Internal Revolutions

A. Glenn Crothers

in Quakers Living in the Lion's Mouth

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780813039732
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813043142 | DOI:
Internal Revolutions

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This chapter examines the causes and ramifications of the 1827–1828 Hicksite-Orthodox split among Friends, arguing that theological and personality differences sparked the divide. In the 1820s, Orthodox Friends, influenced by evangelical Protestantism, found the theological liberalism of many Quakers increasingly unacceptable. When they tried to impose theological orthodoxy on the Society, they triggered a separation within most of the American yearly meetings. In the Baltimore Yearly Meeting, to which northern Virginia Friends belonged, Hicksites predominated, lessening conflict. But the split undermined local Friends' morale and diverted the energies of Quaker leaders away from the Society's social concerns (including antislavery) as they tried to avoid further internal conflict and seek reconciliation with moderate Orthodox Friends. At the same time, the split enabled the region's women Friends to take on new leadership roles and responsibilities.

Keywords: Quakers; Society of Friends; Evangelicalism; Religious dissenters; Elias Hicks; Edward Hicks; Hicksite Friends (Hicksites); Orthodox Friends; Western migration

Chapter.  13469 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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