Why did the Pilgrims come to America?
First let’s define Pilgrims. Pilgrims are typically considered to be early protestant Christian settlers from England. They chose to come to America to escape religious persecution from the church and from the English monarchy. At the time Protestants were forced to practice their beliefs in secrecy, otherwise they would be considered a threat to the Church and to the throne, which was far from the reality. The secret living is what caused them to make the trek to the Americas in order to escape this way of living.
Pilgrims began to migrate to the Americas in about 1620 AD. The first settlers came over on the Mayflower and landed in Plymouth. They received aid from the Native Americans and actually befriended them, a concept contrary to other settlers. These pilgrim communities are the ones that the typical Thanksgiving stories come out of.
There were more ships than just the Mayflower that came over, over many years, containing Pilgrims or Protestants. They formed communities all over the northern coast and eventually moved inland. Many of today’s Amish communities are descendant of these early settlements.
Today, just as in the sixteen hundreds, Protestants as well as all religions are able to practice their religion freely, as long as the practice does not break any laws in the United States. It was the protestant migration that paved the way for early constitutionalists to include freedom of religion into the constitution even though they themselves were mostly Protestant and could have made it the national religion.
— Why did the Pilgrims come to America?