Study Questions for American Experiments (1521-1700)

(From your professor)


  1. According to Winthrop, what was the purpose of the Arabella group's settlement in New England? What were their goals? What did they hope to achieve?
  2. How does this piece illustrate puritan beliefs and values? What is the "city upon a hill" he mentions, and why is it important to him?
  3. Given what you read in the textbook and in the primary source that follows, do you think he, and the rest of the leaders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, succeeded?
  4. How do the goals and values of the Massachusetts Bay colonists reflect the larger cultural and civic values of early "America"?

Trial of Anne Hutchinson

  1. Why was Anne Hutchinson on trial? What did she do that colonial leaders found so repugnant?
  2. Do you think that Hutchinson's trial was fair? Do you agree with the result her banishment? What do you think was the real reason why she was singled out?

Maryland Toleration Act

  1. What did the Toleration Act seek to achieve? What group(s) was it attempting to protect? What groups did it NOT protect, or even actively seek to harm?
  2. What basic "American liberty" did this act officialize in law? How well, particularly by today's standards, does the act achieve this value? Is this a law that could pass Constitutional muster today? Why or why not?