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Shaker's Influence On American Culture

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Much in the U.S.’s relatively short history has been influenced by various contributors to its cultural melting pot. Groups such as Native tribes, European settlements, and religious groups are just some of the communities that influenced the cultural landscape, particularly in the country’s early inception. Of the religious communities the Shakers are well known for their contributions to art, such as their drawings, music, and architecture.
The United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing, known as the Shakers because of their ecstatic dancing, are a Christian organization that broke off from the Quakers in the 18th century and fled England right before the start of the American Revolution in pursuit of freedom (PBS.org). Shaker
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Trees in Shaker art can be interpreted as their appreciation of God’s bountiful gifts to humanity through nature as well as a reference to the Garden of Eden. Cohoon’s 'The Tree of Life’ has since become one of the most recognizable examples of Shaker iconography.
Other hallmarks of the Shaker’s artistic style can be found in their architecture. Shaker life revolved around their ideals about the Christian religion and hard work. The design for their architecture similarly follows the ideals of efficiency and simplicity. Joseph Meacham created the rules for the placement of property in Shaker villages. He separated the Shaker’s into
‘families’ based on each individual’s spiritual development that he believed would establish

hierarchies between followers and provide specialized spaces for both temporal and spiritual activities (Pohl, 107). Many of the buildings were symmetrical had multiple stories and gambrel roofs. Often duel entrances were used to allow the separation of men and women in their daily activities. Despite these separations, founded in the Shaker practice of celibacy, their society preached equality between men and women. Rather than believing in the Holy Trinity like
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