The Mayflower Compact is an example of a governing document. It was an attempt by the first pilgrims who had settled in Massachusetts to form a legal government. The compact was intended to last until the Virginia Company could get official permission from the New England Council in England.Continue Reading
The document was needed because the pilgrims settled too far north to be within the scope of the Virginia Company's authority. This was due to hazardous sailing as they tried to make their way south to the mouth of the Hudson River.
The original document no longer survives, but a list of the signers of the document appears in the 1669 publication, "New England's Memorial," and in the 1736 book, "Chronological History of New England," written by Thomas Prince.Learn more about US History