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1 Social Reforms, Transcendentalism and Utopian Communities.

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1 1 Social Reforms, Transcendentalism and Utopian Communities

2 2 Robert Owen: A Declaration of Mental Independence (July 4, 1826) Robert Owen was a British utopian thinker Widely regarded as the father of the Co-operative movement During the early industrial revolution, competitive free-enterprise capitalism prevailed Many workers were exploited Long hours and low pay Child labor Deplorable working conditions Owen purchased New Lanark Mills in Scotland Established model factory Paid fair wages Employed no child under age ten Free medical services Built affordable workers' housing Established schools Provided religious instruction and recreational facilities Many leading industrialists visited Owen’s factories and some even adopted parts of Owen’s system Owen moved to the US in 1824 and established collective farming at New Harmony, Indiana The farm covered over 20,000 acres Owen called for a revolution in Western thought Criticized fundamental principles Asked his followers to replace old ways of thinking with more enlightened views and practices Robert Owen

3 3 Robert Owen’s Vision of New Harmony

4 4 William Maclure: Letter to the New Harmony Gazette (May 17, 1826) Disputes arose concerning the structure of the community and about religion Disputes arose concerning the structure of the community and about religion These factors led to an abandonment of the communal principle after two years These factors led to an abandonment of the communal principle after two years Josiah Warren, a participant at the New Harmony Society, declared that the community was doomed to failure due to a lack of individual sovereignty and private property Josiah Warren, a participant at the New Harmony Society, declared that the community was doomed to failure due to a lack of individual sovereignty and private property "We had a world in miniature. --we had enacted the French revolution over again with despairing hearts instead of corpses as a result....It appeared that it was nature's own inherent law of diversity that had conquered us... our "united interests" were directly at war with the individualities of persons and circumstances and the instinct of self- preservation..." "We had a world in miniature. --we had enacted the French revolution over again with despairing hearts instead of corpses as a result....It appeared that it was nature's own inherent law of diversity that had conquered us... our "united interests" were directly at war with the individualities of persons and circumstances and the instinct of self- preservation..." In a letter to the people of New Harmony, William Maclure, a leader in the community, discussed the problem of some doing more work than others, and the inability for some to feel themselves equal to those of a different class In a letter to the people of New Harmony, William Maclure, a leader in the community, discussed the problem of some doing more work than others, and the inability for some to feel themselves equal to those of a different class As a solution to these problems, the community was divided into sub-communities As a solution to these problems, the community was divided into sub-communities This division of the community foreshadowed the eventual failure of Owen's New Harmony project This division of the community foreshadowed the eventual failure of Owen's New Harmony project By 1828, Owen's ambitious experiment at New Harmony consumed almost four-fifths of his personal wealth and eventually it was abandoned By 1828, Owen's ambitious experiment at New Harmony consumed almost four-fifths of his personal wealth and eventually it was abandoned Owen returned to England in 1829 Owen returned to England in 1829 He persisted in his efforts to better the lives of the working poor He persisted in his efforts to better the lives of the working poor Left a lasting influence on the development of socialist thought Left a lasting influence on the development of socialist thought William Maclure

5 5 Bronson Alcott's Maxims on Education ( ) Amos Bronson Alcott: teacher and writer Associated with the Transcendentalist movement Attempted to embody his ideals In his schools he introduced art, music, nature study, field trips, and physical education into the curriculum, while banishing corporal punishment He encouraged children to ask questions and taught through dialogue and example Founded a Utopian community, Fruitlands, in Harvard, Massachusetts, which only lasted a short time Alcott's Journals display his wit and his unyielding optimism In , Alcott wrote General Maxims for teachers His maxims represent cautions and advice to teachers as to their role in and influence upon young minds in the classroom They display Alcott's love for and devotion to children, and his belief in the ability of children to think for themselves “…15. To teach, appreciating the value of the beings to whom instruction is given” “21. To teach, gradually and understandingly, by the shortest steps, from the more easy and known, to the more difficult and unknown” “26. To teach, by simple and plain unambiguous language” “37. To teach, endeavouring to make pupils feel their importance by the hope which mankind placed in their conduct” “52. To teach, pupils to teach themsleves” Alcott's most lasting contributions were in education Attempted many practices which today would be considered commonplace, but in his time were seen as dangerous Amos Bronson Alcott

6 6 Orestes Augustus Brownson: New Views of Christianity, Society, and the Church (1836) Orestes Augustus Brownson: philosopher, minister, essayist, and reviewer Orestes Augustus Brownson: philosopher, minister, essayist, and reviewer Became a prolific writer and commentator on social and religious questions Became a prolific writer and commentator on social and religious questions By age thirty, Brownson became a Universalist preacher and editor of the theological journal, Gospel Advocate By age thirty, Brownson became a Universalist preacher and editor of the theological journal, Gospel Advocate He published The Boston Quarterly and wrote his articles alongside such Transcendentalists as Margaret Fuller, Bronson Alcott, and George Ripley He published The Boston Quarterly and wrote his articles alongside such Transcendentalists as Margaret Fuller, Bronson Alcott, and George Ripley His articles were of a literary, philosophical and political nature His articles were of a literary, philosophical and political nature His articles also appeared in the Transcendentalist magazine, The Dial. His articles also appeared in the Transcendentalist magazine, The Dial. With other Transcendentalists he participated in the Brook Farm experiment With other Transcendentalists he participated in the Brook Farm experiment Unlike the Transcendentalists he thought that men were sinful Unlike the Transcendentalists he thought that men were sinful In 1836 he organized the Society for Christian Union and Progress and published New Views of Christianity, Society, and the Church. In 1836 he organized the Society for Christian Union and Progress and published New Views of Christianity, Society, and the Church. Brownson took exception to many tenets of the Christian faith, writing in 1840, that Christianity ought to be “abolished” Brownson took exception to many tenets of the Christian faith, writing in 1840, that Christianity ought to be “abolished” But, by 1844, Brownson reconsidered his brief aversion to Christianity But, by 1844, Brownson reconsidered his brief aversion to Christianity Brownson became conservative and adopted Catholicism Brownson became conservative and adopted Catholicism He then began criticizing socialism and utopianism He then began criticizing socialism and utopianism Many Transcendentalists were taken back by his conversion and began describing him as an "unbalanced mind” Many Transcendentalists were taken back by his conversion and began describing him as an "unbalanced mind” Brownson did not think that the major problems of the American experiment had to do with lack of liberty but with its abuse Brownson did not think that the major problems of the American experiment had to do with lack of liberty but with its abuse He was concerned with virtue above all He was concerned with virtue above all Brownson wrote in 1864, "If you would make a man happy, study not to augment his goods; but to diminish his wants“ Brownson wrote in 1864, "If you would make a man happy, study not to augment his goods; but to diminish his wants“ Orestes Augustus Brownson

7 7 Ralph Waldo Emerson “Man the Reformer” (January 25, 1841) Ralph Waldo Emerson was at the center of the American transcendental movement Ralph Waldo Emerson was at the center of the American transcendental movement The major American philosopher of the nineteenth century The major American philosopher of the nineteenth century In September 1835, Emerson founded the Transcendental Club with notables like Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, Elizabeth Hoar and Margaret Fuller In September 1835, Emerson founded the Transcendental Club with notables like Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, Elizabeth Hoar and Margaret Fuller In 1840, Emerson, Bronson Alcott, and George Ripley founded the magazine, The Dial, with Margaret Fuller editing In 1840, Emerson, Bronson Alcott, and George Ripley founded the magazine, The Dial, with Margaret Fuller editing The Dial became the leading mouthpiece for the transcendental movement The Dial became the leading mouthpiece for the transcendental movement Emerson, its editor for two years, began publishing his poems and essays in the magazine Emerson, its editor for two years, began publishing his poems and essays in the magazine By the 1840s, Emerson became recognized as the leader of the Transcendental movement By the 1840s, Emerson became recognized as the leader of the Transcendental movement In addition to his writings, Emerson made a living as a popular lecturer in New England In addition to his writings, Emerson made a living as a popular lecturer in New England Audiences were captivated by his speaking style Audiences were captivated by his speaking style Emphasized self-reliance and nonconformity, he championed authentic American literature, and insisted that each individual find their own relation to God Emphasized self-reliance and nonconformity, he championed authentic American literature, and insisted that each individual find their own relation to God “... man as a reformer... our life... is common and mean... yet... each person... has felt his own call to cast aside all evil customs... and to be in his place a free and helpful man, a reformer, a benefactor, not content to slip along through the world like a footman or a spy... but a brave and upright man, who must find or cut a straight road to everything excellent in the earth, and not only go honorably himself, but make it easier for all who follow him, to go in honor and with benefit” “... man as a reformer... our life... is common and mean... yet... each person... has felt his own call to cast aside all evil customs... and to be in his place a free and helpful man, a reformer, a benefactor, not content to slip along through the world like a footman or a spy... but a brave and upright man, who must find or cut a straight road to everything excellent in the earth, and not only go honorably himself, but make it easier for all who follow him, to go in honor and with benefit” Emerson Lecturing

8 8 Ralph Waldo Emerson “The Transcendentalist” (January 1842) Emerson developed a distinctly American strand of philosophy that emphasized optimism, individuality, and mysticism Although he never read Immanuel Kant, the great German Transcendental philosopher, his work is reflective German idealism Emerson’s Transcendentalism also resembled British Romanticism in his belief that a fundamental continuity exists between man, nature, and God, or the divine In religious matters, Emerson rejected the belief in a personal God and developed non-traditional ideas of soul and God He asserted in the essential unity of all thoughts, persons, and things in the divine whole For Emerson, traditional values of right and wrong, good and evil, appear in his work as necessary opposites He asserted that, in the individual, all truth can be discovered He emphasized individualism and each person's quest to break free from the trappings of the world of the senses in order to discover the godliness of the inner Self He also stressed self-reliance and independence and his emphasis on non- conformity profoundly effected Henry David Thoreau Nature was also essential to Transcendentalism According to Emerson, what is beyond nature is revealed through nature; nature is itself a symbol, or an indication of a deeper reality “The Transcendentalist adopts the whole connection of spiritual doctrine. He believes in miracle, in the perpetual openness of the human mind to new influx of light and power; he believes in inspiration, and in ecstasy... the spiritual measure of inspiration is the depth of the thought... so he resists all attempts to palm other rules and measures on the spirit than its own” Ralph Waldo Emerson Immanuel Kant

9 9 Margaret Fuller “The Great Lawsuit: Man vs. Men. Woman vs. Women” (July 1843) Margaret Fuller holds a distinctive place in the cultural life of the American Renaissance Margaret Fuller holds a distinctive place in the cultural life of the American Renaissance She was a transcendentalist, literary critic, editor, journalist, teacher, and political activist, ultimately turned revolutionary She was a transcendentalist, literary critic, editor, journalist, teacher, and political activist, ultimately turned revolutionary Fuller became increasingly linked to the Transcendentalist movement and befriended most of the leading intellectuals of Boston and Concord, most notably Emerson Fuller became increasingly linked to the Transcendentalist movement and befriended most of the leading intellectuals of Boston and Concord, most notably Emerson From 1840 to 1842, she served with Emerson as editor of The Dial From 1840 to 1842, she served with Emerson as editor of The Dial Published in 1843, Fuller’s essay "The Great Lawsuit. Man versus Men, Woman versus Women" made a compelling case for women's equality Published in 1843, Fuller’s essay "The Great Lawsuit. Man versus Men, Woman versus Women" made a compelling case for women's equality “... If the negro be a soul, if the woman be a soul, apparelled in flesh, to one master only are they accountable. There is but one law for all souls, and, if there is to be an interpreter of it, he comes not as man, or son of man, but as Son of God” “... If the negro be a soul, if the woman be a soul, apparelled in flesh, to one master only are they accountable. There is but one law for all souls, and, if there is to be an interpreter of it, he comes not as man, or son of man, but as Son of God” In 1844, Fuller became a book review editor for the New York Tribune In 1844, Fuller became a book review editor for the New York Tribune In 1845 she expanded her Dial essay and published Woman in the Nineteenth Century, which became a classic of feminist thought In 1845 she expanded her Dial essay and published Woman in the Nineteenth Century, which became a classic of feminist thought In 1846, Fuller became a foreign correspondent for the Tribune and traveled to Europe In 1846, Fuller became a foreign correspondent for the Tribune and traveled to Europe There, she met many well-known European writers and intellectuals There, she met many well-known European writers and intellectuals In Italy, she became involved with revolutionaries and decided not to return to America for a while In Italy, she became involved with revolutionaries and decided not to return to America for a while She fell in love with Marchese Giovanni Angelo d'Ossoli, a much younger man of the petty nobility and a fellow revolutionary She fell in love with Marchese Giovanni Angelo d'Ossoli, a much younger man of the petty nobility and a fellow revolutionary She participated in the Revolution of 1848 She participated in the Revolution of 1848 After the revolt was suppressed by conservative forces, she, Ossoli and their son decided to return to America in May of 1850 After the revolt was suppressed by conservative forces, she, Ossoli and their son decided to return to America in May of 1850 Tragically, the ship they were traveling on struck a sandbar and slowly sank just off Fire Island New York Tragically, the ship they were traveling on struck a sandbar and slowly sank just off Fire Island New York Fuller, Ossoli, and their son drowned Fuller, Ossoli, and their son drowned Margaret Fuller

10 10 Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “The Tragic” (1844) In this essay Emerson outlines the tragic elements of human life According to Emerson, people should accept the fact that life contains pain, disappointment and frustration Yet it is possible to obtain happiness despite life’s tragic moments For Emerson, the development of personal conscience yields perspective and ultimately personal contentment “He has seen but half the universe who never has been shown the House of Pain. As the salt sea covers more than two thirds of the surface of the globe, so sorrow encroaches in man on felicity... the prevalent hue of things to the eye of leisure is melancholy... Melancholy cleaves to the English mind in both hemispheres... no theory of life can have any right, which leaves out of account the values of vice, pain, disease, poverty, insecurity, disunion, fear, and death.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

11 11 John Humphrey Noyes: “Bible Communism” (February 1849) At Yale, Noyes discovered the idea of Perfectionism At Yale, Noyes discovered the idea of Perfectionism The idea was that it was possible to be free oneself of sin and achieve spiritual perfection The idea was that it was possible to be free oneself of sin and achieve spiritual perfection In 1834, he declared himself Perfect and free from sin which outraged others and his license to preach was revoked In 1834, he declared himself Perfect and free from sin which outraged others and his license to preach was revoked He believed that the Second Coming was near and the Kingdom of Heaven could be created on earth He believed that the Second Coming was near and the Kingdom of Heaven could be created on earth He continued to preach in Putney, Vermont and organized a community of followers He continued to preach in Putney, Vermont and organized a community of followers Noyes further studied the ideas of complex marriage, male continence and striving for Perfection Noyes further studied the ideas of complex marriage, male continence and striving for Perfection In 1847, Noyes was arrested for adultery In 1847, Noyes was arrested for adultery After several supporters were also arrested, Noyes left Vermont for Oneida, New York After several supporters were also arrested, Noyes left Vermont for Oneida, New York The Oneida Community would survive until 1879 and grow to a membership of over 300 The Oneida Community would survive until 1879 and grow to a membership of over 300 In order to support itself, the Community had many successful industries In order to support itself, the Community had many successful industries They manufactured animal traps and silk thread, and raised and canned fruits and vegetables. They manufactured animal traps and silk thread, and raised and canned fruits and vegetables. The Oneida Perfectionists believed in a special covenant with God, that the individual was to be sublimated to the community as a whole, and that an authoritarian figure should govern the community’s interests The Oneida Perfectionists believed in a special covenant with God, that the individual was to be sublimated to the community as a whole, and that an authoritarian figure should govern the community’s interests In his essay “Bible Communism,” Noyes outlined the most important aspects of his religious philosophy In his essay “Bible Communism,” Noyes outlined the most important aspects of his religious philosophy All members were equal and the economy of the community must be communist All members were equal and the economy of the community must be communist The most famous rule was based on Christ's teaching that there would be no marriage in Heaven The most famous rule was based on Christ's teaching that there would be no marriage in Heaven Therefore, Noyes asserted that on earth all men were married to all women, and that the men and women in the community should be sexually intimate with a variety of partners Therefore, Noyes asserted that on earth all men were married to all women, and that the men and women in the community should be sexually intimate with a variety of partners In June 1879, Noyes faced arrest for statutory rape and fled to Canada In June 1879, Noyes faced arrest for statutory rape and fled to Canada John Humphrey Noyes

12 12 The Oneida Community (1878)

13 13 The Brook Farm Experiment ( ) The Brook Farm was located on a 200-acre dairy farm in Roxbury, Massachusetts, 9 miles outside of Boston Founded as a transcendentalist Utopian experiment by George Ripley It was conceived as an agrarian and pastoral utopia and was organized along the ideas of Charles Fourier, a French socialist thinker who argued that a utopian society could be created in which people would jointly share in the development of the whole community Accordingly, the project was financed by a joint-stock company with 24 shares of stock at $500 per share and each member was to participate in the manual labor in an attempt to make the group self-sufficient The economy of the farm was based primarily on agriculture The Brook Farm experienced a intellectually stimulating atmosphere in which such luminaries as Nathaniel Hawthorne, John S. Dwight, Charles A. Dana, and Isaac Hecker resided and giants as Ralph Waldo Emerson, W. E. Channing, Margaret Fuller, Horace Greeley, and Orestes Brownson visited frequently Despite enthusiasm for the project, however, the Brook Farm imploded due to financial stress after only six years of operation

14 14 Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Criticism of Socialism from his “Lectures Historic Notes of Life and Letters in New England” At the beginning of the 19th century, American intellectuals came under the sway of European socialist thinkers In particular the ideas of the French utopian socialist thinker, Charles Fourier who advocated the extension of women’s rights and the adoption of workers’ cooperatives Also, the British industrialist Robert Owen Both were considered by many Americans to offer a better method for organizing society However, Emerson took exception to what he considered the rigidity of socialist thought Although he admired both Fourier and Owen for the novelty of their thought, he nevertheless considered socialism impractical Above all, he saw the greatest danger of socialism in its inherent stifling of individuality Charles Fourier Robert Owen

15 15 Henry David Thoreau “Civil Disobedience” (1849) Henry David Thoreau was one of the best known transcendentalist thinkers of his age Henry David Thoreau was one of the best known transcendentalist thinkers of his age Perceiving little difference between his writing and his life, Thoreau was also an extremely complex literary figure of many talents who turned to nature in a life-long quest for ultimate Truth Perceiving little difference between his writing and his life, Thoreau was also an extremely complex literary figure of many talents who turned to nature in a life-long quest for ultimate Truth He met Ralph Waldo Emerson, who became a patron and advisor to him and who introduced him to the leading transcendental thinkers of the day He met Ralph Waldo Emerson, who became a patron and advisor to him and who introduced him to the leading transcendental thinkers of the day Through Emerson, Thoreau contributed essays and poems to The Dial Through Emerson, Thoreau contributed essays and poems to The Dial Although he could never make a living from his writings, Thoreau’s work now comprises over 20 volumes Although he could never make a living from his writings, Thoreau’s work now comprises over 20 volumes His writing is rich and complex and intended to nudge readers to reconsider the beliefs that make up their lives His writing is rich and complex and intended to nudge readers to reconsider the beliefs that make up their lives Politically, Thoreau was a lifelong abolitionist Politically, Thoreau was a lifelong abolitionist He opposed the U.S government’s war against Mexico, which he believed was merely a ruse to extend slavery He opposed the U.S government’s war against Mexico, which he believed was merely a ruse to extend slavery In 1846, Thoreau was imprisoned after he refused to pay taxes in protest against the Mexican War In 1846, Thoreau was imprisoned after he refused to pay taxes in protest against the Mexican War Consequently, he wrote “Civil Disobedience” where he justified nonviolent resistance to the government out of moral principles Consequently, he wrote “Civil Disobedience” where he justified nonviolent resistance to the government out of moral principles For him, morality was more important than society’s laws at any given time and political institutions should be considered with skepticism For him, morality was more important than society’s laws at any given time and political institutions should be considered with skepticism

16 16 Henry David Thoreau: Walden (1854) From , Thoreau embarked on a two-year experiment in simple living by living in an isolated log cabin on land owned by Emerson From , Thoreau embarked on a two-year experiment in simple living by living in an isolated log cabin on land owned by Emerson His intent was to isolate himself from society in order to reexamine its values and practices and his role within it His intent was to isolate himself from society in order to reexamine its values and practices and his role within it While at Walden, Thoreau did an incredible amount of reading and writing, yet he also spent much time "sauntering" in nature While at Walden, Thoreau did an incredible amount of reading and writing, yet he also spent much time "sauntering" in nature Thoreau lived a life of simplicity at Walden Thoreau lived a life of simplicity at Walden He supported himself through his own labors, and widely read the classics of world literature He supported himself through his own labors, and widely read the classics of world literature In 1854, Thoreau published an account of this period entitled “Walden,” which became one of the great classics of American literature; indeed of world literature In 1854, Thoreau published an account of this period entitled “Walden,” which became one of the great classics of American literature; indeed of world literature It offers a social critique of the West with its emphasis on consumerism and its widespread destruction of the natural environment It offers a social critique of the West with its emphasis on consumerism and its widespread destruction of the natural environment The book invites one to the examine one’s life and to the realization of one's potential The book invites one to the examine one’s life and to the realization of one's potential Walden Pond A Modern Replica of Thoreau’s Walden Cabin Henry David Thoreau

17 17 Multimedia Citation Slide 1: Slide 2: Slide 2: Slide 3: Slide 3: Slide 4: ANS.jpg Slide 4: ANS.jpghttp://www.lewis-clark.org/media/NewImages/OSAGEORANGE/port_WmMaclure- ANS.jpghttp://www.lewis-clark.org/media/NewImages/OSAGEORANGE/port_WmMaclure- ANS.jpg Slide 5: Amos_Bronson_Alcott.jpg Slide 5: Amos_Bronson_Alcott.jpghttp://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/0/0d/Amos_Bronson_Alcott.jpg/200px- Amos_Bronson_Alcott.jpghttp://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/0/0d/Amos_Bronson_Alcott.jpg/200px- Amos_Bronson_Alcott.jpg Slide 6: Slide 6: Slide 7: Slide 7: Slide 8: Slide 8: Slide 9: Slide 9: Slide 10: Slide 10: Slide 11: Slide 11: Slide 12: Slide 12: Slide 13: Slide 13: Slide 14: Slide 14: Slide 15: Slide 15: Slide 16: Henry_David_Thoreau.jpg Slide 16: Henry_David_Thoreau.jpg Henry_David_Thoreau.jpg Henry_David_Thoreau.jpg


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