so….you sell everything and start a trip to go move half way across the world, punctuated by failure and deceit that would throw most groups into certain turmoil…with certifiable idiots who sabotage their own boat so they can “just go home and forget about the whole thing,” and a badly timed trip that takes you twice as long as it should (Are we there yet?)….only to arrive at your new place to find no bed, no walls, and a frozen snowy ground. what do you do?
not what the textbooks told you they did.
not what you have been lead to believe.
the 100 or so who arrived had agreed to form a rigid, socialist commune, based on some ideas from a Greek philosopher who spent all day in the liberal bastions of “education,” supported by the wealthy. this form of government was instituted in a place where survival was the true law of life. after two years of failure, and more than half of the group dying, the governor took some advice from a Spaniard who had written what becomes of such a wilderness governed by anything less than freedom. Slowly, those who were governing, loosened the chains of control, until the community began to take ownership in the general betterment of themselves and the community.
each time another group of people joined their ranks, the community struggled through another winter. they relied heavily on someone else- the ships that came- for provisions, when the country they resided in had all they really needed. If it was not for the sobering of the governor and his leaders, turning to God in prayer, the Plymouth colony would have perished within the first four years.
Many of the stories that are told in American classrooms are simply not true, or are skewed so much that they have no depth nor truth to them. as with any other history, it is best to read the actual words of those who went through it, rather than to believe an account that is made to shorten the story, or make a particular group of people appear to be “honorable.”
as America celebrates “Thanksgiving Day” today, it should be noted that it was God’s grace that prevented those naïve settlers from dying altogether. and it was God who the settlers thanked when they came ashore on the coast of the New Land…not the “Indians.”
(see the text of the original history at Project Gutenberg, The History of The Plimouth Plantation, by William Bradford. http://www.gutenberg.org)