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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

On this day in 1620 ...

The Pilgrims signed the Mayflower Compact (date was signed as 11 Nov ... but by the Julian Calendar).

Wikipedia says this:
The Mayflower Compact was the first governing document of Plymouth Colony. It was drafted by the Pilgrims who crossed the Atlantic aboard the Mayflower, seeking religious freedom. It was signed on November 11, 1620 (O.S.) in what is now Provincetown Harbor near Cape Cod. The Pilgrims used the Julian Calendar which, at that time, was ten days behind the Gregorian Calendar, signing the covenant "ye .11. of November" (literal). Having landed at Plymouth (so named by Captain John Smith earlier), many of the Pilgrims aboard realized that they were in land uncharted by the London Company. For this reason the Mayflower Compact was written and adopted, based simultaneously upon a majoritarian model and the settlers' allegiance to the king. Many of the passengers knew that earlier settlements in the New World had failed due to a lack of government, and the Mayflower Compact was in essence a social contract in which the settlers consented to follow the rules and regulations of the government for the sake of survival. The government, in return, would derive its power from the consent of the governed.

Wikipedia even has the text from the document:
The original document was lost, but the transcriptions in Mourt's Relation and William Bradford's journal Of Plymouth Plantation are in agreement and accepted as accurate. Bradford's hand written manuscript is kept in a special vault at the State Library of Massachusetts. Bradford's transcription is as follows:
In the name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God of Great Britain, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, etc. Having undertaken, for the Glory of God and advancement of the Christian Faith and Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the First Colony in the Northern Parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God and one of another, Covenant and Combine ourselves together into a Civil Body Politic, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute and frame such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the Colony, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In witness whereof we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cape Cod, the 11th of November, in the year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France and Ireland the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno Domini 1620.
And ... there goes the neighborhood!

Maybe we should borrow from the Pilgrims: "The disloyal subjects of our dread President Bush ..."

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