Departure of the 'Mayflower'

Although there had already been a successful colony in Jamestown and Virginia, it is the story of the intrepid Pilgrim Fathers that seems to have caught the imagination of Americans more. Their story is a more pleasing one as it pits religious refugees against the elements and is inclusive of the help of the native population. By contrast, the story of Virginia relies on conflict, tobacco and slaves. Consequently, the Pilgrim Fathers are often regarded as the founding fathers. In reality, they did set up an alternative vision whose differences with the Virginia model would echo down the ages and ultimately result in Civil War.

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by Stephen Luscombe