One of the most glaring examples of a contradiction would be the hypocritical nature of the Puritans who settled the Massachusetts Bay colony. From a young age, American students are taught that they came here from England to find religious freedom and escape persecution for their beliefs. They were hated and persecuted in England, it is true; they were considered extremists and their notion to "purify" the church of all remaining Catholic influence earned them more than a few enemies. However much they sought freedom, however, their Massachusetts colony was a bastion of intolerance and fear--fear of God, fear of Satan, fear of going to hell, fear of witchcraft, fear of anyone challenging the established ideals. Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson are probably the most well-known, but certainly not the only Puritan dissidents. About 150 years later, another one of America's more interesting contradictions occurred when Thomas Jefferson, a slaveowner, penned the words "We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal." Although historians acknowledge that none of the Founding Fathers would have construed that phrase to include all Americans at the time it was written, the glaring inconsistency cannot be ignored. A more accurate, but less poetic line might have been, "We hold these truths to be self-evident that all educated, fairly affluent white men are created equal." In the years since, laws and amendments have extended America's promise of equality to blacks, women, the disabled, etc, but these rights were dearly won, and many would say that our nation still yet doesn't truly believe that we are all created equal.