"American history today begins with the Pilgrims because their experience in Plymouth has been molded to offer a more acceptable foundation story than the exploitative dog-eat-dog world of the early Chesapeake. The Puritans' arrival in Boston, where they built John Winthrop's "city on a hill," clinched it for Massachusetts.
The Pilgrim story took over as our founding fiction after the Revolutionary War, when New England and the South began to pull in different directions. The Massachusetts colonists were labeled the Pilgrim Fathers in the 1790s, and the agreement they signed on arrival became the Mayflower Compact about the same time. Because Puritanism had come to be seen as repressive (think of Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Scarlet Letter"), early American leaders such as Daniel Webster brought the Plymouth colonists forward as the kinder, gentler Puritans.
This is the origins story we prefer and the one we promote. We prefer it because we like to think that we are descended from a humble and saintly band, religiously motivated and communal in organization, who wanted nothing more than the freedom to worship God. The individualistic, grasping capitalists of Virginia offer much less appealing antecedents."" Wapo
At last, someone gets it right! It is a long standing mystery in Virginia. How did the Massachusetts people succeed in appropriating to themselves both; the founding of the United States and Thanksgiving? It is true that times were hard at Jamestown "in the beginning" but the truth is that times were equally hard at Plymouth. The colonists at Jamestown were tough on the Indians? The idea that the Puritans were not is laughable. Who here knows that the Indians killed a third of the people in Jamestown colony in 1622. A third, in a sudden, colony wide onslaught.
Massachusetts was a model of democracy ? Not! The original Massachusetts Bay Colony was an oppressive theocracy, founded on the basis of a controlled emigration policy in England which screened potential colonists for wealth, submissiveness to church rule and orthodoxy (Puritan) of belief.
If you do not accept that characterization of the Massachusetts colonies, see "Albion's Seed" by Fischer.