The Voyage That Changed the WorldBook - 2005
The Mayflower pilgrims were unique in their reasons for leaving their homeland. Unlike the majority of emigrants they were not seeking material benefits. They had fled England for liberal Holland but, after a decade there, feared assimilation so they decided to journey across the Atlantic and try to survive the uncertainties of a new and distant land. Their driving force was freedom to worship God in the way their conscience told them was right. Yet their journey was not easy. They fled from persecution only for half of their band to die during the first winter in America. Disease and a degenerating relationship with the Wampanoag Indians later forced the rest of the colony to amalgamate with a less radical group in Boston.
While the Pilgrims' dream may not have been realised as they had hoped, their self-determination would inspire generations of aspirant migrants the world over. Their legacy played an important part in precipitating the imperial conflict with Britain after 1763 and would later stand at the core of the American ideal during the centuries following independence. Even the US Constitutions was, arguably, based upon the Puritans' own laws.
Using contemporary documents, Christopher Hilton explores the personalities as well as the philosophy of these extraordinary men and women. Mayflower: The Voyage that Changed the World is the first time the complete story of the Pilgrims has been told for many years and it will appeal to anyone with an interest in this epic Anglo-American story.