Lead: In 1635, religious dissenter Roger Williams was banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. His departure was a milestone in constitutional evolution.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts. 

Content: English Puritan preacher Roger Williams immigrated to Massachusetts in 1631.  A Cambridge graduate, he had sought ordination in the Church of England, but gradually came to advocate separation from the official church. After his arrival in America Williams and his wife settled in, but it was not long before this quick-witted, pugnacious and innovative thinker began to clash with the local colonial church leaders over his “radical views.” Williams believed that churches in the colony should break completely from the Church of England, and he opposed government involvement in church affairs. The colonial government used the power of the state to enforce church rules, regulations, and discipline. Furthermore, Williams argued that the colony should not expropriate land that rightfully belonged to the Native Americans unless the Indians were compensated. Even more dangerous from the point of view of the colonial elders, he insisted that his behavior and personal life should be governed, not by the laws of the Commonwealth or even the church, but by his own conscience.

Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?

Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab

Download [70.72 KB]