The First Willing Victim
“Mrs. Hutchinson, you are called here as one of those that have troubled the peace of the commonwealth and the churches here. You are known to be a woman that hath had a great share in the promoting and divulging of those opinions that are causes of this trouble…” These are some stone hard words that John Winthrop spoke to/about Anne Hutchinson on her first trial day. While, he was speaking these harsh words that day it is said that Anne stood listening to the charges without even flitching. How did Anne Hutchinson versus Massachusetts effect historical, social, cultural, political, economic and global forces in the seventeenth century and present day? In the seventeenth century, the average person was able to recite scriptures correctly with the chapter and verse number. The people that felt that they were right with God believed that they need to bring swift and harsh justice to anyone who they perceived to offend God or the church. The puritan’s view of the way things should be done in this century was that men and women had certain roles and for women to step outside of these boundaries, that is to act in a way that it is perceived that only men should act, is highly contestable. The puritans adhered to the bible very closely. Also, the puritan society of early Massachusetts was among the most critical that could be imagined. John Winthrop who was the prosecutor in the case against Anne Hutchinson was among the strictest puritan, along with the local government. One can clearly identify the puritan’s feelings of their superiority, not only in law, government, and church, but also in being a man as opposed to a woman, an Englishman as opposed to a Native American, and a "virtuous" person as compared to a sinner. Anne in 1612 married William Hutchinson. Together they had 15 children. In 1634 she and her husband moved to Boston. Here Anne began holding informal church meetings in her home discussing the pastor's services and...
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