Two Views of Religious Liberty: Winthrop and Williams


Your students probably know that many Europeans colonists came to the New World for “religious liberty.” But what did that term mean to various groups of settlers in the 17th Century? For Puritans like those who settled Massachusetts Bay, religious liberty meant the freedom to establish religious communities and exclude those who did not share their beliefs. By contrast, the colonists of Rhode Island understood religious liberty to mean freedom of belief for all.

This month’s The Constitution and Religious Freedom eLesson provides you with two Flash-based interactives for you and your students to test your knowledge of the Massachusetts Bay and Rhode Island colonies. Both histories are important to understanding the American experiment in Religious Liberty.

How to use this Lesson

Use these free, flash-based interactives as a supplemental exercise for Lesson One from Religious Liberty: The American Experiment. Depending on your students’ access to technology, you could:

  • Use a projector or SMART Board to complete them as a large group
  • Have students work in pairs to complete the activities
  • Assign them as an optional homework

Interactive Learning Games