Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson

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Essay Question: Discuss the cases of Roger Williams and Anne Hutchingson. Why were Williams and Hutchinson perceived as threats by the Puritan authorities? What do these cases tell us about the belief system of the Puritan authorities in Massachusetts Bay colony?

Every time in history when the government had too much power, corruption occurred. In Massachusetts Bay colony and other colonies, church and politics were greatly combined, causing problems with non-Puritans. The church influenced the conduct of politics and the affairs of society. These non-puritans were persecuted and were excluded from certain rights that the church attenders had, for example one had to be a church member to vote in colony elections. The rulings of the church were everywhere, including in laws, which were drawn from scriptures. At times like these when the church became too powerful and began to greatly intervene with peoples lives, there are always a few people who would bring this injustice to the surface. In the Massachusetts Bay colony during the 1630’s, a man by the name of Roger Williams was spreading word that the king of England had no right to take away Indian land for redistribution, and that church and state should be kept separate; from another point of view Anne Hutchinson came out with her theses that anyone could achieve salvation and she examined the roles of women in the society. These two posed a threat to the Puritan community, and thus were eliminated.

Roger Williams migrated to Massachusetts Bay in 1631, where he quickly began spreading word about his beliefs. He believed that the king of England had no right to distribute them land that was taken from Indians. Most importantly, he stressed that church and state should be completely separate, with the church not imposing their beliefs on others. He thought it was ironic how the Puritan’s left to have the freedom to worship their church, but restrain others worshiping theirs. This created massive arguments...
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