The Mayflower was the ship that transported mostly English Puritans and Separatists, collectively known today as the Pilgrims, from a site near the Mayflower Steps in Plymouth, England, to Massachusetts, in 1620. There were 102 passengers and a crew of 25–30.This voyage has become an iconic story in the earliest annals of American history with its tragic story of death and of survival in the harshest New World winter environment. The culmination of the voyage in the signing of the Mayflower Compact is one of the greatest moments in the story of America, providing the basis of the nation's present form of democratic self-government and fundamental freedoms.
Pilgrims or Pilgrim Fathers, is a name commonly applied to early settlers of the Plymouth Colony in present-day Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States. Their leadership came from the religious congregations of Brownist English Dissenters who had fled the volatile political environment in England for the relative calm and tolerance of 16th–17th century Holland in the Netherlands. Concerned with losing their cultural identity, the group later arranged with English investors to establish a new colony in North America. The colony, established in 1620, became the second successful English settlement (after the founding of Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607) and later the oldest continuously inhabited English settlement in what was to become the United States of America. The Pilgrims' story of seeking religious freedom has become a central theme of the history and culture of the United States.By this time, non-English European colonization of the Americas was also underway in New Netherland, New France, Essequibo, Colonial Brazil, Barbados, the Viceroyalty of Peru, and New Spain.