Utopian Societies in America

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Utopian Societies in America
Utopian societies while not abundant were far from rare in the nineteenth century. One such version of utopianism, Fourierism, attracted at some point numbers in the range of 100,000 members during the 1840’s alone. Nathaniel Hawthorne: A Letter from Brook Farm is just one of many primary documents preserving firsthand accounts of life in these communities. There are enough primary sources in enough detail such that Sterling F. Delano was able to create a secondary source, providing some evaluation and analysis in what has been referred to as a standard for a starting point when researching these societies in the book Brook Farm: The Dark Side of Utopia. Brook Farm was actually far from singular as a utopia experiment. In The Americanization of Utopia: Fourierism and the Dilemmma of Utopian Dissent in the United States an article by Carl J. Guarneri. Guarneri points out many such communities and experiments took place in the 1800’s. The Harmonys in Pennsylvania and New Harmony in Indianna, Onieda in New York, the list goes on although daily life Brook Farm, as was experienced by one of the community members, Nathanial Hawthorne, being the subject of the primary source of this paper. Brook Farm is seen as a trivial contribution by some writers, Guarneri’s article states the contrary that while Brook Farm is one of many experiments it was an important part of the utopian experiments of the time. Other secondary sources, reviews of Brook Farm: The Dark Side of Utopia from Leigh E. Schmidt, Alison Easton and Carl J. Guarneri also indicate that Brook Farm was more than just a minor contributor to the utopian experiments of the 1800’s.
The Brook Farm experiment was designed by George Ripley in effort to create utopian society or as otherwise put Heaven on earth. The site chosen may or may not have been influenced by it being a…...

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