The Threat of Anne Hutchinson

902 words 4 pages
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 have gotten their way.
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Women in those times were not nearly as liberated as they are now. Though Puritan women seemed to have been given many rights that most women in the world did not receive, there had to have been some ill will towards a woman that was going as far as Anne was. Governor Winthrop was simple in his dealing with women, both his wife and sister were very submissive and more supportive than opinionated. I think this is what Winthrop along with most Puritans believed was the role of women in the colony. Since Anne Hutchinson was holding meetings consisting mainly of women, she taught them how to be a Puritan woman in society, which was actually a role all in itself. Winthrop, I suppose, had a problem with the spreading of her opinions amongst women, which in turn would contribute to the development of even more opinionated women like Anne herself. This worried Winthrop along with other elders in the colony, as did a woman with any type of power on could imagine. And power is exactly what Anne was growing in, along with favor. Taken as a whole, Anne Hutchinson did in fact pose a threat to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. She not only undermined the authority of ministers in the colony by letting it slip that she might be of the Antinomian mindset, but she also caused a stir between genders. To the elder Puritan leaders Anne might not have been a large threat at the time of her banishment, but they probably believed that she was only going to become more

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