Legends Of America
Since 2003
Why am I seeing the old web design?

Legends of America

 

 Tip Jar

Legends Facebook Page    Legends on Pinterest    Legends on Twitter
 

America's Utopias - Page 2

<<  Previous  1 2 3  Next  >>

 

Amana Colony

 

The Amana Colony in Iowa was established by German-speaking European settlers who belonged to a religious group known as the Community of True Inspiration, which traces its origins to Himbach, Germany in 1714. Community founders J.F. Rock (1678-1749) and E.L. Gruber (1665-1728) were among many Europeans seeking a more meaningful religious experience than they felt the established churches provided. Like many others, Rock and Gruber maintained that the Lutheran Church had become bogged-down in intellectual debate and formalized worship and thus neglected the spiritual needs of the congregation. An increasing desire to return to the basics of Christianity gained popularity in the doctrines articulated by this movement, known as Pietism. For Pietists, religion was a personal experience with an emphasis on sincere humility and earnest study of the Bible. The Community of True Inspiration was one of several groups which emerged from Pietism.

 

Immigrating to America, they first settled in New York near Buffalo. However, seeking more isolated surroundings, they moved to Iowa in 1856, where they  lived a communal life until the mid-1930's. For 80 years, the Amana Colonies maintained an almost completely self-sufficient local economy, importing very little from outside the area. The colonists were able to achieve this independence and lifestyle by adhering to the specialized crafting and farming occupations that they had brought with them from Europe, and passing their skills from one generation to the next. See More Here.

 

Amana Heritage Museum in Amana, Iowa

Amana Heritage Museum in Amana, Iowa. Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander, August, 2014.

This image available for photo prints & editorial downloads HERE.

 

 

 

The Shakers

 

A group of Shakers, 1870 Formally known as the United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Coming, the Shakers developed their own religious expression which included communal living, productive labor, celibacy, pacifism, the equality of the sexes, and a ritual noted for its dancing and shaking. A significant portion of Shakerism was founded by "Mother" Ann Lee, in England in 1758. Ann Lee and some followers arrived in America in 1774. Ann Lee died in 1784, but Shaker colonies, spread to newer communities. Containing 6,000 members before the Civil War, these communities maintained economic autonomy while making items for outside commercial distribution. Intellectually, the Shakers were dissenters from the dominant values of American society and were associated with many of the reform movements of the 19th century, including feminism, pacifism and abolitionism: an Enfield Shaker's diary, for example, records the visits of fugitive slaves, including Sojourner Truth. Their work was eventually redirected from agricultural production to handcrafts, including the making of chairs and furniture.

 

The Enfield Shakers Historic District, in Enfield, Connecticut, and the Hancock Shaker Village, in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, stand as two noteworthy examples of Shaker communities. The community at Enfield, which began in the 1780s, peaked from 1830 to 1860. In 1860 there were 146 Shakers in Enfield, living in same-sex housing, working in its garden-seed industry. The Enfield Shakers Historic District, containing 15 buildings, has been recognized by the National Register of Historic Places for its significance in reflecting the social values and communal lifestyle of the Shakers. The Hancock Shaker Village was considered the center of Shaker authority in America from 1787 until 1947, and is today designated as a National Historic Landmark. Four other Shaker Village have also been designated as National Historic Landmarks: Shakertown at Pleasant Hill Historic District in Harrodsburg, Kentucky, Canterbury Shaker Village in Canterbury, New Hampshire, Mount Lebanon Shaker Society in New Lebanon, New York and Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in New Glochester, Maine. The latter is the sole surviving Shaker community.

 

Brook Farm

 

Some of the secular utopian communities in the United States found inspiration from ideas and philosophies originating in Europe. Transcendentalism began as a term developed by the German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) embodying those aspects of man's nature transcending, or independent of, experience. Taking root in America, Transcendentalism created a cultural renaissance in New England during 1830-45 and received its chief American expression in Ralph Waldo Emerson's individualistic doctrine of self-reliance. Some Transcendentalists decided to put their theories about "plain living" into practice. This experiment in communal living was established at West Roxbury, Massachusetts, on some 200 acres of land from 1841 to 1847. The Brook Farm Institute of Agriculture and Education became better known than many other communal experiments due to the distinguished literary and intellectual figures associated with it. The Brook Farm Institute was organized and directed by George Ripley, a former Unitarian minister and later literary critic for the New York Tribune. Others connected with the project were Charles A. Dana and Nathaniel Hawthorne (both shareholders), Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, William Henry Channing, John S. Dwight, and Sophia Dana Ripley, a woman of wide culture and academic experience. Brook Farm attracted not only intellectuals, but also carpenters, farmers, shoemakers and printers. The community provided to all members, their children and family dependents, housing, fuel, wages, clothing and food. There was an infant school, a primary school and college preparatory course covering six years. The 1846 fire disaster which burned the newly financed Phalanstery building, combined with further financial troubles, including Hawthorne's suit against Ripley and Dana to recover his investment in the project, brought about the end of the Brook Farm community the following year. The Brook Farm site is now recognized as a National Historic Landmark although only a small cottage on the property is definitely known to have been occupied by the Brook Farm community. Nathaniel Hawthorne used his experiences at Brook Farm as the basis of his novel The Blithedale Romance. The Brook Farm experiment began with about 15 members and never contained more than 120 persons at one time.

 

 

Continued Next Page

<<  Previous  1 2 3  Next  >>

From Legends' General Store

Legends of America Coloring PagesLegends of America Coloring Pages - A fun way to color, learn and relax, these custom designed coloring pages are based on American History, with many accompanied by text describing the event, people or design. All image downloads have been formatted to print on 8.5x11 paper. Perfect for homework, presentations, or other school activities.

            Legends of America's Coloring Pages

  Legends of America's Coloring Pages

 

  About Us      Contact Us       Article/Photo Use      Guestbook      Legends Of Kansas      Photo Blog     Writing Credits     

Copyright 2003-Present, Legends of America