There was then the same rising sun that was seen all over the rest of the world when the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock on December 2l, 1620, and subsequently established a permanent English colony in what is now known as Plymouth, Massachusetts. It was a period when the exclusivity of the Church of England was considered to be the only medium through which the English people were allowed to worship. The Pilgrims considered it to be an edict that was not acceptable. The freedom to worship the way they wanted, marked the beginning of one of the pillars of democracy, and the affirmation of one of the aspects of freedom, giving birth to the notion that human beings have the right to think freely as long as the thinking does not trespass the enactments of laws considered as guideposts of an orderly government.
The Pilgrims initially intended to land much further south, in the Virginia Colony where the winter wouldn’t have been as intolerably harsh. Even prior to their landing at Plymouth, they had to endure the misery of an overcrowded boat on which the incidence of illness and death served as a prelude to further hardships inflicted by an inclement weather. There were altogether 102 people on the Mayflower, historically known as the Pilgrim Fathers, namely, John Carver, William Bradford, Edward Winslow, and many more, all of whom had willingly signed the Mayflower Compact, an agreement that set up the rules by which the colony would be governed.
A poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, titled The Courtship of Miles Standish, was dedicated to the Pilgrims. There is a house in Plymouth modeled exactly as those that were built by the Pilgrims in the New World.
Even though the Pilgrims were considered to be Separatists when they separated themselves from the Church of England and organized their own mode of worship, the fact that they did so, served to blaze a trail of democracy, one of the aspects of which is the freedom of religion and worship that should be acknowledged as a template of rights that include a number of other aspects, reflected in a system that has become a beacon of individualism, singularly unsurpassed.