In the mid-1630s, Anne Hutchinson’s distinctive religious beliefs antagonized the political and religious authorities of colonial Massachusetts. Through her teachings, she gathered a strong following and because of these strong beliefs and her teaching of them, she was put on trial. Was it a trial that was more about power than justice, more about her sex than about her teachings, or more about maintaining the social order than righting a wrong? During the course of this trial, Anne demonstrated her intelligence and her ability to defend her beliefs. However, just when the trial was coming to a close and she had secured her success, she uttered proclamations that guaranteed her banishment. There are many theories as to why the trial even took place and when it did, why Anne ruined her chance at victory. Some of these theories will be presented here.
Anna Doorenbos, ’06 Grinnell, IA
Majors: History, French
Sponsor: M. Philip Lucas