Pilgrim Fathers

Pilgrims is a name commonly applied to early settlers of the Plymouth Colony in present-day Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States, with the men commonly called Pilgrim Fathers. The Pilgrims' 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. The Pilgrims held similar Calvinist religious beliefs to the Puritans but unlike many Puritans, maintained that their congregations needed to be separated from the English state church. 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' modern popular story of seeking "religious freedom" has become a central theme of the history and culture of the United States. (As stated above they already had that religious freedom in Netherlands but wanted to maintain their English cultural identity.)

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.

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