A self-managed colony is a colony where elected rulers are able to make most decisions without referring to imperial power (like England), with nominal control of the colony. Colonies were sometimes referred to as self-management when the executive was not under the control of the imperial government; The notion of autonomy may refer to the direct domination of a crown colony by an executive governor elected under limited voting rights. This type of government was seen in the Plymouth colony between 1630 and 1684. A now famous settler who signed the Mayflower Compact was Myles Standish. He was an English military officer hired by the pilgrims to accompany them to the New World to serve as the military leader of the colony. Standish played an important role in enforcing the new laws and protecting settlers from hostile Native Americans. When the first pilgrims went to the New World, a strange turn of fate created a spirit of self-management. These Mayflower pilgrims went to Virginia in 1620, but they got lost and ended up in Plymouth, in present-day Massachusetts. Since Plymouth was not within the borders of the colony of Virginia, the pilgrims did not have an official charter to govern it. So they designed the Mayflower Pact, which essentially explained that they were going to govern themselves. Although Massachusetts eventually became a royal colony, the Plymouth Pilgrims set a powerful precedent for setting their own rules, which were later reflected in the municipal assemblies that took place in colonial New England. A colony is a group of people who inhabit a foreign territory but have ties to their metropolis.
While the group of people can be considered a colony, the territory itself can also be considered. The 13 British colonies created in North America in the seventeenth century are perhaps the best-known colonies in the history of the United States. British colonies in North America included colonies in areas such as New England and the Chesapeake Bay. Each colony received from the King of England some sort of charter or treaty that allowed its people to remain in the region.