As the Pilgrims came to America to avoid "the heirarchy, the cross in baptisme, the holy dayes, the book of Common Prayer, etc.,"1 so did they seek a democracy in government. They were aware that a group tightly joined together for a common purpose could best keep their mission intact by giving to each member an equal voice in the affairs of government. The joint-stock company arrangement also furthered unity and a sense of equal responsibility.
The Pilgrims would soon discover, however, that an inclusive majoritarianism in their government could have a character of its own outside the collection of individual wills. The majority will could be equated with the original holy sanction of their first coming together. A society founded on the principle that the majority rules creates a justification for the state to exist as an entity separate from the people on the presupposition that the state, legally constituted, is always the majority. Thus the state is the body politic: it determines its membership and the reach of its own authority. The minority must accommodate itself to