In the Name of God,Amen.



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We whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread sovereigne Lord, King James, by ye Grace of God, of Great Britaine, France and Ireland, King, defender of ye faith, etc., having undertaken for ye glory of God and advancement of ye Christian faith, and the honour of our King and countrie, a voyage to plant ye first Colonie in ye Northerne parts of Virginia, doe by these presents solemnly, and mutualy in ye presence of God, and of one another, covenant and combine ourselves togeather into a civil body politik for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of ye end aforesaid, and by vertue hereof to enacte, constitute and frame such just and equal lawes, ordinances, acts, constitutions and offices from time to time, as shall be thought most meete and convenient for ye generall good of ye Colonie, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In witnes whereof we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cape-Codd ye 11 of November, in ye year of ye raigne of our sovereigne Lord, King James of England, France and Ireland, ye eighteenth, and of Scotland the fiftie-fourth. Ano Dom. 1620.

The Mayflower Compact was the first governing document in what is now the United States. It even helped establish the direct election of representatives in the colonies that eventually carried over to the new nation.  The Mayflower Compact was written in a style that is similar to a prayer. Most passengers aboard the Mayflower were trying to escape religious persecution by King James in Great Britain, so it is no surprise that their religion is mentioned many times in the document. The pilgrims, as these Puritans would come to be known, wrote in the document that they had undertaken this voyage ‘for the glory of God, and the advancement of the Christian faith.’  It is interesting that they called Massachusetts  ” “ye Northerne Parts of Virginia”.  This shows that they drifted off course as they crossed the Atlantic and that they knew about the Jamestown settlement of 1607.

Nearly 400 years after the November 1620 signing of the Mayflower Compact religion in the United States today is characterized by a diversity of religious beliefs and practices. Various religious faiths have flourished in the United States.