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Rachel Arbeit December 5 1999 Utopian Communities The word utopia in its simplest form means a perfect world In other words it is a society in which man has reached such perfection that he is able to build a social system based on justice reason and unity Since the beginning of history people have dreamed of creating utopian societies and many are still trying In the history of Utopian Communities three of the most known utopian communities are the Shakers Brook Farm and New Harmony One of the most well known utopian communities is the Shakers The United Society of Believers The community was organized by Ann Lee and founded in 1772 Ann Lee and others founded this community because they were so unhappy with the beliefs and values of those around them The ever-growing complexity of society was not close to perfection for Ann Lee and others provoking them to begin this community The best-known Shaker beliefs are an emphasis on celibacy and simplicity in their daily lives These beliefs were key to the Shaker theology and lifestyle in the sense that they were seen as vital to the building of a truly selfless and spiritual community Horgan 1982 Humez 1993 Robinson 1975 The Shakers practiced a religion that was also a lifestyle The members lived in gender segregated dormitory-like housing but came together to work and pray The Shakers are Americas oldest and most successful experiment in communal living A century ago nearly 6000 Shaker brothers and sisters lived together in nineteen communities scattered from Maine to Kentucky Soon thereafter with the decline in attraction and societys inability to be celibate it became difficult to create a new generation of believers The communities steadily declined and disbanded Another community known as Brook Farm also desired a better way of life than the complex government and growing diversity around them Brook Farm was designed to be a place where
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