Essay on The Threat of Anne Hutchinson

1318 Words6 Pages
September 19, 2005
The Threat of Anne Hutchinson
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
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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 opposed to a "covenant of work." A covenant of grace is the belief that "salvation came only as a free gift from God" and those who received this "would naturally live according to God's law" (D, p. 30). A
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