New Harmony

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New Harmony,

town (1990 pop. 846), Posey co., SW Ind., on the Wabash River; founded 1814 by the Harmony SocietyHarmony Society,
religious society founded by German Separatists under the leadership of George Rapp. The Harmonists (or Rappites) held property in common and subscribed to the austere doctrines of their leader, including that of celibacy.
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 under George Rapp. In 1825 the Harmonists sold their holdings to Robert OwenOwen, Robert,
1771–1858, British social reformer and socialist, pioneer in the cooperative movement. The son of a saddler, he had little formal education but was a zealous reader.
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 and moved to Economy, Pa., where their sect survived into the early 1900s. Owen established a communistic colony in New Harmony that gained prominence as a cultural and scientific center and attracted many noted scientists, educators, and writers. Dissension arose, and in 1828 the community ceased to exist as a distinct enterprise, although the town remained an intellectual center. The nation's first kindergarten, first free public school, first free library, and first school with equal education for boys and girls were all established there. Some 25 Rappite buildings remain in New Harmony.

Bibliography

See studies by K. J. Arndt (rev. ed. 1972) and W. E. Wilson, (1984).

New Harmony

 

a community established in Indiana, USA, in 1825 by the English Utopian socialist Robert Owen, according to whose plan it was to become a “communistic colony.” The experiment, which was based on the Utopian idea of the peaceful evolutionary transformation of capitalistic society, was a failure. The community dissolved in 1828. Other Owenistic communes, which had sprung up in 1826–27 in New York, Ohio, and Indiana, also ceased to exist.

New Harmony

cooperative colony founded by Robert Owen in Indiana (1825). [Am. Hist.: EB, X: 315]
See: Utopia

New Harmony

a village in SW Indiana, on the Wabash River: scene of two experimental cooperative communities, the first founded in 1815 by George Rapp, a German religious leader, and the second by Robert Owen in 1825
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