The settlers would remain, despite their need for self-management, subjects loyal to King James In its form and content, the Mayflower Pact reflected previous alliances that had formed separatist Christian groups by founding their churches in England and Holland to bind them both to each other and to God. According to a list printed by Bradford`s nephew, Nathaniel Morton, in his 1669 New England Memorial brochure, 41 of the adult male passengers on the Mayflower signed the agreement, including two of the servants on board. Shortly after signing, they elected John Carver as the first governor of the new colony they called Plymouth Plantation. In this sense, they began to create a temporary series of laws to govern themselves according to majority agreement. In a self-managed colony like Plymouth, elected rulers make most decisions without referring to the imperial power that nominally controls the colony. Immediately after approving the Mayflower Pact, the signatories elected John Carver (one of the pilgrimage guides) as governor of their colony. They called it Plymouth Plantation. When Governor Carver died in less than a year, William Bradford replaced him at the age of 31. Each following year, the Civil Body Politic, composed of all adult men except staff, met to elect the governor and a small number of assistants. Bradford was re-elected 30 times between 1621 and 1656. In the early years, Governor Bradford decided exactly how the colony should be managed. Few people refused his reign of one man. When the colony`s population grew due to immigration, several new cities were born.
The wandering and increasingly dispersed population found it difficult to attend court, as the government meetings in Plymouth were called. Until 1639, deputies were sent to represent each city at the other meetings of the court. Not only self-management, but also representative government had taken root on American soil. The English Magna Carta, written more than 400 years before the Mayflower Pact, established the principle of the rule of law. In England, this still most often meant the king`s law. The Mayflower Pact continued the idea of law made by the people. This idea is at the heart of democracy. From its crude beginnings in Plymouth, self-management became the municipal assemblies of New England and the great local governments of colonial America.