New Harmony

Simran Singh

Important Leaders

Robert Owen

  • Born in England in 1771 to a large family
  • rejected Christianity, and instead, believed in need for social reform
  • believed that an individual's character and ideals are shaped by the environment they surround themselves in.
  • By controlling the environment, superior character could be developed
  • Endeavored to improve health, education, well-being, and rights of working class
  • Was able to practice utopian beliefs on workers in New Lanark, Scotland by: developing a system of life for them, improving working conditions, and controlling their lives
  • came to United States from Great Britain to test out his Utopian beliefs

William Maclure

  • Scottish Philanthropist from Philadelphia
  • Robert Owen's partner in the New Harmony venture
  • A retired, successful business man who delved himself into scholarship and reform issues
  • played a key part in educational reform during the European and American Enlightenment and early industrialization
  • Introduced Pestalozzian methods to New Harmony

Goals and Tactics


  • Develop superior character within a controlled environment
  • Form a community that would serve as a model for "New Moral World" communities
  • Transform world society according to enlightenment principles
  • Use of education in order to get rid of inequality between social classes


In order to settle New Harmony...

  • Robert Owen invited people to apply for the 800 spaces that were available in the nouvelle community

In order to attain goals set for New Harmony...

  • Robert Owen brought some of the most advanced European scientists and educators to New Harmony
  • Equality for all in the utopian community, both male and female
  • Each citizen required to contribute to the labor force in community
  • Discouraged marriage in the community; instead, encouraged "free love," which can be coined as serious monogamy.
  • Developed system of "Time Money": New Harmony currency worth the number of hours worked; could be used to buy supplies, etc.
  • Establishment of accessible education for all in the community (this came in the form of public education, school for younger kids, etc. )

This is an example of the type of currency used by those in New Harmony. It was part of the "Time Money" system.

Achievements (Pre-Civil War)

Although the community was strongly tied together due to the shared labor, it lacked the strong foundation which could only be found in religion; due to there being no central religion, New Harmony dissolved in three years time. But before it was gone, New Harmony had quite a few achievements, attaining some of the goals that had been set forth when the community has first been started...

  • Robert Owen and William Maclure founded the concept of public education
  • The community became a scientific center of national significance
  • Flourishing of art and culture, including theatrical productions
  • Advancement in Women's rights: full voting rights while the community was intact as well as full property rights by the 1830's in New Harmony

Robert Owen: New Harmony