Millerite Movement in the Second Great Awakening of American History

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The Millerite Movement happened in the context of this nation’s Second Great Awakening: a religious revival that carried the country into reform movements. The Second Great Awakening had its start in Connecticut in the 1790s and grew to its height in the 1830s to 1840s.[1] During this time in the United States history, churches experienced a more complete freedom from governmental control which opened the doors of opportunity to a great spiritual awakening in the American people.[2] This awakening focused on areas of both religious and social issues of that era which were important to the religious movements and the nation as a whole. The Second Great Awakening was driven by these issues which included an increase in the evils associated with the recent rise of industry and a lack of the political ideals of freedom of choice. On the social front, the Second Great Awakening rose up to combat these matters and to promote temperance in lifestyle and more equality among people. The religious aspect emphasized the importance of the soon second coming and that everyone had a chance at salvation.

In order to evaluate the Millerite Movement, it is important to look at the general religious and social movements of the Second Great Awakening. Out of this period arose many new religions and the growth of other preexisting religions. Some of the prominent new religions included the Mormons, the Shakers, and the Millerite Movement which later evolved into Adventism. Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Baptists, and particularly the Methodists all saw immense growth in membership. Each of these groups had the following beliefs in common: the rejection of Calvinism and the soon second coming of Christ. Calvinists believed in predestination and this was the target of rejection by the Second Great Awakening. People were awakened to the notion that everyone had a chance to receive salvation and that it was not predetermined.[3] The Shakers and other more prominent...
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