The Shaker Society Research Paper

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Alex Daniels Dr. Chris Hill English 112 17 March 2015 The Shaker Society When people first starting coming to America, it was thought to be the best place for the start of new utopian communities. Jacob Needleman, the author of The American Soul, Rediscovering the Wisdom of the Founders, stated in his book, “For many of the Founding Fathers, America was envisioned as a new land, a new community defined not only politically but also spiritually” (United States). The Shaking Quakers, commonly known as the Shakers, were just one of the many communities that tried to establish a new religious way of life. Ann Lee, later to be known as Mother Ann, was the founder of this group. Lee was born in Manchester, and was involved with a religious group…show more content…
Towards the end of the 18th century is when Mother Ann Lee brought the Shaker community to America (Success and Failure…). The Shaker religion originated from Protestantism (United States). Mother Ann preached all around upstate New York, and even some of New England. This lead to many people converting to the Shaker religion. She taught that sexual relations were the cause of all human pain, and she preached about celibacy. The idea of this practice came from the loss of all four of her children. The Millenial Laws were strictly followed by the Shaker people (Claeys 182-183). They had rules that ranged from cleanliness, work, and charity, to even the Fear of God. These rules were taught with references from the Bible. This belief system also stressed the confession wrong doing to elders (Wertkin 36-38). These Law’s were known as the Shaker code of behavior, and they were created to sustain the group’s individuality from the rest of the world (Claeys 183-185). The people of the community were taught to follow Christ throughout all of the changes that were happening throughout the rest of world (Wertkin 38). After Mother Lee died, Joseph Meachem was appointed to lead the Shaker community. Meachem appointed Lucy Wright to lead the Shaker sisters. This event conclusively proved that the Shakers were equal and there was…show more content…
The different way of how this religious group of people worshipped is how they got the name Shakers. Their uncommon way of worshipping sometimes disturbed the whole neighborhood (Stein 3-4). Religiousness was known as the ability to worship however they pleased (United States). The Shakers would shake, move, jerk their head so much that their facial expressions were not recognizable, and they would sometimes scream in a deranged way when ‘the Spirit’ moved them into worship. After a period of time, the congregation would turn into singing and dancing. There was not really a set time for the meetings to come to a close. They usually ended when the members of the congregation grew tired. These types of gatherings met three times a day (Stein 4). This religious community was one of the very few that was founded by a woman. This group welcomed people of all ethnicities (Morse XIX). They let almost anyone in that wanted to join since they practiced celibacy (The Shakers; FAQs). These people did not agree with war, and enjoyed creating unique pieces of handiwork. They confessed their sins to the elders of the community. The Shaker group grew famous all around globe. They were well known for their social and economic developments. There were not any poor or starving families, not any law violators, and since there was not

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