The Plymouth Colony was one of the earliest British colonies in North America. The land was named Plymouth by Captain John Smith, one of the earlier surveyors there, and when the colony arrived, they titled themselves after the land: the Plymouth Colony.
In the early 1600's, England was an extremely religiously oppressive place. The Church of England forced everyone to follow their religious habits. There was a certain way to worship and pray, and specific theology was required belief for everyone.
During this time, there was a group of Puritans or "Separatists", as they were referred to at the time, who had been banned together and had created their own church. They met in secret to avoid persecution from the government, but were disgruntled with the thought of this being a permanent state of living.
When word reached them that there were people settling down in the "New World" (America), they believed this was their shot at freedom from the church. the choice was a hard one to make, but it was either moving across the ocean to a new place, where they would be left to start civilization from nothing or remain a slave to The Church of England for the rest of their lives. Although the risk was great, to these, it was worth it.
The Pilgrims, as they became known, arrived at "Plymouth Rock" on November 11' 1620. The land had been named Plymouth by John Smith, upon his first discovering it. After facing many hardships and trials, the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock eventually grew into the Plymouth Colony.
Plymouth never grew to be as large as many of the other colonies. Around 1686, a few colonies in that area were grouped together to form New England. In 1691, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts Bay Colony,and a few others were grouped together and became the Province of Massachusetts. The capital of the Plymouth Colony, however, is now a city called Plymouth in Massachusetts.