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The Church of England, headed by the king himself, was the national religion in England in the late 1500s and 1600s. Those who did not follow it were often treated badly.
A group of Separatists, people who wanted to separate from the official church, left England for religious freedom and went to Holland. Then after a few years, these "pilgrims" sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to the New World.
After a two-month journey, the Pilgrims landed in what is now Plymouth, Massachusetts. They built a settlement there. They were free to practice their own religion, but they did not have enough supplies to feed for long.
Soon, the Pilgrims met the Wampanoag tribe, who were already living in the Massachusetts Bay area. They helped the Pilgrims get through the tough, first winter.
The Native Americans also taught the Pilgrims many important skills, such as planting and growing corn.
The Wampanoags and Pilgrims joined together in a feast celebrating and giving thanks for the harvest. Their hard work meant they would have food for the winter.
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