John Winthrop was part of the aristocracy of the colonies that would be the United States. He, as well as the local government were strictly Puritan and adhered closely to the bible. John Winthrop was the prosecutor in the case against Anne Huthchinson. She was on trial for teaching her own version of Puritan teachings that were not directly from the Bible all the time. She was accused of heresy and slenderizing the church.
In John Winthrop's writings, one can clearly identify his feeling of his own 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. Winthrop clearly feels that men and women have certain roles, which is very common for that time, and for a woman to step outside these boundaries, that is to act in a way that it is perceived that only men should act, is highly contestable.
At this time and place in history, religion dictated almost every single aspect of a person's life. The average person was able to quote scripture on the spot along with the chapter and verse number. Those who were in agreement that they themselves were in the right felt that it was their duty to bring swift and harsh justice down on whoever they perceived to be offending god or the church. For Anne Hutchinson's crime of being a woman and preaching what she believed to be right, she was banished from the colony and sent to Rhode Island, where she was later killed in a battle with Native Americans. In many ways, Anne Hutchinson was one of the first martyrs for women's rights in America. [continues]
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