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The Trial of Anne Hutchinson: Liberty, Law,
and Intolerance in Puritan New England

by Michael P. Winship and Mark C. Carnes

Portions of this page are still under construction, pending more details from the Game Authors. Reacting Consortium Members can download game materials below.

Troublesome dissent in Puritan New England

The Trial of Anne Hutchinson recreates one of the most tumultuous and significant episodes in early American history: the struggle between the followers and allies of John Winthrop, Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and those of Anne Hutchinson, a strong-willed and brilliant religious dissenter. The controversy pushed Massachusetts to the brink of collapse and spurred a significant exodus. The puritans who founded Massachusetts were poised between the Middle Ages and the modern world, and in many ways, they helped to bring the modern world into being. The Trial of Anne Hutchinson plunges participants into a religious world that will be unfamiliar to many of them. Yet the puritans’ passionate struggles over how far they could tolerate a diversity of religious opinions in a colony committed to religious unity were part of a larger historical process that led to religious freedom and the modern concept of separation of church and state. Their vehement commitment to their liberties and fears about the many threats these faced were passed down to the American Revolution and beyond.



American History, Religion

17th Century; Early Modern Period

In a Few Words

United States of America

Themes and Issues  

Player Interactions 

Sample Class Titles

Published Level 5 game (what's that mean?


Chaos and Demand on Instructor 

Primary Source Highlights

Notable Roles

Using the Game

Class Size and Scalability 
This game is recommended for classes with 11-19+ students.

Class Time  
For this game, 3 setup sessions and 6 game sessions are recommended.

Possible Reacting Game Pairings
This game can be used on its own, or with other games. These pairings are meant to be illustrative rather than exhaustive or prescriptive. The Trial of Anne Hutchinson may pair well with:



Confirmed instructors who are not yet members can access basic instructor materials. Reacting Consortium members can access all downloadable materials (including expanded and updated materials) below. You will be asked to sign in before downloading. 


Students need a Gamebook, which includes directions, resources, and historical content. The Anne Hutchinson Gamebook is published by UNC Press.

 Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-7078-2
Ebook ISBN: 

Published July 2022

 Available wherever books are sold.

Role Sheets and Add'l Materials

Students also need a Role Sheet, which contains biographical information, role-specific resources or assignments, and their character's secret victory objectives. 

.zip file of .pdf files.

.zip file of .pdf files.

.zip file of .docx files.

Instructor's Manual

The Instructor's Manual includes guidance for assigning roles, presenting historical context, assignments, activities and discussion topics, and more.   

Second edition. Updated 2005. .docx file.


Michael P. Winship

Michael P. Winship is E. Merton Coulter Professor of History at the University of Georgia. Winship is the author of the highly acclaimed Making Heretics: Militant Protestantism and Free Grace in Massachusetts, 1636–1641, the definitive study of Hutchinson and the controversies around her, as well as a briefer version of the episode, The Times and Trials of Anne Hutchinson: Puritans Divided.

Mark C. Carnes

Mark C. Carnes is professor of history at Barnard College and creator of Reacting to the Past. He is the author of many books in American history and general editor of the 26-volume American National Biography, published by the ACLS and Oxford University Press.

Reacting and Related Titles


Members can contact game authors directly

We invite instructors join our Facebook Faculty Lounge, where you'll find a wonderful community eager to help and answer questions. We also encourage you to submit your question for the forthcoming FAQ, and to check out our upcoming events


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