In November of 1620 at New Plymouth, a consensus of new settlers drafted a written agreement that is referred to as the Mayflower Compact. The settlers had anchored in what is now Provincetown Harbor near Cape Cod and had made the trip across the ocean in a ship that was called the Mayflower.

The basic idea of the Mayflower Compact was to create fair, equal laws in the best interest of the settlement and agreed to by the majority. There were many reasons that they had decided to draw this compact. The main reason was that they knew about earlier settlements that had failed due to lack of government. The Mayflower Compact was put in place in order to try and prevent some of the problems that came from lack of government in early settlements. So the main idea was to create these laws in order to better their chances of survival and success when starting the new colony. The Compact was signed by all male members of the Mayflower, 41 in total.

Due to the fact that it was the first set of written laws in the land, the Mayflower Compact was used to determine authority. However it would only continue to do so until about 1691. The colony that was being established was mostly made up of persecuted separatists. This is the reason that the Mayflower Compact in many cases acted as sign of being released from English laws. The Mayflower laws were drafted by the people that were to be governed and were intended to be the basis for setting up a government. This is one of the main reasons that the Mayflower Compact is such a significant historical event among historians and collectors. Its also the reason that different pieces from this time are highly sought after among many collectors.