Essay on The Threat of Anne Hutchinson
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The Threat of Anne Hutchinson
In Puritan led Massachusetts Bay Colony during the days of Anne Hutchinson was an intriguing place to have lived. It was designed ideally as a holy mission in the New World called the “city upon a hill,” a mission to provide a prime example of how protestant lives should have subsisted of. A key ingredient to the success of the Puritan community was the cohesion of the community as a whole, which was created by a high level of conformity in the colony. Puritan leaders provided leadership for all facets of life; socially, economically, religiously, and even politically. A certain hierarchy was very apparent in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, in which ministers always seemed to…show more content…
This is when she began flirting with the line of being an Antinomian. Antinomians were radical Puritans that believed that ministers were beginning to preach more from the “covenant of works” angle as opposed from the “covenant of grace” position. This was a very controversial outlook upon one’s political and religious leaders, considering a main ideal of the Puritans is that the “covenant of works” is absolutely wrong. Antinomians were a threat to the Puritan lifestyle of conformity because it created animosity amongst the members of the colony.
In the trial against Anne Hutchinson, she was charged, in a vague manner, to be a danger to the colony because of the spreading of her Antinomian opinions at her meetings. Throughout the entire trial Anne was slowly being backed into a corner in which ideally she would have then broken down and admitted to doing all the wrongs in which Governor Winthrop believed she was guilty of, but she never really did. The evidence against her was so weak in nature, that it seemed that Winthrop, along with all the other elders and deputies, really needed a confession to completely justify her banishment. Though unsuccessful in their efforts, even when it was brought up by the Deputy Governor that Anne went to a meeting of ministers and told them all that they preached the “covenant of works” to their very faces, Anne stayed with the Fifth Amendment technique and denied nothing,
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What had Anne Hutchinson done?
Why was Anne Hutchinson such a threat to the Massachusetts Bay colony?
How was Anne Hutchinson's trial an ordeal for her and how was it an ordeal for the community?
Anne Hutchinson, for centuries now, has been seen as a woman who paved the way for religious freedom. She was a great leader in the cause for religious toleration in America and the advancement of women in society. Anne
Hutchinson was "a magnetic woman of extraordinary talent and intellect" as well as a woman "who quickly gained respect among Boston's women as a midwife, healer, and spiritual counselor" (AP, p. 92).
Although Hutchinson is documented to have been banished as a religious…show more content…
The roles of men and women married under the Puritan religion were clearly defined. Although looked at as equals in the eyes of God, the wives were "expected to help with and supplement their husband's public activities" (D, p. 33). This is where I feel
Anne Hutchinson found herself out of favor with Colonial Governor John
Winthrop. Winthrop, who would oversee the trial of Hutchinson, seemed to be an extremist of sorts when it came to the role of women under the Puritan religion.
He believed "women should be submissive and supportive" and that "there was ample support for his position in the Bible" (D, p. 33). The fact that Hutchinson began to reveal her own religious beliefs at her weeknight meetings held in her home was out-of-line with practices of others due to the accusations that men were present at the meetings. This was forbidden under Puritan law. Women were allowed to teach other women, almost always younger girls, but were strictly forbidden against revealing the beliefs or sermons to men. Remember, alone,
Anne was not a threat to the Puritan establishment in Massachusetts Bay.
However, as a woman leading a growing number of men, as well as women, she was a threat to their authority and had to be stopped. I feel that John Winthrop wanted Anne banished even before she was found guilty of anything.
One of the crucial beliefs of the Puritan religion was the belief in a
"covenant of grace" as