communistic settlements

communistic settlements,

communities practicing common ownership of goods. Communistic settlements were known in ancient and medieval times, but the flowering of such groups occurred in the 19th cent. in the United States, where a number of German pietistic sects established such communities as the Amana Church SocietyAmana Church Society
, corporate name of a group of seven small villages in E central Iowa, clustered around the Iowa River NW of Iowa City; settled 1855 by members of the Ebenezer Society. The society originated in one of the Pietist religious groups of 17th-century Germany.
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, Iowa; Harmony, Pa. (see 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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); and ZoarZoar
, village, Tuscarawas co., E central Ohio, on the Tuscarawas River; founded 1817, inc. 1884. It was founded by a group of Separatists from S Germany who fled religious persecution and, under the leadership of Joseph Michael Bimeler, emigrated to America.
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, Ohio. Similar settlements were founded by the Shakers, Mormons, Mennonites, Dukhobors, and Jansenites. Unique religious settlements were the Oneida Community (see under OneidaOneida
, city (1990 pop. 10,850), Madison co., central N.Y.; inc. 1901. Tableware was long the best-known product, and some is still manufactured in neighboring Sherrill, N.Y. Machine parts and food and dairy processing are among Oneida's industries.
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, N.Y.); Hopedale, Mass.; and the Brotherhood of the New Life, N.Y. (see Harris, Thomas LakeHarris, Thomas Lake,
1823–1906, American Christian mystic. Born in England, he was brought to the United States as a child. In 1845 he was called to the pulpit of the Fourth Universalist Society, in New York City, but three years later, deeply impressed by spiritualism,
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). Other communities were non-Christian, often antireligious and utopian. The leading communities within this group were of two types, those founded by the followers of 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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 (including New HarmonyNew Harmony,
town (1990 pop. 846), Posey co., SW Ind., on the Wabash River; founded 1814 by the Harmony Society under George Rapp. In 1825 the Harmonists sold their holdings to Robert Owen and moved to Economy, Pa., where their sect survived into the early 1900s.
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, Ind., and Nashoba, Tenn.) and the numerous ones (notably Brook FarmBrook Farm,
1841–47, an experimental farm at West Roxbury, Mass., based on cooperative living. Founded by George Ripley, a Unitarian minister, the farm was initially financed by a joint-stock company with 24 shares of stock at $500 per share.
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, Mass.) formed on the principles of Charles FourierFourier, Charles
, 1772–1837, French social philosopher. From a bourgeois family, he condemned existing institutions and evolved a kind of utopian socialism. In Théorie des quatre mouvements
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. Belonging to neither of these groups were the Icarian settlements, led by Étienne CabetCabet, Etienne
, 1788–1856, French utopian socialist. He was elected to the chamber of deputies in 1831, but his bitter attacks on the government resulted in his conviction for treason.
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, and the anarchistic villages of Josiah WarrenWarren, Josiah,
1798–1874, American reformer and anarchist, b. Boston. An early follower of Robert Owen, he soon rejected Owen's political socialism, advocating instead anarchy based on "the sovereignty of the individual.
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. The religious groups, unified by strong faith and authority, tended to prosper and outlive the secular groups; the latter, however, often attracted brilliant and original personalities and provided a ferment of new thought. Among the most successful attempts since the 19th cent. at setting up such colonies have been in Israel, where a number of agricultural collectives (see collective farmcollective farm,
an agricultural production unit including a number of farm households or villages working together under state control. The description of the collective farm has varied with time and place.
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) have been established. Utopian or utopian-influenced movements that arose later in the United States include the cooperatives of the New DealNew Deal,
in U.S. history, term for the domestic reform program of the administration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt; it was first used by Roosevelt in his speech accepting the Democratic party nomination for President in 1932.
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 period and the communes and coops of the 1960s.


See R. M. Kanter, Commitment and Community (1972); B. M. Berger, The Survival of a Counterculture (1981); P. Yeo, The Work of a Co-operative Community (1988); F. Jamison and S. Zizek, An American Utopia: Dual Power and the Universal Army (2016); C. Jannings, Paradise Now: The Story of American Utopianism (2016); E. Reece, Utopia Drive: A Road Trip through America's Most Radical Idea (2016).

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