What idea from the Mayflower Compact influenced the Declaration of Independence?

2 Answers
Aug 10, 2017

One major idea from the Mayflower Compact that influenced the Declaration of Independence is that the government should be for the common good of all people, not just selected elites.


The Pilgrims or Puritans came to America in order to escape from the Church of England. England was in the hands of a select group of people who were in charge because of their wealth or lineage. They did not put the common good of all the people as their priority, and even if they attempted to, it was because they would benefit from it.

That's why the Puritans signed the Mayflower Compact before leaving the Mayflower. They promised that the government in America (although not totally independent from English rule) would be for the common good of all individuals.

The Declaration of Independence was influenced by this idea and therefore emphasized the importance of the common good:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men......

Consequently, because of the Mayflower Compact which then influenced the Declaration of Independence, every person has a right to a government that is for their good and the good of every other individual in the country.

Hope this helps!

Aug 13, 2017

The idea that people had the right to determine the form of government by which they would be governed.


The people of the Mayflower together wrote a compact a form of a constitution that would govern their colony. This compact was based on the Biblical principle that people derived their rights from God not from Kings, Governments, or a ruling elite.

The Declaration of Independence proclaimed that the people had a right to change the form of their government. The Declaration details the abuses of power that the British government had imposed on the American colonies. As the people had rights that came from God not the King of England, the people of America had a right to reject the rule of the King.

Underlining both the Mayflower and the Constitution is the concept
that rights come from God. As John Wycliff wrote in his introduction to his English translation of the Bible, May this translation be for a government of the people by the people and for the people. This was in contrast to the government of the royalty by the church authority, and for the wealthy elite.