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Colonial America Essay

2716 words - 11 pages

(11) Identify Roger Williams, the origins of Rhode Island and his essay: The Bloody Tenents of Persecution. Explain how he contributed to freedom of religion, thought, speech, and conscience.
Roger Williams was the founder of Rhode Island. Before that, he was a bright young man who had been attracted to the land of Plymouth. His religious views contradicted that of the Massachusetts Bay Colony leaders. After numerous disagreements, Williams was expelled and was threatened to be sent back to England. However, a few months later, he settled near Providence. He preached and lived with the Indians. He even argued for them later on that because the Christian doctrine preaches against stealing, the State of England should not seize their land. After having founded the First Baptist Church of America, Williams struggled to defend his personal beliefs. Then in 1644, Williams received a charter from the King of England to colonize there Indian lands. Later on, Rhode Island became a popular place for the Quakers and Jews who were fleeting from religious persecution.

Although his views of being a Baptist and a seeker contradicted that of the Puritans, Roger Williams preached throughout the Rhode Island colony of religious toleration. The people who followed his preaching valued respect toward religions other than their own. As a result, Roger Williams also encouraged religious freedom. Later on he also introduced the idea of the separation of the church and the state in a government in his book The Bloudy Tenet of Persecution. He specifically called for the toleration of all Christian denominations as well as Catholicism and Judaism. In addition, Williams points to the Through his interpretation of the Bible, Williams argued that Christianity requires the existence of a separate entity ruled by the people that may not generally depend on the God-given rights of individual thought, or what he called “freedom of conscience.”. This writing was influential because it inspired many others to defend Williams’ beliefs. For example, there were several exchanges through written works between Williams and John Cotton. The book has also been thought to inspire the First and Second Amendments of the Constitution that guaranteed the freedom of speech and among many other things.

(12) Identify Anne Hutchinson of Massachusetts and how she contributed to religious freedom.
Anne Hutchinson believed in the freedom of speech, thought and worship. She is considered by many to be the first American feminist. Because the Massachusetts Bay Colony had been a Puritan state specifically established for the maintenance of certain beliefs. Part of these beliefs entailed that women be submissive and has limited power in community. Therefore, Ann’s preaching against clergy stirred up great controversy and offended many of the conservative members of society. Hutchinson fought for the right to interpret religious doctrines on a personal level and believed that believers...

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