America: Pathways to the Present

by Andrew Cayton

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Why was the Mayflower compact important? chapter 2 section 3 review question 5

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The Mayflower Compact was important in many aspects because of what it stood for more than for what it actually accomplished.  The idea that a group of people would basically declare themselves free from the authority of the church and the crown was particularly rare at the time, and the cooperative nature of the compact was also something of a rarity at the time.

So many people point to it as the precursor to documents like the constitution, etc., though the Magna Carta also played a role in shaping political documents such as the Mayflower Compact, etc.  It may very well have played a larger role in the future of the colonies and their eventual rebellion in that it began to plant in the minds of people living in what would become the British colonies that they could govern themselves instead of allowing the crown or parliament to decide their futures.

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