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American History - Utopian Movements - Essay Example

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Utopian movements Name: Institution: Abstract Utopian movements hoped to establish an ideal American society. The movements were either religious or secular. Most of the utopian movements emphasized on communal ownership of property and free love. Socialist and equality was evident in most of the utopian movements…
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American History - Utopian Movements
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Download file to see previous pages Several religious and secular Utopian communities arrived in America. Some of the communities include Shakers, Rappites, Oneida community and Brook Farm. According to utopian ideas, a perfect society would have communism. Some of the utopian communities include Mormons; it was established by Joseph Smith in 1830 (Halloway, 1961). Smith advanced the idea of polygamy as part of utopian society. The followers were later prosecuted and murdered. Another Utopian community was Oneida community that was located in New York. The community practiced communism and complex marriages. Every man and woman was free to have sex and accept criticism except Noyes. The society disintegrated when Noyes tried to pass leadership (Halloway, 1961). Another movement was the Shakers that settled in America in 1774. The emphasis was on vegetarianism thus they lived on by farming. The Shakers established eight colonies. They believed in communal ownership of property and religious confession of sins (Halloway, 1961). Members had to adopt children and homes were gender segregated consisting about ten individuals. The Shakers emphasized on celibacy thus the community ended since new members were not coming forth. The Shakers were later associated with most of reform movements like pacifism and abolitionist movements of 19th century. Another group was the New Harmony that was located in Indiana. The community believed in progressive education and community lifestyle. They advanced women equality but the society disintegrated later due to lack of strong central beliefs (Halloway, 1961). Another movement was the Fruitlands that lasted only for six months. It was founded in 1843 by Bronson Alcott. It followed a British reformist model since it forbade free ownership of property. It emphasized on free love and vegetarianism (Halloway, 1961). Children were not supposed to eat meat or use animal products like honey and wool. The movement also prohibited the use of animals for labor. In the farms, the community planted only the crops that grew out of soil so as not to disturb the living organisms under the soil like worms. Most of the members later felt manual labor as inhibiting. Malnourishment due to strict diet of grains made many members to leave. The movement later collapsed in 1844 (Halloway, 1961). Brook Farm was another utopian community based in Massachusetts in 1841, the community strongly advocated for women rights, abolition of slavery and labor rights. The community was based on a 200-acre farm with only four buildings. The community provided free education and residents had to complete 300 days of labor by farming, doing domestic chores and preparing recreational facilities. However, Ripley joined Fourierism movement thus youths had to do the dirty jobs like repairing roads and slaughtering animals. Most of the youths deserted. The community was also infected with smallpox and fire and later collapsed in 1847. Another utopian movement was Pullman’s capitalist utopia. It was founded in 1880s in the town of Pullman by George Pullman. According to Pullman, capitalist was essential in achieving both spiritual and material needs of the community. The employees would receive two paychecks, one for rent and the other for all material needs. There were rigid social classes since experienced employees and managers would live in tenements. Employee grievances and agitation for better pay increased forcing ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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