Two Hundred Years of American Communes

Front Cover
Transaction Publishers, 1987 M01 1 - 516 pages

The United States is the only modern nation in which communes have continuously existed for the past two hundred years. This definitive history of communes in America examines the major factors that have supported the existence and growth of communes throughout American history. The most impressive survey of the communal experience since the works of Noyes and Nordhoff, it is informed by a deep respect for the human subjects and organizational forms of American communes. The findings in the analytical chapters are of considerably theoretical import beyond the historical narrative.

Oved details the founding, growth, development, and sometimes failure of alternative societies from 1735 to 1939: Icaria, Ephrata, Oneida, Shaker, religious, secular, and socialist communes. Extensive reference material cited will assure this work a special place in the archives of the literature on communes.

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Contents

Communes in the History of the United States
3
Ephrata and the First Communes in North America
19
The Shakers American Religious Communes
39
Religious Immigrant Communes
69
Robert Owen and the First Socialist Communes
109
Fourierist Communitarian Settlements
129
Oneida Commune with Complex Marriage
167
Icaria The Socialist Immigrant Communes
193
Sunrise and Anarchist Communities
311
The Hutterites A Bridge between Past and Present
333
A COLLECTIVE PROFILE IN A COMPARATIVE APPROACH
367
Ideological Principles
369
Social Activity and Management
379
Education Culture and Rituals
393
The Family and Womens Status in the Communes
411
Economic Assets and Liabilities
427

Victor Considerant and the Fourierists at La Reunion
215
New Odessa A Jewish Commune of the Am Olam Group
223
The Kaweah Cooperative Colony in California
233
Ruskin The Communitarian Settlement in Tennessee
247
Communitarian Settlements and Socialist Parties in Washington State
257
The Christian Commonwealth in Georgia
275
Llano de Rio A Socialist Commune in California and Louisiana
285
Dualistic Relationships with the Outside World
447
Dissolution of the Communes Options or Inevitability?
467
Epilogue
481
Appendix
485
Index of Names
495
Index of Communes
499
Copyright

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Page 414 - Israel. ^And every one who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name's sake, will receive a hundredfold,
Page 9 - We are all a little wild here with numberless projects of social reform. Not a reading man but has a draft of a new community in his waistcoat pocket.
Page 21 - And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron : and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.
Page 169 - In a holy community there is no more reason why sexual intercourse should be restrained by law, than why eating and drinking should be; and there is as little occasion for shame in the one case as in the other.
Page 44 - The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.
Page 179 - We are opposed to excessive, and of course oppressive procreation, which is almost universal. We are opposed to random procreation, which is unavoidable in the marriage system. But we are in favor of intelligent, well-ordered procreation.
Page 36 - But thou, Beth-lehem Ephrathah, Which art little to be among the thousands of Judah, Out of thee shall one come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; Whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.
Page 143 - I can imagine no plan which is suited to carry into effect so many divine ideas as this. If wisely executed, it will be a light over this country and this age. If not the sunrise, it will be the morning star. As a practical man, I see clearly that we must have some such arrangement, or all changes less radical will be nugatory. I believe in the divinity of labor; I wish to "harvest my flesh and blood from the land...
Page 184 - That we give up the practice of Complex Marriage, not as renouncing belief in the principles and prospective finality of that institution, but in deference to the public sentiment which is evidently rising against it...
Page 120 - I now declare to you and to the world, that Man, up to this hour, has been in all parts of the earth a slave to a Trinity of the most monstrous evils that could be combined to inflict mental and physical evil upon his whole race. I refer to Private or Individual Property, Absurd and Irrational systems of Religion, and Marriage founded on Individual Property, combined with some of these Irrational systems of Religion.

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