Anne Hutchinson, Religious Freedom, and 17th Century Feminism

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Anne Hutchinson

Anne Hutchinson played a large role in starting the progressive acceptance of diverse religions and religious beliefs. She believed that people could interpret the Bible and the church sermons in any manner they wish, and she shared that with many other people in the town. After the sermons, she would hold meetings with others that would allow the citizens to freely interpret and spread their own ideas about the sermon of the day. This, although an event that a significant amount of the community partook in, was not in line with what the governor, John Winthrop, had intended. Having this come to light while in the process of “building a godly society protected by the coordinate powers of church and state” set him back because it meant that he had to take care of punishing Anne and her followers before he could continue (“Anne Hutchinson” History). She was immediately put through a trial as ordered by Winthrop; however, the outcome was not what he and the other judges had expected. Anne Hutchinson stood her ground as long as possible, pushing back harder than the court could in order to continue the meetings and stand up for religious freedom. Her relentless perseverance was “interpreted as radical and divisive, partly because of her sharp criticisms of the colony’s leadership and partly because women had subservient roles in the church and secular government in Puritan New England” (“Anne Hutchinson” NWE).  As the hearings went on, it quickly became apparent to the judges

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The trial of Anne Hutchinson

that with her wit and moral strength, she was not about to give up in the near future. So, having very few options left, the court decided to ban Anne, the Hutchinson family, and many of her followers, causing them to move all around the Northeast in search of places that would accept them and their religious beliefs. Today, because of her integrity, she stands as both a symbol of early feminism in pre-modern times and for the beginning stages of religious freedom and the progressive acceptance of it.

 

Works Cited

History.com Staff. “Anne Hutchinson.” History.com, A+E Networks, 2009,
http://www.history.com/topics/anne-hutchinson. Accessed 22 Sept. 2016. History.com
is a reliable source because they produce content that not is not only
historically correct, but also pulls from both other primary and secondary
sources and aggregates and corroborates them to create professionally
edited content.

New World Encyclopedia contributors. “Anne Hutchinson.” New World Encyclopedia,
28 Mar. 2014, http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/
Anne_Hutchinson#Influence_and_legacy. Accessed 25 Sept. 2016. New World
Encyclopedia is a reliable source because it uses sources of any format,
corroborates the information contained within, and uses them and to create
sophisticated yet reader-friendly content.

 

Photo Credit: http://www.constitutioncenter.org/timeline/flash/assets/asset_upload_file378_11804.jpg

https://www.landofthebrave.info/images/anne-hutchinson-1.jpg

 

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One Response to Anne Hutchinson, Religious Freedom, and 17th Century Feminism

  1. maxwiener18 says:

    This blog post truly emphasized the importance that Anne Hutchinson had on colonial society. It shows how she challenged the centralized authority because she knew what was best for herself, and her community. When she challenged John Winthrop, the founder of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, it marked down in history the importance of female characters in society, even though they had limited rights. Her court hearings, and her other rebellious actions shaped the kind of person she was, and that was well identified in this blog post.

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