Though the Shaker religion thrived in America, it originated in Manchester, England. Eighteenth-century England was characterized by rapid change, both economically and spiritually. Groups with diverse spiritual beliefs challenged the authority of the Church of England. Repression and jailing of religious dissenters was common. Street preachers shared fantastic stories about economic opportunity and religious freedom in America. After risking hazardous sea journeys, these groups often encountered the same repression they had fled. The Shakers were no exception.

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