Social Contract – an agreement between people and the government in which citizens agree to be governed as long as the government protects their natural rights Imagine the situation: more than 100 people, cut off from any government, brewed with rebellion. Only a firm determination would help the pilgrims to land and establish their colony. If they didn`t work in groups, they could all die in the wild. The pilgrims realized that they needed a temporary government agency. Back in the homeland, this authority came from the king. Isolated as in America, it could only come from men themselves. On board the Mayflower, pilgrims and « Strangers » necessarily made a written agreement or made it compact to each other. The Mayflower Compact was probably composed by William Brewster, who had a university education, and was signed by almost all adult male settlers, including two of the arrived servants. The format of the Mayflower Compact is very similar to the written agreements used by pilgrims to found their separatist churches in England and Holland. As part of these agreements, the adult male members of each Church decided how they wanted to worship God. They also elected their own officials and other Church officers. This model of ecclesiastical autonomy served as a model of political autonomy in the Mayflower Pact. The settlers had no intention of declaring their independence from England when they signed the Mayflower Compact.
In the opening line of the Compact, Pilgrims and « Strangers » call themselves « loyal subjects » of King James. The rest of the Mayflower Compact is very short. He simply implicated the signatories in a « civil body policy » to pass « fair and equal laws. » for the good of the colony. But these few words expressed, for the first time in the New World, the idea of self-management. 5. Take a final vote. Decide whether the pact`s approval should be approved unanimously, with a two-thirds majority or a simple majority. After the vote on the Mayflower II pact, everyone who agrees should sign it. In 1775, delegates met again for the second Continental Congress. The armed conflict began with skirmishes between colonial militias and British troops in Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts. Congress has designed a statement of causes explaining the reasons for the rebellion of the colonies.
On July 2, 1776, Congress declared American independence from Britain and signed the declaration of independence two days later. Members of the modern tea party movement claim to represent the same spirit as their colonial ancestors in the iconic lithograph The Destruction of Tea at Boston Harbor (a) and protest against what they see as government interference in human rights. In April 2010, members of a Tea Party Express rally on Boston Common signed a wall of signatures to record their protest (b). (Credit b: Tim Pierce`s change of work) People often unite to protect life, freedom and property. These groups may have a contractual agreement because individuals and governments do not always respect the life, liberty and property of others. Throughout history, few governments have recognized individual rights. John Locke, a 17th-century philosopher, wrote about the relationship between government and inalienable or natural rights (whether by belief in a higher power that confers these rights or by the human ability to justify the existence of such rights). Locke was not the first to propose such rights. The English elites tried to protect the lives, freedoms and property of the English suitors long before the North American colonies settled.