What is a summary of Chapter 4 in "Of Plymouth Plantation" by William Bradford?

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beateach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In chapter four of William Bradford’s Of Plymouth Plantation, he is outlining the reasons for the Pilgrims to leave Leiden in Holland for the lands across the Atlantic Ocean. They endured a hard life working in Holland for approximately 12 years before they made known their thoughts on leaving. The Twelve Years Truce would end in 1621, and war was brewing which could make their situation in Holland even more tenuous. Bradford explains that although they were able to practice their religious beliefs, they endured many hardships and some returned to England knowing that they would lose this particular freedom.

When they spoke of moving to uncivilized “countries of America,” Bradford documented their fear of “savage and brutish men,” in other words the Native Peoples who inhabited the yet unsettled areas of America. It was difficult for the Pilgrims to decide if was beneficial for them to leave the hardships that they already understood in Holland for those that were unknown and little understood in a new land.

Bradford tells how many of the original Pilgrims were aging under the hard labor they endured, and how the children were leaving the Church being lured by other opportunities in Holland.

Read the study guide:
History of Plymouth Plantation

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