The North American Phalanx (1843-1855): A Nineteenth-century Utopian Community
Between the American Revolution and the Civil War, reformers established over one hundred utopian communities to transform a society they deemed excessively individualistic and competitive into a cooperative and harmonious one. During its 12-year history, the North American Phalanx gradually developed a unique Fourierist architecture and use of space, an unusual political economy based on Fourier's concept of labor, and a social environment that promoted democracy, cooperation, and conviviality. The North American Phalanx provides a revealing example of the antebellum reform impulse's restless ferment, faith in humanity, yearning for Paradise, and its determination to transform the world. This study will appeal to scholars of antebellum America, nineteenth-century American reform movements, and of utopian communities.
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