Oh, who are we kidding? They were a bunch of whiny cry babies---
So they packed everything up and decided to go to the New World and start their own colony. They came to America without considering what moving to a wilderness would entail. I can imagine what packing day must have been like: "Well, honey, we're off to an uncharted continent, untouched by man! Make sure you pack plenty of big black hats with belt buckles on them!"
The Pilgrims almost perished because of this lack of foresight. And maybe that's a good thing, because if it wasn't for the Indians giving them decent food, they might have survived and we all might be eating blood pudding and spotted dick today. Ever wonder why you don't see chain restaurants featuring English cuisine? Face it, the country pretty much peaked with the English muffin.
But once established, they flourished. Now free of any outside influences and restrictions, they were soon able to burn witches at their leisure. Yes, sir, they came to the New World so they could practice their faith their way, and persecute anyone else who didn't (there's that irony again).
Without the Pilgrims, we wouldn't have that wonderful Puritanical mind set that makes America what it is today. You know, the one that allows people to say today's immigrants, "Hey, our people came from a far away land to find a new home. Too bad for you. Now get out." Nor let us not forget the delightful Protestant Work Ethic, where people give you dirty looks if you work less than a fifty hour work week. Not for nothing, in the parts of this hemisphere where the Spanish landed, they get to have siestas in the middle of the work day. They get a month off for summer vacation. Wouldn't you like a nice nap after lunch? I know I would. But no, not in North America, where you get two weeks vacation and have to eat at your desk.
So, there's a lot we can lay at the feet of the Pilgrims and that's why at Thanksgiving we remember that they gave thanks that God didn't kill off all of them. And lament the fact that the Spanish conquistadors didn't like cold weather.