plymouth colony, also called New Plymouth, was a 16thcentury English Colony located at the fringe of MassachusettsBay. Often known as the first settlement of Europeans onEnglish terrain the formation of this colony (starting from 1620)has a story of its own. The story starts when a bunch ofEnglish Separatist Church congregants caught up to PlymouthRock after months of sailing. With the help of neighbouringtribes these people were able to successfully establish aneconomy of their own.But more than its economic significance the reason why asettlement this old continues to interest historians is its strongreligious influence on European, English and American folklorerevolving around John Robinson, the pioneer of Englishseparatists.Plymouth colony was determined not to be a monarchy statewhich led to the formation of the democratic MayflowerCompact consisting of 41 original separatists. It became afoundation to any further governmental decisions andlegislations. Most laws were inspired from the English commonlaw. A general code of conduct was devised using the Bible.The governor was considered as the supreme authority.All the religious beliefs of the people of Plymouth colony werecentred about strong supernatural faith. They objected to anytransmutations in Bible and believed that Bible should be solefoundation of a man's philosophy and any attempts to digressfrom this philosophy was highly vilified.There are instances of severe discrimination between men andwomen of the colony owing to the fact that Robinson believedthat men and women had different social responsibilities andwomen were the weaker sex. Due to this women were noteven granted citizenship and they were seen as subordinates tothe men.The colony which was initially set to be a promising economyit gradually declined due to attacks from foreign NativeAmericans which resulted in most of the original inhabitantsforming smaller groups. Although the colony disappeared in thelate 16th century the Mayflower Compact continued toinfluence the dynamics of future colonies.

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