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|New Harmony, Indiana
Written by Kay S
(2/17/2003 12:27 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, no obstacle whatsoever ...except ignorance, penned by Ann2
] While searching for information on education, I found this extraordinary person ( and am thus filling a gap in my own education). Does anyone know if girls were included in his program? I have found no evidence that they were not. What an extraordinary man. I suppose this was an isolated thing in Scotland?
In fact Robert Owen put his ideas to work on a grand scale when he established an experimental community at New Harmony, Indiana, USA in 1825. The cooperative community believed utopian society could be achieved though universal education and the abolishment of social classes and personal wealth. Unfortunately, the cooperative community did not succeed - Owen ended up selling his interest in the project at a loss and returning to the UK in 1828. However, the New Harmony experiment as well as Owens' writings greatly influenced thought (and legislation) on education and workers' rights, and influenced subsequent proto-socialist thinkers.
The town of New Harmony is preserved today as a 'living museum'. You can tour the historic homes, communal fields, and the school house. It's a very pretty little town – I visited there as a university undergraduate in economics about ten years ago. I've attached a link below. Unfortunately, the links I'm finding are more aimed at tourists than economists and don't mention a great deal about Owen's philosophies. I do recall that on the school house tour, they stressed that girls as well as boys were educated at the school and that practical trade skills as well as reading, writing, and arithmetic were taught to all the children, regardless of their backgrounds (being a ‘classless society’).
I'm not sure that Jane Austen would have approved of Owen - I gather from my readings that the Austens were staunch Tories!
|New Harmony, Indiana|
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