On November 11 1620, 102 pilgrims from England dropped anchor near Cape Cod in Massachusetts and, a few weeks later, established the first permanent English colony known as the 'Plimoth Plantation.'
The pilgrims who had undergone this gruelling journey aboard the Mayflower belonged to the English Separatist Church, a radical group which had been strongly persecuted in England. Ten years earlier, they had fled to Holland but had quickly grown dissatisfied with the economic opportunities available to them and had returned to England to formulate a new plan. There, they had met William Bradford who gave them the financial support to create a new colony in America. (There was an English colony already established at Jamestown but the Mayflower pilgrims did not want to join it for fear of further persecution.) The pilgrims believed that a new settlement would not only give them the freedom to practice their religion but also the economic opportunities that were so lacking in Holland.