On July 4, 1826, Robert Owen delivered an oration that would go on to be known as the “Declaration of Mental Independence” in which he situated an ideology animating his experimental society in New Harmony, Indiana within an existing tradition of American liberty. Communal societies seek to reconstruct society in miniature, though in the 19th century several of these experiments ultimately aspired to reshape society on a grand scale.
We seek essays that explore 19th century American communitarian experiments as revisions, renewals, and reconstructions of existing institutions, cultures, and mores. Essays may explore:
tensions between the public and private in intentional communities