Governor Winthrop had a ream to build a puritan society with strict rules on his "city on the hill". He was not going to let Anne Hutchinson, a forceful woman with unique religious beliefs, decompose his plan. Anne developed a respectful reputation during her early years in New England as a midwife, healer and a devout Christian. It was because of this reputation and her general magnetic personality that drew people to her. She was an intelligent woman, which was rare, so people wanted to listen to what she had to say.
This would have been fine, except what she wanted to talk about was her religious beliefs. A woman preaching In a Puritan rich colony was unacceptable and was not to be tolerated. Although, the strong willed Anne, who finally had the freedom to express her religious beliefs was not about to quit. A woman, preaching her religious beliefs outside the church walls, was sufficient enough of a crime to bring Anne Into trial. Under Governor Winthrop lead, no person, especially female, would preach unless you were a member of the clergy.
The Puritan ministers were the only apparent conduit between the people and God and any possible gateway to heaven. This belief gave Governor Winthrop a lot of control in managing his colony. So here Is the problem he faced. The Governor Is advocating that you must be "approved" through the Puritan ministers to get into heaven, and now there is this influential woman preaching too many others that you can access God directly through your own actions and beliefs. So why follow the church based rules laid out by the Government If you can write your own destiny?
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Governor Winthrop was prosecuting Anna not just because she was a woman acting out of her social etiquette, but because he was threatened that with her existing influence and religious beliefs, his "city upon a hill" would fall. I believe the outcome of Anne Hutchison trial was decided before she stepped In the door. ; What does this episode say about the hopes and difficulties of the 'City upon a Hill' community that John Winthrop and others were trying to build?
John Winthrop, a man very steadfast in the Puritan faith believed that the reformed religion could create a functioning community. He hoped to build a model community In which all others would follow, John Winthrop, along with other early colonists, had confidence that the new colony would be so perfect, that other English people would migrate and reform. Winthrop yearned for a society based on, "community solidarity'. It would be a well-oiled machine where all settlers would work together In harmony to build this dream colony.
According to Governor Winthrop, this type of community could not exist without uniform religious beliefs. Therefore, he put laws in place that empowered his Puritan ministers and obstructed any other beliefs. The foremost difficulty that the "city upon a hill" faced early on not share the same Puritan beliefs that John Winthrop laws had scripted. It is difficult to ask people escaping the corrupt Church of England religion, to simply fall onto another dictatorial way of religious belief.
The bigger the colony grew, the more difficult it got for Winthrop to govern the growing amount of dissenter's within his colony. Also, settlers began to find opportunity for financial gain in the colony of Massachusetts, and this monetary hunger in individuals soon overshadowed their religious beliefs and standards. From dissenters to the vastly increasing population and monetary gain of individuals, John Winthrop hope for a religiously uniformed "city upon a hill" had collapsed, and the hope for religious freedom in America had begun.
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