The Pilgrims were a group of early settlers that founded Plymouth Colony, which is located in the present-day US state of Massachusetts. This colony was the second successful English settlement and would later became the oldest continuously inhabited English settlement. Although the colony was identified as English it doesn’t tell the whole story of the origin of the Pilgrims.
Where did the Pilgrims come from?
The pilgrims had originated from the East Midlands of England, but many of them secretly fled to Holland in the early 1600′s to pursue religious freedom. At the time all British citizens were required to attend services of the Church of England or face a serious fine. However, many of the Pilgrims did not agree with the practices and beliefs of the Church of England and they were labeled as puritans or separatists. This led to them being fined, persecuted and hated by many in society.
In Holland they were free to practice their religion, but some of the members had difficulties finding work and learning the language. Some members were also worried about the influence of the Dutch culture on their children. They decided to leave Holland in 1617 and chose North America as their best option. Two delegates were sent to England to negotiate for territory. They managed to agree to a deal, but delays slowed down the process. Eventually, Pilgrims from both England and Holland made the journey to North America on the Mayflower and they anchored in Provincetown Harbor on November 11, 1620.
Did you know?
The name Pilgrims was not used to describe the group until the late 1790′s. It became commonly used in the 1800′s.