Why did the Pilgrims land so far away from where they were supposed to land as part of the Virginia Colony?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

When the first group of Pilgrims set sail in 1620, they were aiming to land near Jamestown. However, a storm blew them wildly off course, and they landed on Cape Cod. They then made their way to Plymouth and founded their colony there. As much as they may have wanted...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

When the first group of Pilgrims set sail in 1620, they were aiming to land near Jamestown. However, a storm blew them wildly off course, and they landed on Cape Cod. They then made their way to Plymouth and founded their colony there. As much as they may have wanted to settle further south, the approach of winter forced them to establish themselves in Massachusetts.

About a decade later, large numbers of Puritans also made their way to Massachusetts. They were drawn to the region partly by economic opportunities. They also saw New England as a place to attempt their grand social, political, and religious experiment: to establish a society founded on religious purity and untrampled morality. Since the Pilgrims had already established a foothold in the region under similar ideals, Massachusetts seemed like the natural choice. Furthermore, by this time, the Colony of Virginia had too many colonists who would have been antagonistic to this vision.

The Pilgrims and the Puritans had a lot in common. They were both Calvinist sects who broke away from the Church of England. They went to North America in order to set up their own visions of an ideal religious society free from what they saw as the heavy hand of direct English rule. If it were not for a storm at sea in the fall of 1620, their history and the history of the Thirteen Colonies would be very different.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on