The Utopian Movement
ďAmerica itself can be seen as the biggest utopian experiment
of all--embodied in the credo of the Land of Opportunity is the promise that it
is always possible to reinvent one's relationship to society, work, and
- Utopia was written by Sir
Thomas More and first printed in 1516.
- Shakers Ė Came to America in
- Established several
colonies Ė the first in 1776 at Nikayuna near Albany, NY.
- Lived off of what they could grow and make.
- Had eighteen colonies at their peak, the last
of which didnít die off until 1960 in Hancock Village near
- Finally became extinct due to their emphasis
on celibacy (you canít survive if you donít reproduce.)
- Harmony Society Ė Founded
the Village of Harmony, Pa. In 1805.
- Moved to Indiana in 1814 and founded another
- Sold their holdings to Robert Owen in 1825 and
went back to Pennsylvania.
- Founded a third village called Economy.
- Lasted until 1906, and then died out due to
celibacy. (Apparently the Shakers didnít get the memo that too much
celibacy kills a clan.)
- New Harmony Ė†
Created by Robert Owen.
- Colony of Communistic living.
- Became well known as a cultural and scientific
center, and attracted many scientists, educators, and writers.
- Dissolved in 1828, but remained an
- Home of the nationís first kindergarden, first
free public school, first free library, and first school with equal
education for boys and girls.
- Brook Farm Ė Founded
by George Ripley, (A Unitarian Minister), in Roxbury, Mass. in 1841.
- Based on cooperative living. Each member was
to take part in manual labor to help make the group self-sufficient.
- Had an excellent educational system, however,
they were lousy farmers.
- Only lasted until 1847 due to their inability
to turn a profit, and the heavy losses they sustained after the burning of
the uncompleted central building. (They didnít have time to die out of
Other Utopian Books
Paineís Common Sense (1776).
Walden or Life in the Woods (1854).
Perkins Gilmanís Herland (1915).
Skinnerís Walden Two (1948).
Bradburyís Fahrenheit 451 (19530.
Thomas. Utopia. Mineola, NY. Dover: 1997.