Brotherly Tomorrows: Movements for a Cooperative Society in America, 1820-1920

By Edward K. Spann | Go to book overview

I
The Challenge of the Century

In the 1820s, the United States saw the first of a succession of movements for a radical but peaceful transformation of society. Over the next hundred years, various "isms" from Owenism to Modern Socialism each offered the hope that through its special form of cooperative life it could bring the dreams of theologians and philosophers into earthly practice. Radical social idealism appeared in most of the modernizing societies of the North Atlantic World, but it developed a distinctive and especially hopeful direction in America. 1 The apparent newness and freedom from despotic institutions in the United States seemed to make it possible to begin the world all-over-again without the horrors of a radical social upheaval like the French Revolution.

It was no accident that the evolution of social idealism was spasmodic, a reflex to the periodic social and economic crises that afflicted the modernizing North Atlantic World. In the 1820s, the 1840s, the 1870s, and again in the 1890s, that world was shaken by increasingly severe "social earthquakes," each of which seemed both to demand and to make possible some radical social transformation. The dominant form of radical idealism was molded by the peculiar cultural as well as social conditions of its times. Although the differences among these movements

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Brotherly Tomorrows: Movements for a Cooperative Society in America, 1820-1920
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction xiii
  • I- The Challenge of the Century 1
  • II- The Prophet of New Lanark 17
  • III- A New Harmony? 29
  • IV- Individuality and Brook Farm 50
  • V- Fourierism 67
  • VII- The Phalanx in Dream and Reality 101
  • VIII- A Twilight Long Gleaming 122
  • IX- Preserving the American Eden 143
  • X- The Good Kings of Fouriana 163
  • XI- The Cooperative Commonwealth- Gronlund and Bellamy 176
  • XII- The Nationalist Movement 191
  • XIII- The Great Cooperative National People''s Trust 210
  • XIV- Socialism and "Utopia" 226
  • XV- Debsian Socialism 243
  • XVI- After Tomorrow 262
  • Epilogue- Yesterday and Tomorrow 278
  • Notes 283
  • Bibliography 327
  • Index 345
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