Was Anne Hutchinson a Threat to Puritan Elite?

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“Was Anne Hutchinson a threat to the Puritan elite?”

LaToya McSwain

US History 1

November 20, 2012

Believing that the Church of England had strayed too far from its original doctrine, disgruntled group of churchgoers decided to withdraw from the church. In an effort to escape persecution they fled to America. This group became known as the Puritans.

Though, in their opinion, the church had strayed from God’s word, they held firm to their position that the Bible was God’s blueprint for daily living. The Puritans believed the church of that day was too saturated with irrelevancy; therefore, in an effort to purify religion, they felt the need to peel off those irrelevant formalities. Hence, the name Puritans-purifying their religion, as well as, their lives.

Their strong spiritual convictions served as both a blessing and a curse. It served as a blessing in that it unified them and provided hope during hardships. It served as a curse in that they developed a somewhat judgmental view of others as worldly if their actions didn’t coincide with the Puritan faith. There is also the idea of “pre-destination”. Each individual’s lifestyle indicated your standing with God. If you were well off, it was assumed you were in good standing with God. If you were poor, you obviously were not in good standing with God. Placement in heaven and hell was already pre-determined by God and no one knew their destiny. This is uncertainty is what kept the Puritans on the straight and narrow path. If the way of Puritan life is not strictly adhered to, individuals face harsh criticism and discipline-both by the church and society.

One of the first American feminist, Anne Hutchinson, believed each individual should have the right to freedom of worship, speech, and thought. She did not deviate from her beliefs, ethics, or ideas no matter what it would cost her. There was never any intention to make anyone angry or hurt anyone’s feelings with her beliefs....
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