Anne Hutchinson Essay, Research Paper
Andrew D. Dugan
Although Anne Hutchinson is historically documented to have been banished as a religious dissenter, the real motive for her persecution was that she challenged the traditional subordinate role of women in Puritan society by expressing her own religious convictions.
Anne Hutchinson has long been seen as a strong religious dissenter who paved the way for religious freedom in the strictly Puritan environment of New England. Another interpretation of the controversy surrounding Anne Hutchinson asserts that she was simply a loving wife and mother whose charisma and personal ideas were misconstrued to be a radical religious movement. Since this alleged religious movement was led by a woman, it was quickly dealt with by the Puritan fathers as a real threat. Whatever her motives, she was clearly a great leader in the cause of religious toleration in America and the advancement of women in society.
Anne Hutchinson lived in a violent and changing time especially for woman when the established religion was often questioned, and groups of people came to their own conclusions on points of doctrine. For the first time, people like Anne learned to think for themselves instead of blindly believing what was taught to them by the clergy. I stand on side with Anne Hutchinson. I don t believe she ever had a fair chance in her trial. Though she had few in her defence, it seemed to me that the court had there decisi n already made. The trial was only held to seem she was getting a fair chance. I give support from Mr. Coddington s last speech:
I beseech you do not speak so to force things along, for i do not for my own part see any equity in the court in all your proceedings. Here is no law of God that she hath broken nor any law of the country that she hath broke , and therefore deserve no censure, and if she say that the elders preach as the aposles did, why they preached a covenant of grace and what wrong is that to them, for it is without question that the apostles did preach a covenant of grace, though not with that power, till they receieved the manifestation of the spirit, therefore i pray considered what you do, for here is no law of God or man broken……
There is no denying the fact that Anne was brought to trial because of her beliefs. It is also true that she probably would not have been so soon convicted or treated with such condescension by the court if she had been a male. Anne Hutchinson was unfairly condemned because she did not fit into the prescribed role of women in the colonial period, namely that of having no will or mind of her own. Anne Hutchinson was a courageous woman who succeeded in beginning the process of change in the intolerant environment of Puritan New England.