The major difference between the paths taken by these two men was in the attitudes that they took with regard to white people.
Both of these men emphasized the need for Native Americans to return to their old ways. Both preached against things like alcohol and sexual misconduct. However, the two men differed with respect to their views on whites. Tenskwatawa thought that Indians should reject all white ways and even helped to promote violent conflict between Native Americans and whites. By contrast, Handsome Lake promoted something of a synthesis of Native American and Christian ideas and did not advocate any sort of violence against whites.