While reading Mrs. Quinet’s packets about utopian like societies and reforms I kept comparing these ideas to the reforms we learned about in APUSH, especially the Shakers’. I kept thinking about how these reforms such as communal property and polygamy didn’t work for these groups and how Dostoevsky knew they wouldn’t work for Fourier. I went back and found my notes to compare the utopias and thought you all would be interested in the other utopia experiments also.
1. Many “utopian” communities were based on the reform impulses of cooperation and collectivism.
a. The Shakers – Ann Lee.
i. First established in New York in 1787
ii. Religious imperative- refuge from sin of society
iii. Sexes spiritually equal
iv. Abandoned traditional family life (sister for each man)
v. No indiv. Property
vi. Marketed vegetables, made furniture, breed cattle for profit
b. The Mormons – Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. (Dictactorship)
i. Utah (1820’s)
ii. Book of Mormon
iii. Ancient Hebrews à Indians
iv. Absolute authority
v. Church and state together
vii. Had private property and accumulate wealth/ not collective
c. Oneida – John Humphrey Noyes; “eugenics.” (Collectivismà communism)
i. No traditional gender role- holy family of equals
ii. No private property
iii. “Book dating”
iv. can achieve moral perfection
v. community in Vermont
d. The New England transcendentalists at Brook Farm – Charles Fourier Nathaniel Hawthorne.
i. Manual and intellectual labor and intellectual labor exist harmoniously
ii. Communal living and working arrangements
iii. They have private property
iv. Daily timed schedules
e. The “Owenites” –
i. Robert Owen- british factory owner
ii. New Lanark: factory workers
iii. Provided housing and free public education
iv. “communitarianism”: workers receive full fruits of their labor
v. New Harmony
vi. The Crisis: people squabbled over constitution and property
f. The Josiah Warren “communitarians” – extreme individualism.