Evangelical activism was an important doctrinal shift away from the predominately Calvinist orientation of eighteenth-century American Christianity. Nineteenth-century evangelicals like Charles Finney, Lyman Beecher, or Francis Asbury preached on the duty and ability of sinners to repent and desist from sin.
The basis of nineteenth-century evangelicalism was the experience of conversion or rebirth, which lead to a great spiritual outpouring called the Second Great Awakening. Much preaching was done through camp meetings where hundreds would gather in a wilderness encampment for revival and conversions of sinners.
Many members of other faiths—Jews and Catholics and Muslims—arrived in the successive waves of massive immigration to the United States between the 1840s and 1920s. By 1906, Catholics consisted of seventeen percent of the population of the United States.