Document interpretation assignment #1: John Winthrop, “General Observations and Model of Christian
Charity” (Documents pp. 23-26)
Purposes of the Assignment:
The purposes of this assignment are to examine a document that
constitutes a primary historical source, for the student to interpret that document in an essay,
and to give the student an opportunity to further develop writing and reading comprehension
Answer the following questions:
1) What were Winthrop’s motivations for founding the Massachusetts Bay colony? How did his
motivations reflect his Calvinist beliefs?
2) What was Winthrop’s political and religious vision for the new colony? How should it
function, and on what terms? How should Winthrop’s vision for the new colony as a “Citty vpon
a Hill” be interpreted? What did Winthrop mean by that?
3) Do Winthrop’s motivations and goals for the colony support or contradict traditional
explanations of religious persecution and religious freedom? Explain how and why
Requirements: The analysis will be graded on how accurately the student has interpreted the document, how well and thoroughly each student responds to the assignment questions, the clarity and organization of their essay, the appropriate use of writing mechanics and grammar, and their ability to properly accomplish the assignment.The use of outside sources, that are not included with assigned course material, is strictly prohibited. Citation is not specifically required for material drawn from course content, but if the student chooses to employ citations, please use Turabian format with either footnotes or end notes