Anne Hutchinson Essays

Anne Hutchinson Essays-57
One of the most charismatic of these seekers was a woman whose name has become synonymous with the right to speak out against authority, Anne Hutchinson.

One of the most charismatic of these seekers was a woman whose name has become synonymous with the right to speak out against authority, Anne Hutchinson.

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At a time when women had so few rights, she defended herself bravely and eloquently in her trial.

The trial was unfair in many ways – she was never told clearly what the charges were.

In March 1638, she was ordered to “go out from among them, and trouble the land no more.” It was not a shining moment for early American justice.

But the trial was not only about religion and politics; it was also an argument about women, and that is why Anne has fascinated historians for centuries.

She quickly immersed herself in the life of the young colony, helping others, particularly women.

Soon she was doing what she had done so naturally in England – speaking her mind, organizing weekly discussion groups, and reaching out to other women (she was a midwife).For many, the crisis ended in 1638, when Anne Hutchinson was banished, but that was the beginning of another important chapter in her life.One of the aftershocks was the settlement of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, an important step in the early history of a colony that was still coming together.The Antinomian Crisis of 1637-1638 was primarily a disagreement over religion, but it was also a political struggle, and an argument over women and their rights.At a time when Boston was growing quickly, and there were disagreements about what kind of a place it should be, the crisis severely shook the community, and its aftershocks continued for a long time.But she showed remarkable spirit and intelligence throughout the questioning.In a way, that was in itself a rebuttal of one of the underlying charges – that women were not entitled to form their own opinions.So it is fair to say that she was crucial to the early history of two states – Massachusetts and Rhode Island.Anne was born around 1591, the daughter of an important minister, Francis Marbury, who was often speaking out in ways that were controversial. Anne Marbury grew up primarily in the town of Alford, in Lincolnshire, England, near where Captain John Smith (who helped to settle Virginia) came from.Anne defended herself ably, often outwitting her inquisitors.But she admitted something that was inadmissible at the time – she felt that her ideas came to her from God, directly – “by an immediate voice.” That gave the authorities more than enough reason to banish her.

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