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Nedeľa, 3. júla 2022
The Mayflower Compact
Dátum pridania: 10.11.2010 Oznámkuj: 12345
Autor referátu: philologist
Jazyk: Angličtina Počet slov: 1 673
Referát vhodný pre: Vysoká škola Počet A4: 5.3
Priemerná známka: 2.94 Rýchle čítanie: 8m 50s
Pomalé čítanie: 13m 15s

Mayflower was an old vessel that for years had carried wine between France and England. It had never faced the dangers of the North Atlantic Ocean. It was already late in sailing season. Initially the trip went smoothly, but later they were met with strong winds and storms. In one of these storms, when they were more than half the way to their destination, the vessel’s main beam cracked. Fortunately, they achieved to repair the ship sufficiently to continue.

There were 102 passengers, cramped together with provisions and animals such as pigs, chickens, and goats squashed in spaces just 5 feet high which were dark, airless and damp. These cramped conditions along with the movement of the ship in storms caused many of the passengers to become sick and ill. The food on board was heavily salted for better preservation, however this also caused dehydration. Finding clear, clean water to drink was a big problem in England. By the time they left England, most of the rivers, streams and lakes were polluted with human waste. The main drink available was watered down beer.

During the journey two people died and one child was born. He was named Oceanus. Another child was born while the ship was anchored near Cape Cod, in what is now Massachusetts. She was named Peregrine which means "one who has made a journey”.

The Mayflower anchored on November 10th 1620, at Cape Cod, far north of its original destination. The Virginia Company’s land grant stated that the settlement had to be built near the Hudson River. Legally, the Pilgrims had not right to settle in what is today Massachusetts. But the Pilgrims did not have enough food and water, and many were sick. They decided to land at the best place they could find. But they worried that if they established a colony without legal authority; many of the passengers would leave the group, strike on their own and ignore the contract with the investors. This would weaken the new colony. Before landing at Plymouth, therefore, they wrote out an agreement that became known as the Mayflower Compact. Thirty-seven of the signers were Pilgrims and the other four men were Strangers. The agreement established a temporary government, which they called a Body Civil Politic, of the Plymouth Colony. They used their own church as a model for the new government. John Carver was chosen as the colony’s first governor.

It was winter and their chances of surviving were not high. Nearly all became ill and during the first terrible winter of 1620-21, half of the colonists died including John Carver, the first governor of the colony. But the Pilgrims were determined to succeed. The fifty survivors built houses, learned how to fish and hunt. The local Amerindians, the Wampanoag and the Pequamid, gave them seed corn and showed them how to plant it. William Bradford was chosen to succeed John Carven as Governor. Born in 1590, William Bradford was one of the founders of Plymouth colony in 1620 and a signer of the Mayflower Compact. He served as the colony's governor for more than thirty years, and wrote "Of Plymouth Plantation," one of the first histories of European settlement in the New World, before his death in 1657.

In April 1621, the Mayflower sailed away back to England. Not one of the survivors chose to leave with the ship. It was the colony’s strongest expression of their bond. This and the aid of the Wampanoag signalled new hope. They had recovered their health and planted native corn more suitable to the climate than their English seed. By autumn they had fitted their houses against winter. So the Governor called for a celebration of their harvest, a Thanksgiving shared with their Wampanoag friends. The feast was celebrated to give thank to God for helping them survive the brutal winter in the hard American Wilderness. The first Thanksgiving feast lasted three days providing enough food for 53 Pilgrims and 90 Native Americans. The feast consisted of fowl, venison, fish, lobster, clams, berries, fruit, pumpkin, and squash. There was a large quantity of wild turkeys, which probably gave rise to the American tradition of turkey at Thanksgiving. In 1863 Abraham Lincoln made it a national holiday with his 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation.

Other Puritans followed the Pilgrims to America. Ten years later almost a thousand colonists settled nearby in what is today Boston. These people left England to escape the rule of a new king, Charles I, which was even less tolerant than his father James had been of people who disagreed with his policies in religion and government. The population of Boston grew quickly. Many years later, in 1691, it combined with the Plymouth Colony under the name of Massachusetts.

Since those days of hardship, Plymouth has grown and flourished. Today it is a very attractive mixture of the old and the modern. The town is fiercely proud of its links to England. Plymouth now has around 52 000 inhabitants. The town has industries producing metal goods, textiles, cordage and processed foods and it is also a fishing centre and summer resort.

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