John Winthrop

Kylie P, Sarah S, Nicole F, Joseph A

Family History/Political Loyalties

  • English, a part of the "gentry" class

  • Attended Trinity College

  • Had 4 wives at all different times

  • Very into religion

  • Full fledged Puritan (a person who adheres to strict moral or religious principles, in more detail one opposed to luxury and enjoyment) He was thought everything was black and white; he either agreed with it or did not.

  • His religious experiences made him into a social activist

  • He wanted/ tried to change the world and argued “the life which is most exercised with tryalls and temptations is the sweetest, and will prove the safest.”

  • Believed women were inferior to men and should not speak in church

Contributions to Colonial Society

  • Served as Massachusetts governor (12 terms from 1631-1648)

  • Led colony as a theocratic tyrant

  • Member of Colony Council

  • Early 1630s helped colonists establish network of nearby towns, each having their own church

  • Worked to keep church and state together, opposing Roger Williams

  • Led counterattack against Anne Hutcherson, keeping Boston a Puritan town

  • Banished all opposition from the colony


Having citizenship demonstrates that one has a sense of responsibility and role to play in his/her society. Serving as governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony for 12 terms, Winthrop helped facilitate prosperity and maintain order. Additionally, he contributed to the colony’s economy by engaging in fur trade and establishing churches. His work as an individual greatly impacted the colony’s political structure and religious faith. As a governor, Winthrop led Massachusetts Bay with a strong hand, banishing all who threatened the purity of the colony. Additionally, Winthrop was a member of the Colony Council.

Integrity is the quality of being honest and sincere. Having integrity upholds the title of having righteous sense of morality. In 1636, Anne Hutchinson claimed that God spoke to her directly and gave her revelations. With good intentions, Hutchinson wanted to show the colonists that women could also preach. However, Winthrop was against women preaching and excommunicated her. His acts of self-righteousness and misinterpretation of predestination shows his lack of religious morality. However, there were times when Winthrop was very sincere and compassionate. With a 29 year long relationship with his wife Margaret, they were know for writing romantic love letters to each other.

John Winthrop