Nov 27, 2008
For this Thanksgiving day, I have but two posts to share:
First they [Pilgrims] migrated to the Netherlands, which practiced religious tolerance of alternative religions. But the English Puritans wanted their children to grow up in an English culture, not as Dutchimen. That is why after a few years they sought to establish their own colony in the New World, where they could control their own government, religion and culture.
In these precarious conditions, it was natural for them to work together and share their food and shelter. Even so, 45 of the original 102 died that first winter, including 13 of the original adult women, with one more passing away in May.
But as the colony grew, this initial quasi-socialist community of share and share alike was not working to produce enough for essential basic needs, let alone the prosperity that was expected in the new world. Available wild supplies of food, in particular, were no longer enough.
All this while no supply [of wild corn] was heard of, neither knew they when they might expect any. So they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop than they had done, that they might not thus languish in misery. At length, after much debate of things, the Governor (with the advice of the chiefist amongst them) gave way that they should set corn every man for his own particular, and in that regard trust to themselves; in all other things go on in the general way as before. And so assigned to every family a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number, for that end