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Experiments with Utopia The town of Amana, Iowa operated as a communal society for 89 years. Most of the settlers were immigrants who had left Germany in and came to Iowa in As 19th century America grew larger, richer, and more diverse, it was also trying to achieve a culture that was distinct and not imitative of any in Europe.
At the same time, the thirst for individual improvement had local communities creating debating clubs, library societies, and literary associations for the purpose of sharing interesting and provocative ideas.
Maybe, people speculated, if any society were completely reorganized, it could be regenerated and, ultimately, perfected. Utopia, originally a Greek word for an imaginary place where everyone and everything is perfect, was sought in America through the creation of model communities within the greater society.
The Shakers believed in celibacy in and outside of wedlock, therefore Shaker children were usually orphans given to the church.
Most of the original utopias were created for religious purposes. One of the earliest was devised by George Rapp, a German zealot, who took followers to western Pennsylvania in Using shared funds to purchase land, the Rappites created a commune where they isolated themselves from others while waiting for the Revelation.
Because of their extreme views on sex and marriage, and their strict, literal interpretation of the Bible, they failed to spread goodwill or gain converts. More hospitable to their neighbors and able to attract about 6, members by the s, twenty successful Shaker communities flourished.
They followed the principles of simplicity, celibacy, common property, equal labor and reward espoused by their founder Mother Ann Lee. Courtesy of the Longman History Place Religious and Utopian communities dotted the countryside during the s.
The founders of Brook Farm tried to create a society of equality for its members.
Gradually, utopian communities came to reflect social perfectibility rather than religious purity. Robert Owen, for example, believed in economic and political equality.
Those principles, plus the absence of a particular religious creed, were the founding principles of his New Harmony, Indiana, cooperative that lasted for only two years before economic failure.
Charles Fourier, a French reformer and philosopher, set out the goal of social harmony through voluntary "phalanxes" that would be free of government interference and ultimately arise, unite and become a universal perfect society.
Oneidans experimented with group marriage, communal child rearing, group discipline, and attempts to improve the genetic composition of their offspring. Self-reliance, optimism, individualism and a disregard for external authority and tradition characterized one of the most famous of all the American communal experiments.
Brook Farm, near Roxbury, Massachusetts, was founded to promote human culture and brotherly cooperation. It was supposed to bestow the highest benefits of intellectual, physical, and moral education to all its members.
However, Nathaniel Hawthorne, who wrote about his stay here in The Blithedale Romance, left this utopia disillusioned. Finally, it was romantic thinker and strict vegetarian Bronson Alcott, father of author Louisa May Alcott, who devoted himself to tilling the soil at Fruitlands from June to January in the hope that love, education, and mutual labor would bring him and his small following peace.
He was later ridiculed as "a man bent on saving the world by a return to acorns.Utopian communities aimed to perfect social relationships; reform the institutions of marriage and private property; and balance political, occupational, and religious influences.
Most utopian communities did not last beyond the early s, but one, the Oneida community in New York, survived from to A History of the Emergence of the Temperance Movement and the Utopian Communities as a Result of the Second Great Awakening PAGES 2.
WORDS View Full Essay. More essays like this: Not sure what I'd do without @Kibin - Alfredo Alvarez, student @ Miami University.
Exactly what I . Shifting goals in the temperance movement coincided with shifting leadership of the Second Great Awakening from conservative clergy to evangelical preachers. In , adherents to the cause founded the American Society for the Promotion of Temperance, its purpose being to urge people to sign a pledge of abstinence.
UTOPIAN COMMUNITIES. Although they date to the earliest days of U.S. history, Utopian communities, intentional communities created to perfect American society, had become institutionalized in American thought by the s.
Various groups, struggling under the pressures of urbanization and. Temperance Utopian communities The Second Great Awakening was a powerful religious revival that swept the nation during the mid s. While it was potent in every region of the country, it had a particular effect on three social areas of the North: abolitionism, temperance, and the development of utopian communities.
Explore the “perfectionist” and “utopian” quality of early American culture, as revealed in both the utopian communal experiments and philosophical movements like transcendentalism. Point out the involvement of many writers in reform movements and experiments like Brook Farm.