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New Harmony

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  1. New Harmony

  2. New Harmony: An Overview • 1814: Founded as Harmony, Indiana, by the Harmonites • 1824: Sold to Robert Owen, Welsh thinker, and William Maclure, name changed to New Harmony • 1825: New Harmony experiment founded • 1829: Experiment disbanded due to internal quarrels

  3. The Harmonites • The Harmonites (also called theHarmonists or Rappites) were founded in 1785 by Johann Georg Rapp, a Pietist preacher, in Germany • Broke from the Lutheran Church later that year, were subsequently pursecuted • Moved to Pennsylvania to escape Germany, founded the first Harmony • After selling Harmony to a group of Mennonites, Pennsylvania, moved to Indiana to found what would become New Harmony

  4. Harmony: The Founding • Harmonites originally practiced celibacy, and relied entirely on new recruits • Furing first years, many members of the Harmonist Society died of Malaria or were incapacitated from sickness • Nearby Shakers helped them adapt to life in America and taught them English

  5. New Harmony • Robert Owen purchased Harmony in 1824 for $150,000 • He then recruited members from many ideological backgrounds, which contributed to the community’s quick decline • Plans (at left) were drafter by famed architect Stedman Whitwell

  6. New Harmony: The Decline and Fall • All money and commodities were banned, personal property was outlawed. • Unfortunately, there was little to no consensus on policy. • Experiment was disbanded in 1925

  7. New Harmony: The Decline and Fall cont’d • “It seemed that the difference of opinion, tastes and purposes increased just in proportion to the demand for conformity. Two years were worn out in this way; at the end of which, I believe that not more than three persons had the least hope of success. Most of the experimenters left in despair of all reforms, and conservatism felt itself confirmed. We had tried every conceivable form of organization and government. We had a world in miniature. --we had enacted the French revolution over again with despairing hearts instead of corpses as a result. ...It appeared that it was nature's own inherent law of diversity that had conquered us ...our 'united interests' were directly at war with the individualities of persons and circumstances and the instinct of self-preservation... and it was evident that just in proportion to the contact of persons or interests, so are concessions and compromises indispensable” – Josiah Warren, Indivdualist Anarchist

  8. After New Harmony • After the failure of the New Harmony experiment, the town continued to be a center of American naturalism due to the efforts of Maclure • David Dale Owen, Robert Owen’s son, also became an accomplished geologist, and set up an important geological museum in New Harmony