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America and the Utopian Dream Essay

Icaria was founded by Etienne Cabet who moved to England in 1834. He wrote Voyage en Icarie, which copies More’s, Utopia. His ideas showed social progress of natural elite identified by equal education for both sexes, healthy physical environment, and implementing the golden rule (love your neighbor as you love yourself). In 1849 Cabet and his followers bought land from the Mormons in Nauvoo, Illinois. Children were taken for their parents when they turned four, and were moved to boarding school buildings, where they were taught to love the community and have no special affection for their parents.

Every adult had a job in a workshop or on the farm. The Icarians had no religion. Every year they elected a new president and four offices (finance, farming, industry, and education). The group began to split and the splinters moved west. “A truly second Promised Land, an Eden, an Elysium, a new Earthly Paradise. ” (“America and the Utopian Dream”) The Shakers are the essential utopian community to which all others are compared. The Shakers are the longest lived American utopian community. Many examples of influence in Shakers are shown in fashion, textiles, music, and furniture design.

In 1774 Ann Lee got visions from God showing a celibate life, and she brought her followers to America from Scotland. The Shakers are known for simplicity while their devotion is far from it. The Shaker life demands devotion to God, man, separation from others, simplicity of language, proper use of property, and a celibate life. In 1830 there were over 18 Shaker communities from Kentucky to Maine. “I saw a large tree, every leaf of which shown with such brightness as made it appear like a burning torch representing the Church of Christ which will yet be established in this land. ”


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