Essay about William Bradford And The Massachusetts Bay Colony

Essay about William Bradford And The Massachusetts Bay Colony

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In 1620, seeking refuge from persecution in Europe, William Bradford and his small colony of one-hundred and three Protestant separatists, later known as the Pilgrims, arrived in New England to found Plymouth Plantation. Winthrop established the Massachusetts Bay Colony, now known as Boston, as a theocracy, where elected leaders such as Winthrop himself made decisions with the advice of the clergy based of their belief of pre-destination and enforced strict religious laws upon all people who lived in the colony. Although most of those who migrated to America in 1630 shared a common Calvinist theology, there was by no means unanimity regarding how they would practice their religion. Two prominent figures soon brought dissent among the community; first, Anne Hutchinson spread her sharp challenge to the Puritan faith by spreading the idea that a holy life was no sure sign of salvation and to not bother with obeying the law of either God or man; second, Roger Williams urged his fellow clergymen to make a clean break from the Church of England and even went on to deny the authority of civil government to regulate religious behavior.
The most serious and destructive case of dissent arose from within the original group of settlers and involved a very prominent family. Having immigrated to Boston in 1634 to follow their minister John Cotton, Anne and William Hutchinson quickly became prominent figures in the community. William was elected deputy to the Massachusetts Court, and Anne continued her community service as a nurse midwife and spiritual adviser to women. The Hutchinsons had followed Cotton from England because of his brilliant preaching and his firm commitment to the doctrine of the Covenant of Grace which held God’s grace was ...


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...allenged the role of the clergy in political and judicial issues as he believed in the separation of church and state, and he deeply opposed the taking of land from the Native peoples without compensation. His debates with John Cotton led Williams to leave Massachusetts and establish a colony in Rhode Island.
Two prominent figures emerged among the Puritan community vocalizing their dissent; first, Anne Hutchinson shared her challenging ideas about the puritan faith which was the following of a strict holy life did not guarantee salvation and for everyone not to bother with following the laws established by either man or God; second, Roger Williams persistently attempted to persuade his fellow clergymen to separate from the Church of England and even went on to publically oppose the power of the civil government that tried to maintain proper religious everyday life.

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