The Pilgrims arrived at Massachusetts in 1620. Before disembarking, they signed a covenant that
established a basis for self-government derived from the consent of the governed. Forty-one men signed
the compact, agreeing to abide by the laws of the government. Women, who did not enjoy equal rights,
were not asked to sign.
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In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread Sovereign
Lord King James, by the grace of God, of Great Britain, France and Ireland king, defender of the faith, etc.
Having undertaken, for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith, and honor of our king and
country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the Northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly
and mutually in the presence of God and one of another, covenant [agree] and combine ourselves together