Europe plunged into turmoil after Martin Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses, published in 1517. Thirty Years War was a result of this religious war that lasted through the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Religious tolerance did not improve much after these wars. In Europe it was not uncommon for the Roman Catholics and the Government to persecute Christians. The same was true in England. Anglicans were arguably the most powerful institution in England under King James I’s control. King James was active in persecuting and imprisoning all those not belonging to the Anglican faith, such as Puritans or Separatists. Separatists and myself were among those who fled England for the Dutch. They welcomed us with wide open arms. While we enjoyed religious tolerance in the Netherlands, our desire to separate ourselves from Dutch culture led us to seek to establish a colony somewhere else. We are making our treacherous Mayflower journey to Plymouth, New England in order establish a new settlement.

We anticipated many of the problems we would face after arriving. We have a daunting task ahead of us. Not only must we survive in an unfamiliar environment, but we also need to build a strong government system that represents the needs of its people. The role of religion in government and everyday life is something we must decide. Plymouth is under threat from outside forces, as well as the difficulties of setting up a new government and colony. The pilgrims must prepare a plan for dealing with both friendly and hostile native tribes. On our journey, while drafting an agreement formalizing political institutions, I haven’t yet addressed a number of issues. I believe that a basic outline of the Plymouth government should be drafted. Here is the framework and justification of such an outline. The struggle of our people, who faced religious persecution which forced them to move from their homes, is an example of this aspiration. Our people have experienced great hardship, but we will soon see the end of our long journey. At the threshold of this victory, our people want to live in prosperity and freedom.

Plymouth colony allows our people to live according to their own beliefs and rules without fear of persecution. We are trying to establish a government that is fair and representative of all citizens after years of oppression by a cruel monarch. I propose a system of multi-branch democracy for the Plymouth Colony. This will help the colony function efficiently and also maintain power balances between church, people, and state.

The General Court will serve as our legislative branch. It is responsible for drafting policies and laws that will apply to the Plymouth colony. The General Court will have the authority to impose taxes on the residents of Plymouth, which is crucial to funding the ministry because donations were previously insufficient. General Court members will include freemen as well church members. All residents will have to attend church, but church membership is only open to those who received God’s grace in a personal conversion. Plymouth Colony will accept a simple faith profession. The General Court has granted the status of “freeman” to any male adult who owns property in Plymouth colony and is a resident. All members of the church will elect members directly. This voting method will ensure that religious freedom and moral governance are maintained.

There will also be a local level of government. Each colony town will have the power to set up a legislative body with locally elected representatives to develop and implement policy in its respective town. Local policies can be implemented as long as there is no conflict between them and the laws of the General Court. Towns need to set up their rules and regulations for the management of local, daily affairs in order to meet the needs of citizens. Each town is also considered a separate church congregation. Individual congregations can run their own business. No central church will dictate to local congregations. Individual congregations set their membership standards, will hire their own elders or pastors and handle other daily affairs.

The governor, who is also the head executive branch of Plymouth, will serve as the liaison between the colony and the rest of the world, while managing governance. The General Court will choose him. As the Plymouth central government’s leader, he has responsibility for the relationship with Native Americans, and will monitor trade agreements. In addition, the governor is responsible for organizing defenses against outsiders. In addition, he’ll play an important role in the process of legislation. The governor can choose whether to sign or veto a law that has been approved by the General Court. He can also appoint local leaders and members of judicial branches. The colony will be able to maintain a balanced power structure, so that no ruler or group is in control of all the policy decisions.

The church will be a third branch in the Plymouth government. To ensure that all policies and laws are in line with Christian principles, a small group consisting of the most senior church officials must approve them. The church has the authority to determine a law’s legitimacy if it is being questioned about its moral or religious values. The church can then decide on the legitimacy of a law if it is not in line with moral and religious principles. A democratic multi-branch system will ensure that all the people of the colony are well represented, and also meet their needs. Plymouth colony’s people will be able to enjoy long-lasting prosperity and freedom that they were denied by the English Monarchy.

Plymouth could still face a serious and pressing problem, even though it has a strong governmental framework. Although we have claimed that our colony is entitled to self-government because we promised to serve God’s glory, and the English monarchy also has relied on this promise for its own legitimacy, the documents we need to keep this claim are lacking. New England Council granted us a patent granting us the rights to settle New England. They do not have any authority to grant self-governance. The risks of moving forward in the absence of a chart are high. We may lose our sovereignty soon after our colony is established if we do not have a legal authority for governance. To ensure the future of Plymouth, it is essential to obtain a royal charter.

An external threat will also threaten our security. In regards to the natives issue, I suggest that we find a practical solution. In order to imitate God’s glory as Christians, we could strive to live in perfect harmony with Native American tribal groups. We must be prepared for conflict, however, by referring to the experiences of previous settlers. The first Europeans did not settle in America. We might encounter hostile tribes that are occupying land we want to settle. They may be hostile because of the brutal mistreatment or disease brought by previous settlers. Alternatively, we may come across friendly tribal groups that will cooperate in trade. In either scenario, we should be cautious.

If we come across the first scenario, we will need to take measures to protect the colony and our people. We should be respectful and show them hospitality if we meet a peaceful native group. Raids and violence would hinder the economic development of our colony, because trade with friendly tribes can be vital to our survival. We will be able to establish mutually beneficial relationships, but it will only help delay the inevitable outbreak of war.

History has shown that most relationships with natives, which began peacefully, eventually led to tensions and bloodshed. The colony of Jamestown in Virginia, where Native American relations with Europeans began as a friendly agreement and trade, became violent when the settler population grew. Natives destroy crops and kill settlers. Not only is the violence and bloodshed horrific, but the financial burden has also been devastating to the colony. Jamestown settlers depended heavily on trading with tribes of natives. When these trade ties broke, they faced economic strains and widespread famine.

Plymouth colony must strive to avoid this. Trade and alliances that are peaceful will help protect the colony and its fragile economy, as well as prevent violence in the early stages. As we saw with Jamestown, we cannot become too reliant on these trading relationships. Our colony will require more land as its population increases. It will be difficult to secure this land, since natives do not seem to understand private property rights and will be reluctant about moving. Negotiating with the natives for a fair land price and agreeing on a share of the land’s resources could help resolve this conflict. These agreements will not be finalized until we have met with the native leaders. This plan, however, allows us to acquire land without violence and maintain good relations with natives while developing our economic independence.

We can prosper by adapting the guidelines previously written.


  • marcosnguyen

    Marcos Nguyen is a 29-year-old blogger and teacher from Houston, Texas. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, where he studied education and psychology. Marcos has been blogging since 2009, and he specializes in writing about education and parenting. He currently teaches middle school social studies and language arts.