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(1620) Document signed by 41 male passengers on the Mayflower before landing at Plymouth (Massachusetts). Concerned that some members might leave to form their own colonies, William Bradford and others drafted the compact to bind the group into a political body and pledge members to abide by any laws that would be established. The document adapted a church covenant to a civil situation and was the basis of the colony's government.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Mayflower Compact, visit Britannica.com.
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