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Articles on Mayflower

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John Lacy, a Restoration actor and playwright, satirised puritans, including in his role as Mr Scruple in The Cheats by John Wilson (right). John Michael Wright (died 1694/National Portrait Gallery

Mayflower 400: how society feared and ridiculed puritans

Puritans were often depicted as fools until they had a shot at government, and then the humour got darker.
Writing letters allowed the puritan community spread across England, Holland and the US feel a lot smaller continue practices that were important to their worship. Scisetti Alfio/Shutterstock

Mayflower 400: how the pilgrims coped with separation

Letter writing helped this small but close community continue their way of life.
Mayflower ashore on the banks of the Thames in 1624, being broken for parts. Dr Mike Haywood (used with the kind permission of The General Society of Mayflower Descendants)

Mayflower 400: the science of sailing across the ocean in 1620

When a shipload of puritan colonisers set sail for the New World, maritime science and navigation were fairly unsophisticated.
Principled revolutionaries: the Pilgrim Monument at Provincetown, Massachusetts. TWA Photography via Shutterstock

Mayflower 400: were the Pilgrims asylum seekers or subversives?

Puritan leaders argued vehemently for a church to be free of any higher authority – which caused problems in England and the new world.
Plimoth Plantation, in Plymouth, Mass., is a living museum that’s a replica of the original settlement, which existed for 70 years. Wikimedia Commons

The complicated legacy of the Pilgrims is finally coming to light 400 years after they landed in Plymouth

Descendants from the Pilgrims were keen to highlight their ancestors' role in the country's founding. But their sanitized version of events is only now starting to be told in full.
We can give thanks to the strong winds of trans-Atlantic trade for ‘Tom Turkey.’ Reuters/Shannon Stapleton

Why we have globalization to thank for Thanksgiving

A globalization expert shares two surprising tales of how the powerful winds of trans-Atlantic trade affected the quintessentially American holiday.

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