2011 AP US PP - Utopian Societies 1800 - 1850 Presentation Transcript
Utopian Societies By: Kelly Morris and Lauren Sandy
What is an Utopian Society?
An utopian society is a society with a visionary system of political or social perfection.
The word utopia comes from the Greek that combines the meanings of “a good place” and “no such place.” 2, 3
Where do utopias come from?
Utopian societies began in the ancient world because of legends of perfect societies and the human desire to create perfection in a civilization.
We can trace the utopian roots back to the Protestant Reformation, Christian communities, Saint Benedict of Nursia, Martin Luther, and leaders of the such. 1
The Shakers were known as the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Coming.
Ann Lee was a significant leader in laying the foundation in 1774, when she and some followers arrived in America. To our distress, Ann Lee died in 1784. But luckily, the society thrived due to the 6,000 followers Ann Lee left behind.
Their lifestyle included a ritual which involved dancing and shaking, for which they are known. It also included communal living, productive labor, celibacy, pacifism, and equality of the sexes. 1
They were majorly involved in reform movements such feminism and abolitionism.
They work changed from agriculture to handmade products.
The community at Enfield climaxed in the 1830s-1860s.
There are four National Historic Landmarks (former Shaker villages) in Kentucky, New Hampshire, New York, and Maine. 1
The Brook Farm Community
The theories of transcendentalism began and Europe, but were brought to America.
Transcendentalism took root, creating a Renaissance period in New England from 1830-1845.
Many people wanted to put their theories into practice, thereby creating the Brook Farm Institute of Agriculture and Education.
West Roxbury, Massachusetts was the site of establishment, where transcendental ideas flourished on 200 acres of land from 1841-1847. 1
The Brook Farm Community
The community was run by George Ripley, who was a Unitarian minister and literary critic for the New York Tribune. There were many other leaders such as Emerson, Hawthorne, and Sophia Dana Ripley.
Farmers as well as intellectuals, shoe makers, carpenters, and printers were drawn to this community.
The community was self-sufficient, with an infant school, primary school, and college preparatory course. 1
The Brook Farm Community
In 1847, the community was terminated due to a fire disaster in 1846, financial troubles, and Hawthorne’s suit to recover his investment from Ripley and Dana.
The site of Brook Farm is now a National Historic Landmark.
Beginning with 15 members, the entire community never consisted of more that 120 members at one time. 1
Bronson Alcott and Charles Lane founded Fruitlands Commune, in Harvard, Massachusetts. Previously, they had visited Brook Farm and found it too worldly.
The members were never to eat meat or use any animal products or animal labor. The plants they planted were to immediately grow up out of the ground so as not to disturb the worms and other organisms in the ground. 4
Members viewed manual labor as an obstruction to their spiritual life, therefore they avoided it. This created a problem of providing food, leaving members malnourished thereby driving members away from the community.
The community collapsed in January of 1844. 4
The founder of Oneida, John Humphrey Noyes, believed that there was sweetness in human nature, and that it was possible to have a perfect Christian community.
His principles were based off of unselfishness and included ‘complex marriage.’
Noyles believed that emotional and physical relationships should not be exclusive because they caused jealousy, quarreling, and altercations. The idea of complex marriage was that the community should be free to love one another, and marriage should not be monogamous. 1, 3
When the steel trap was invented, the manufacturing of the trap and other products ensured the stability of the Oneida economy.
Sharing equality in all community tasks, there were about 300 men and women.
Everyone in the community lived in one mansion, which had heating, a central dining hall, and well-stocked library.
At the age of 3, the children were removed from their parental care and placed into the community children’s home. At 13 or 14 they got jobs. 1, 3
Due to tourists and frightful neighbors, the Oneida community gave up complex marriages in 1839.
In 1888, they gave up communism and began manufacturing silverware when they became a joint-stock company. By the 1990s, they were making half a billion dollars a year manufacturing stainless steel tableware.
The Mansion House still stands in New York, but is now a museum.
What was supposed to be Noyles religious vision, became a mighty capitalistic corporation. 1, 3
1. The Amana Colonies Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Utopias in America.” The Amana Colonies. 13 June 2011. <http://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/amana/utopia.htm> (30 October 2011).