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Origins of Religious Liberty in America

Updated: Jul 10, 2021

The landing of the Mayflower at Plymouth Rock is the stuff of legend. A small group of Puritans landing at the new world fleeing from religious persecution and desiring to establish a colony to freely practice their religion. The Puritans entered into a covenant before God to “combine ourselves together into a civil body politic, for our better ordering and preservation…,”(1) although not a constitution the Mayflower Compact was the first agreement by the will of the people to organize themselves. This compact was the origin of self-government in New England which they vigorously defended.

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