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Anne Hutchison - Extremist or Rebel?

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In 1637, a puritan known as Anne Hutchison was banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony along with her family and other extremists; or as the normal puritans called them, “Antinomians.” Normal puritan beliefs were that only a few “elect” people would be saved by God and this was shown through an outward sign. Anne Hutchison believed that you would be told by god himself, through an inward voice. She was not rebelling against the puritans (she still considered herself a puritan) but a puritan who took their beliefs to an extreme, where god himself will tell you you are saved. Anne Hutchison was not banished because of rebelling, she was banished for putting herself above all authority, and should be considered an extremist. We can tell she wasn't a rebel because she never used violence to get her ways and ideas across. A rebel is someone that fights to gain power, but she just believed in the religion a little differently and more extremely. She also undermined the ministers and those who held a higher rank. From this evidence we can conclude that Anne Hutchison was a puritan extremist.

First off, let’s take a look at Anne Hutchison’s past. There is no evidence at all that she ever used violence for anything. Google defines a rebel as, “a person who rises in armed resistance against an established government or ruler.” Anne Hutchison never resorted to violence or physical fight or, as google said, “armed resistance.” Also, in Written Document 1, John Wheelwright (an extremist like Anne) gives a fiery speech to the Boston Church and says, “We must prepare for a spiritual combat, we must put on the whole armor of God,” so it is obvious that Anne Hutchison did not mean to use violence to rebel, making her unqualified to be considered a rebel. On information on Written Document 1, it says, “He (meaning John Wheelwright) may not have meant actual rebellion.” So from this given information we can conclude that Anne Hutchison was unqualified to be considered a rebel, due to lack of “armed resistance”.

Secondly, Anne Hutchison never wanted to gain power and change the ways of the puritan church, she just simply said she was told she was saved a different, more extreme way. In Written Document 2 Anne Hutchison says, “[God] hath left me to distinguish between the voice of my beloved [Christ, that is] and the voice of Moses, the voice of John the Baptist and the voice of antichrist, for all those voices are spoken of in scripture. Now if you condemn me for speaking what in my conscience I know to be truth I must commit myself unto the Lord.” When she says that God has spoken to her directly, she is indirectly putting herself above all other church figures, giving her unintended power, making her a threat. She never intended to obtain power, so if she never wanted power than she never wanted to change the church and/or its beliefs. Without power, change in a form of government or church is difficult to achieve.

Finally, in Visual Source Document 1, there is a picture of a huge pulpit where the minister sits. The pulpit looks very similar to a modern day bench where the judge sits in court, and as we all know, judges hold a lot of power and authority in court. By comparing the two we can infer that a minister held a lot of power back then, and no one else held a higher position, but all of a sudden, Anne Hutchison undermines them. She makes them look pathetic by



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