Anne Hutchinson Fear of the Term Paper

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It is difficult to imagine the kinds of unfair discrimination that was wrought against women, witches, and anyone else who did go along with the status quo. However, in Winthrop's situation, the matter of survival was so acutely important that a strong-fisted rule was thought to be necessary.

He expresses, more than once, in the trial transcript his fears that the entire colonial civilization could fall over this one woman's outspoken beliefs. Banishment was the only appropriate punishment, since it would remove her from the small, sealed world of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and ensure that she could not sway peoples' minds toward this outrageous idea of grace.

It is almost comical to consider that now, in 2008, we see crowds of Christians waving their hands in the air to feel the grace of God, an experience they believe is attainable simply through their faith. This is the exact kind of personal grace that Anne Hutchinson's teachings offered, but for which she was banished.

There may have been some merit to John Winthrop's fear of her. The colonies were finally thriving, but only after this dedicated, cohesive group had been there long enough under their set of established rules to survive a few winters.

Winthrop's primary goal was to run a tight ship and set an example for the world, and he was not about to let a mere woman
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steer the entire colony off course. After all, women were at the root of all evil ever since Eve offered the apple to Adam.

Winthrop felt that Anne's behavior was "not tolerable nor comely in the sight of God nor fitting for your sex"(Kerber, pg. 48). As much as Anne threatened the stability of the colony, she was perceived as a threat to the authority of men in her apparent power and influence over too many people. Linda Kerber states that, "When Hutchinson was held up to public ridicule and exiled, explicit dissent by women was firmly squelched in the Puritan community." Winthrop further sealed the wisdom of his decision with the fact that Anne miscarried a monstrous child after leaving the colony.

Works Cited

Ayto, John Dictionary of Word Origins, Arcade Publishing, New York: 1990.

Hawthorne, John the Scarlet Letter, Bantam Classics, New York: 1981

Kerber, Linda K. And Sherron DeHart Women's America, Refocusing the Past. Oxford University Press. New York: 1995

Young, Ralph, Ph.D. Dissent in America, the Voices That Shaped a Nation. Pearson/Longman, Publishers. New York: 2006

U.S. Library of Congress "Religion and the Founding of a Republic www.loc.gov/exhibits/religion

Winthrop, John "The Journal of John Winthrop" Wayne Franklin, Ed. Norton Anthology of American Literature, W.W. Norton, Publisher. PA:…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Ayto, John Dictionary of Word Origins, Arcade Publishing, New York: 1990.

Hawthorne, John the Scarlet Letter, Bantam Classics, New York: 1981

Kerber, Linda K. And Sherron DeHart Women's America, Refocusing the Past. Oxford University Press. New York: 1995

Young, Ralph, Ph.D. Dissent in America, the Voices That Shaped a Nation. Pearson/Longman, Publishers. New York: 2006

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