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Yes, the Pilgrims Had an Influence on Home Ownership

Oct 30, 2019 03:44PM ● By Pamela Johnson

Thanksgiving, apple pie, Pilgrims!

As Thanksgiving approaches, our minds turn to not just apple and pumpkin pies, but also the Pilgrims. Most of us who have grown up or reside in Bellingham have, at some point, taken a trip to Plimouth Plantation with hopes to learn, feel, visualize, and experience a slice of life in the 1620s.
Have you ever thought, though, of how the ground that they called home, farmed, and planted was divided up and how that has influenced our way of homeownership today?

In order to finance their trip and their start in the new world, the Pilgrims had little choice but to agree with the (unfavorable) terms of their overseers/investors. These investors supplied the colonists with money for their voyage, agricultural products, and housing. In return, assets of the colony would become the assets of the company. The fruits of the colonists’ labors were to be shared mutually among one another and the overseas investors.

As the group of adventurous souls disembarked the Mayflower in the harsh year of 1620, followed by others, it became increasingly clear to the leaders of the colony that the agreement with the financiers across the sea was not working. The colonists viewed the division of labor as inequitable, and the community began to unravel. As a result, it fell on hard times.

The leaders of the colony, Governor Bradford for one, believed that the only way to rectify the situation was to privatize the land. Eventually the land that settlers had toiled over was converted into private property. This did bring success and benefited all. With the division of land and individual ownership of property the colonists prospered. Then, the process of privatizing other things and the passing down to heirs began.

It might be said that the Pilgrims’ “privatization” of land and home ownership was the origination of what we now think of as the “American Dream.” We may not rely on farming our lands for the survival of the family, but the lands are still important to us. They’re the building blocks that form, not just the nucleus for our families and families to come, but the pride of community that comes with having an actual interest in the land.
How lucky we are to reside where it all began—here in Massachusetts. Happy Thanksgiving from our home to yours! 

This advertorial was submitted by Carol-Ann Palmieri of Al and Cal Realty Group, RE/MAX Executive Realty. Palmieri may be reached at 508-494-9061 or [email protected].

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