The Burned-Over District

The Burned-Over District, the Second Great Awakening (Arminius-based Revivalism) and Western New York from 1800-1850.A lot of what defined this period was the notion that Jesus would soon return for total and final judgment and that therefore society needed to be perfected soon. While this seems to ignore Jesus’ words that his kingdom was “not of this world,” it could partially be attributed to the Mayflower pilgrims and their “Shining City on a Hill” idea. Both movements saw their “shining” heyday and their decline.

Elements were religious, social and political:

  • A soaring of mainline church membership (mostly Methodist and [Ana]Baptist).
  • Mormonism: Joseph Smith, Jr., and the Latter Day Saints. (which reflected the hodgepodge of belief and practice of that time and place, including Masonry* [which has a natural penchant for hodgepodges / religious non-discernment]).
  • William Miller and the Millerites.
  • Ellen G. White and the Seventh-day Adventists.
  • The Fox Sisters of Hydesville, N.Y., the Spiritualists (featuring the first instance of channeled texts in “New-Agey” circles).
  • Influx of Shakers.
    • John Humphrey Noyes and the Oneida Society.
    • The Fourierist utopian socialist movement and the Skaneateles Community.
    • Influx of Hunter Patriots.
  • FEMINISM: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Seneca Falls Convention. (See also Susan B. Anthony.)
  • Charles Grandison Finney.
  • .The Restoration Movement (Christian primitivism).
  • Congregationalist missionary societies.
  • ABOLITIONISM. (See also Frederick Douglass.)
  • PROHIBITIONISM (“Temperance“).
  • Influx of Freemasonry.
  • William Morgan (missing) and the Anti-Masonic Party (first Third Party in the United States of America which held the first-ever presidential convention!).

* Like William Morgan, whom the Freemasons disappeared, Joseph Smith was gunned down by disgruntled Freemasons. Accounts say his body was too heavy for six strong men to carry until he was fully dead whereupon one man easily removed the corpse.


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