Name: Puritan Theocracy in Colonial America

Date:  1500 - 1799

Location:  North America


MediumPublic Speech

image description
Artist: Roger Williams

Confronting Bodies: Massachusetts Bay Colony

Date of Action: 1635

Specific Location: Massachusetts Bay Colony

Description of Artwork: Roger Williams was an outspoken advocate of religious freedom, and was one of the first challengers of Puritan Theocracy.

Description of Incident: Williams was banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for his toleration and support for religious diversity, which included, "Jews, Pagans, and Turks." His defiance over state control over religious freedom led to his expulsion from the state. Williams moved to Rhode Island and founded the city of Providence. In 1644, Williams wrote a book on religious freedom, democracy and intellectual freedom, "The Bloody Tenent of Persecution."

Results of Incident: In 1936, 300 years after Williams expulsion from the former colony, the state legislature retracted its expulsion order.

Source: New York Public Library

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