Robert Owen
Portrait by William Henry Brooke, 1834
Born(1771-05-14)14 May 1771
Died17 November 1858(1858-11-17) (aged 87)
Newtown, Montgomeryshire, Wales
Ann (or Anne) Caroline Dale
(m. 1799, died)
Children8, including Robert, David and Richard

Robert Owen (/ˈɪn/; 14 May 1771 – 17 November 1858) was a Welsh textile manufacturer, philanthropist and social reformer, and a founder of utopian socialism and the co-operative movement. He strove to improve factory working conditions, promoted experimental socialistic communities, and sought a more collective approach to child-rearing, including government control of education.[1] He gained wealth in the early 1800s from a textile mill at New Lanark, Scotland. Having trained as a draper in Stamford, Lincolnshire he worked in London before relocating aged 18 to Manchester and textile manufacturing. In 1824, he moved to America and put most of his fortune in an experimental socialistic community at New Harmony, Indiana, as a preliminary for his Utopian society. It lasted about two years. Other Owenite communities also failed, and in 1828 Owen returned to London, where he continued to champion the working class, lead in developing co-operatives and the trade union movement, and support child labour legislation and free co-educational schools.

Early life and education

Baptism record of Robert Owen in the Newtown Anglican Parish Register[2]

Robert Owen was born in Newtown, a small market town in Montgomeryshire, Wales, on 14 May 1771, to Anne (Williams) and Robert Owen. His father was a saddler, ironmonger and local postmaster; his mother was the daughter of a Newtown farming family. Young Robert was the sixth of the family's seven children, two of whom died at a young age. His surviving siblings were William, Anne, John and Richard.[3][4]

Owen received little formal education, but he was an avid reader. He left school at the age of ten to be apprenticed to a Stamford, Lincolnshire draper for four years. He also worked in London drapery shops in his teens.[5][6] At about the age of 18, Owen moved to Manchester, where he spent the next twelve years of his life, employed initially at Satterfield's Drapery in Saint Ann's Square.[7][8]

While in Manchester, Owen borrowed £100 from his brother William, to enter into a partnership to make spinning mules, a new invention for spinning cotton thread, but exchanged his business share within a few months for six spinning mules that he worked in rented factory space.[9] In 1792, when Owen was about 21 years old, mill-owner Peter Drinkwater made him manager of the Piccadilly Mill at Manchester. However, after two years with Drinkwater, Owen voluntarily gave up a contracted promise of partnership, left the company, and went into partnership with other entrepreneurs to establish and later manage the Chorlton Twist Mills in Chorlton-on-Medlock.[10][11]

By the early 1790s, Owen's entrepreneurial spirit, management skills and progressive moral views were emerging. In 1793, he was elected a member of the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society,[11] where the ideas of the Enlightenment were discussed. He also became a committee member of the Manchester Board of Health, instigated principally by Thomas Percival to press for improvements in the health and working conditions of factory workers.[12][13]

Marriage and family

Robert Owen's house in New Lanark, Scotland.

On a visit to Scotland, Owen met and fell in love with Ann (or Anne) Caroline Dale, daughter of David Dale, a Glasgow philanthropist and the proprietor of the large New Lanark Mills. After their marriage on 30 September 1799, the Owens set up a home in New Lanark, but later moved to Braxfield House in Lanark, Scotland .[11][14][15]

Robert and Caroline Owen had eight children, the first of whom died in infancy. Their seven survivors were four sons and three daughters: Robert Dale (1801–1877), William (1802–1842), Ann (or Anne) Caroline (1805–1831), Jane Dale (1805–1861), David Dale (1807–1860), Richard Dale (1809–1890) and Mary (1810–1832).[11][6][16] Owen's four sons, Robert Dale, William, David Dale and Richard, and his daughter Jane Dale, followed their father to the United States, becoming US citizens and permanent residents in New Harmony, Indiana. Owen's wife Caroline and two of their daughters, Anne Caroline and Mary, remained in Britain, where they died in the 1830s.[17][18]

New Lanark mill

In July 1799 Owen and his partners bought the New Lanark mill from David Dale, and Owen became its manager in January 1800.[11][14] Encouraged by his management success in Manchester, Owen hoped to conduct the New Lanark mill on higher principles than purely commercial ones. It had been established in 1785 by David Dale and Richard Arkwright. Its water power provided by the falls of the River Clyde turned its cotton-spinning operation into one of Britain's largest. About 2,000 individuals were involved, 500 of them children brought to the mill at the age of five or six from the poorhouses and charities of Edinburgh and Glasgow. Dale, known for his benevolence, treated the children well, but the general condition of New Lanark residents was unsatisfactory, despite efforts by Dale and his son-in-law Owen to improve their workers' lives.[19][20]

Many of the workers were from the lowest social levels: theft, drunkenness and other vices were common and education and sanitation neglected. Most families lived in one room. More respectable people rejected the long hours and demoralising drudgery of the mills.[21]

Truck system of payment by order of Robert Owen and Benj Woolfield, National Equitable Labour Exchange, 22 July 1833.

Until a series of Truck Acts (1831–1887) required employers to pay their employees in common currency, many operated a truck system, paying workers wholly or in part with tokens that had no monetary value outside the mill owner's "truck shop", which charged high prices for shoddy goods.[22] Unlike others, Owen's truck store offered goods at prices only slightly above their wholesale cost,[14] passing on the savings from bulk purchases to his customers and placing alcohol sales under strict supervision. These principles became the basis for Britain's co-operative shops, some of which continue trading in altered forms to this day.[12][23]

Philosophy and influence

Owen tested his social and economic ideas at New Lanark, where he won his workers' confidence and continued to have success through improved efficiency at the mill. The community also earned an international reputation. Social reformers, statesmen and royalty, including the future Tsar Nicholas I of Russia, visited New Lanark to study its methods.[14][24] The opinions of many such visitors were favourable.[25]

Owen's biggest success was in support of youth education and early child care. As a pioneer in Britain, notably Scotland, Owen provided an alternative to the "normal authoritarian approach to child education".[26] Supporters of the methods argued that the manners of children brought up under his system were more graceful, genial and unconstrained; health, plenty and contentment prevailed; drunkenness was almost unknown and illegitimacy extremely rare. Owen's relations with his workers remained excellent and operations at the mill proceeded in a smooth, regular and commercially successful way.[21][14]

However, some of Owen's schemes displeased his partners, forcing him to arrange for other investors to buy his share of the business in 1813, for the equivalent of US$800,000.[14] The new investors, who included Jeremy Bentham and the well-known Quaker William Allen, were content to accept a £5,000 return on their capital.[21] The ownership change also provided Owen with a chance to broaden his philanthropy, advocating improvements in workers' rights and child labour laws, and free education for children.[14]

In 1813 Owen authored and published A New View of Society, or Essays on the Principle of the Formation of the Human Character, the first of four essays he wrote to explain the principles behind his philosophy of socialistic reform.[27] In this he writes:

"...the present arrangement of society is the most anti-social, impolitic, and irrational that can be devised; that under its influence all the superior and valuable qualities of the human race are repressed from infancy, and that the most unnatural means are used to bring out the most injurious propensities..."

Owen had originally been a follower of the classical liberal, utilitarian Jeremy Bentham, who believed that free markets, in particular the right of workers to move and choose their employers, would release workers from the excessive power of capitalists. However, Owen developed his own, pro-socialist outlook. In addition, Owen as a deist, criticised organised religion, including the Church of England, and developed a belief system of his own.[28][29]

Owen felt that human character is formed by conditions over which individuals have no control. Thus individuals could not be praised or blamed for their behaviour or situation in life. This principle led Owen to conclude that the correct formation of people's characters called for placing them under proper environmental influences – physical, moral and social – from their earliest years. These notions of inherent irresponsibility in humans and the effect of early influences on an individual's character formed the basis of Owen's system of education and social reform.[30]

Relying on his observations, experiences and thoughts, Owen saw his view of human nature as original and "the most basic and necessary constituent in an evolving science of society".[31] His philosophy was influenced by Sir Isaac Newton's views on natural law, and his views resembled those of Plato, Denis Diderot, Claude Adrien Helvétius, William Godwin, John Locke, James Mill, and Jeremy Bentham, among others. Owen did not have the direct influence of Enlightenment philosophers.[31][32]

Owen's work at New Lanark continued to have significance in Britain and continental Europe. He was a "pioneer in factory reform, the father of distributive co-operation, and the founder of nursery schools."[6] His schemes for educating his workers included opening an Institute for the Formation of Character at New Lanark in 1818. This and other programmes at New Lanark provided free education from infancy to adulthood.[27][11] In addition, he zealously supported factory legislation that culminated in the Cotton Mills and Factories Act of 1819. Owen also had interviews and communications with leading members of the British government, including its premier, Robert Banks Jenkinson, Lord Liverpool. He also met many of the rulers and leading statesmen of Europe.[33][34]

Owen adopted new principles to raise the standard of goods his workers produced. A cube with faces painted in different colours was installed above each machinist's workplace. The colour of the face showed to all who saw it the quality and quantity of goods the worker completed. The intention was to encourage workers to do their best. Although it was no great incentive in itself, conditions at New Lanark for workers and their families were idyllic for the time.[34][33]

Perhaps one of Robert Owen's most memorable ideas was his silent monitor method. Owen was opposed to common corporal punishment, therefore, to have some form of discipline he developed the "silent monitor". In his mills, he would hang a four-sided block each displaying a different colour representing the behaviour of the employee. The colour for poor performance was black and he believed it aligned with the Scottish term 'black-affronted' meaning to be embarrassed. While the opposite is white to symbolize meritorious conduct. His strategy was successful as employees at the time cared about maintaining a good relationship with Owen to leave a good impression on him since he took a different approach to employee regulation. This idea supports his overall thought that human nature is moulded for better or worse by the environment. Owen had a significant impact on British socialism as well as on unionism which helped him set an example for others.

Owen grew to be known as a utopian socialist and his works are considered to reflect this attitude. Although he could be considered a member of the bourgeoisie his relationship with this class was often complicated. He fought to pass legislation that benefitted workers. He was an advocate for the Factory Act of 1819.[citation needed]  He supported socialist ideas so his views did not have an immediate impact in Britain or the United States.[35]

Eight-hour day

Owen raised the demand for an eight-hour day in 1810 and set about instituting the policy at New Lanark. By 1817 he had formulated the goal of an eight-hour working day with the slogan "eight hours labour, eight hours recreation, eight hours rest".[36]

Models for socialism (1817)

A statue commemorating Owen in Manchester, in front of The Co-operative Bank.

Owen embraced socialism in 1817, a turning point in his life, in which he pursued a "New View of Society".[20] He outlined his position in a report to the committee of the House of Commons on the country's Poor Laws.[37] As misery and trade stagnation after the Napoleonic Wars drew national attention, the government called on Owen for advice on how to alleviate the industrial concerns. Although he ascribed the immediate misery to the wars, he saw it as the underlying cause of competition of human labour with machinery and recommended setting up self-sufficient communities.[6]

Owen appealed to the self-interest of capitalists, pointing out that just as machines need proper care and treatment to guarantee they work smoothly and efficiently, so do humans.[38]

Owen proposed that communities of some 1,200 people should settle on land from 1,000 to 1,500 acres (405 to 607 ha), all living in one building with a public kitchen and dining halls. (The proposed size may have been influenced by the size of the village of New Lanark.) Owen also proposed that each family have its private apartment and the responsibility for the care of its children up to the age of three. Thereafter children would be raised by the community, but their parents would have access to them at mealtimes and on other occasions. Owen further suggested that such communities be established by individuals, parishes, counties, or other governmental units. In each case, there would be effective supervision by qualified persons. Work and enjoyment of its results should be experienced communally. Owen believed his idea would be the best way to reorganise society in general,[21][33] and called his vision the "New Moral World".[27]

Owen's utopian model changed little in his lifetime. His developed model envisaged an association of 500–3,000 people as the optimum for a working community. While mainly agricultural, it would possess the best machinery, offer varied employment, and as far as possible be self-contained. Owen went on to explain that as such communities proliferated, "unions of them federatively united shall be formed in the circle of tens, hundreds and thousands", linked by a common interest.[39]

Arguments against Owen and his answers

Owen hoped for a better and more harmonious environment that promoted mutual respect, love and moral values. He believed everyone would have a good education and better living condition to live righteously.[40] He valued social and educational reforms for the middle class and rejected the capitalist power which elevated the powerful figures at the expense of others.[41] Regardless of his adversaries' attacks, he remained persuasive of his goals. Owen funded kids' schools and advocated for free education, equal rights and freedom. He participated in legislation to improve labourers' wages and working conditions.[40]

Owen's project was considered unachievable because he did not establish a guideline that stipulated the administration of properties and the conditions of memberships. As a result, some critics found his plans unsatisfactory and ineffective because the overpopulation and shortage of supply created antagonism within the community.[42] Owen's opponents view him as a dictator, and a blasphemer of Christianity because he rejected sacred beliefs and defied anyone who differed from his views.[43] Owen perceived religion as a source of fear and ignorance. Therefore, people were unable to think rationally if they stayed attached to "fallacious testimonies" of religion.[43]

Owen believed compassion, kindness and solidarity corrected bad habits, encouraged self-discipline and enhanced a person's attitude. Force oppressed people and affected their mental health. Unless people were educated in a proper environment, obtained equal opportunities for jobs and maintained social norms, differences between labour classes, conflicts, and inequalities will persist just as in the British colonies.[44] Without making any changes in the national institutions, he believed that even reorganizing the working classes would bring great benefits. So he opposed the views of radicals seeking to change in the public mentality by expanding voting rights.[45]

Other notable critics of Owen include Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, even though they viewed his work as a precursor to their own.[46] They recognized in Owen the important understanding, developed by Marx in Capital, that it is the working class that is responsible for creating the unparalleled wealth in capitalist societies.[47] Similarly, Owen also recognized that under the existing economic system, the working class did not automatically receive the benefits of that newly created wealth. Marx and Engels, differentiated, however, their scientific conception of socialism from Owen's societies.[48] They argued that Owen's plan, to create a model socialist utopia to coexist with contemporary society and prove its superiority over time, was insufficient to create a new society. In their view, Owen's "socialism" was utopian, since to Owen and the other utopian socialists "socialism is the expression of absolute truth, reason and justice, and has only to be discovered to conquer all the world by its power."[49] Marx and Engels believed that the overthrow of the capitalist system could only occur once the working class was organized into a revolutionary socialist political party of the working class that was completely independent of all capitalist class influence whereas the utopians sought the assistance and the co-operation of the capitalists to achieve the transition to socialism.

Community experiments

New Moral World, Owen's envisioned successor of New Harmony. Owenites fired bricks to build it, but it was never constructed.

To test the viability of his ideas for self-sufficient working communities, Owen began experimenting with communal living in the United States in 1825. Among the most famous efforts was the one set up at New Harmony, Indiana.[6] Of the 130 identifiable communitarian experiments in the United States before the American Civil War, at least 16 were Owenite or Owenite-influenced. New Harmony was Owen's earliest and most ambitious of these.[25]

Owen and his son William sailed to the United States in October 1824 to establish an experimental community in Indiana.[50] In January 1825 Owen used a portion of his funds to purchase an existing town of 180 buildings and several thousand acres of land along the Wabash River in Indiana. George Rapp's Harmony Society, the religious group that owned the property and had founded the communal village of Harmony (or Harmonie) on the site in 1814, decided in 1824 to relocate to Pennsylvania. Owen renamed it New Harmony and made the village his preliminary model for a Utopian community.[27][51][52]

Owen sought support for his socialist vision among American thinkers, reformers, intellectuals and public statesmen. On 25 February and 7 March 1825, Owen gave addresses in the House of Representatives to Congress and others in the US government, outlining his vision for the Utopian community at New Harmony, and his socialist beliefs.[27][53] The audience for his ideas included three former U.S. presidentsJohn Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison – the outgoing US President James Monroe, and the President-elect, John Quincy Adams.[54] His meetings were perhaps the first discussions of socialism in the Americas; they were certainly a big step towards discussion of it in the United States. Owenism, among the first socialist ideologies active in the United States, can be seen as an instigator of the later socialist movement.[22][21]

Owen convinced William Maclure, a wealthy Scottish scientist and philanthropist living in Philadelphia to join him at New Harmony and become his financial partner. Maclure's involvement went on to attract scientists, educators and artists such as Thomas Say, Charles-Alexandre Lesueur, and Madame Marie Duclos Fretageot. These helped to turn the New Harmony community into a centre for educational reform, scientific research and artistic expression.[27][55]

Although Owen sought to build a "Village of Unity and Mutual Cooperation" south of the town, his grand plan was never fully realised and he returned to Britain to continue his work. During his long absences from New Harmony, Owen left the experiment under the day-to-day management of his sons, Robert Dale Owen and William Owen, and his business partner, Maclure. However, New Harmony proved to be an economic failure, lasting about two years, although it had attracted over a thousand residents by the end of its first year. The socialistic society was dissolved in 1827, but many of its scientists, educators, artists and other inhabitants, including Owen's four sons, Robert Dale, William, David Dale, and Richard Dale Owen, and his daughter Jane Dale Owen Fauntleroy, remained at New Harmony after the experiment ended.[11][27][55]

Other experiments in the United States included communal settlements at Blue Spring, near Bloomington, Indiana, at Yellow Springs, Ohio, and at Forestville Commonwealth at Earlton, New York, as well as other projects in New York, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee. Nearly all of these had ended before New Harmony was dissolved in April 1827.[56][57]

Owen's Utopian communities attracted a mix of people, many with the highest aims. They included vagrants, adventurers and other reform-minded enthusiasts. In the words of Owen's son David Dale Owen, they attracted "a heterogeneous collection of Radicals", "enthusiastic devotees to principle," and "honest latitudinarians, and lazy theorists," with "a sprinkling of unprincipled sharpers thrown in."[58]

Josiah Warren, a participant at New Harmony, asserted that it was doomed to failure for lack of individual sovereignty and personal property. In describing the community, Warren explained: "We had a world in miniature – we had enacted the French revolution over again with despairing hearts instead of corpses as a result... It appeared that it was nature's inherent law of diversity that had conquered us... our 'united interests' were directly at war with the individualities of persons and circumstances and the instinct of self-preservation...."[59] Warren's observations on the reasons for the community's failure led to the development of American individualist anarchism, of which he was its original theorist.[60] Some historians have traced the demise of New Harmony to serial disagreements among its members.[61]

Social experiments also began in Scotland in 1825, when Abram Combe, an Owenite, attempted a utopian experiment at Orbiston, near Glasgow, but this failed after about two years.[62] In the 1830s, additional experiments in socialistic co-operatives were made in Ireland and Britain, the most important being at Ralahine, established in 1831 in County Clare, Ireland, and at Tytherley, begun in 1839 in Hampshire, England. The former proved a remarkable success for three-and-a-half years until the proprietor, having ruined himself by gambling, had to sell his interest. Tytherley, known as Harmony Hall or Queenwood College, was designed by the architect Joseph Hansom.[63] This also failed. Another social experiment, Manea Colony in the Isle of Ely, Cambridgeshire, launched in the late 1830s by William Hodson, likewise an Owenite, but it failed in a couple of years and Hodson emigrated to the United States. The Manea Colony site has been excavated by the Cambridge Archaeology Unit (CAU) based at the University of Cambridge.[64]

Return to Britain

Portrait of Owen by John Cranch, 1845

Although Owen made further brief visits to the United States, London became his permanent home and the centre of his work in 1828. After extended friction with William Allen and some other business partners, Owen relinquished all connections with New Lanark.[11][61] He is often quoted in a comment by Allen at the time, "All the world is queer save thee and me, and even thou art a little queer".[65] Having invested most of his fortune in the failed New Harmony communal experiment, Owen was no longer a wealthy capitalist. However, he remained the head of a vigorous propaganda effort to promote industrial equality, free education for children and adequate living conditions in factory towns, while delivering lectures in Europe and publishing a weekly newspaper to gain support for his ideas.[61]

In 1832 Owen opened the National Equitable Labour Exchange system,[11][66] a time-based currency in which the exchange of goods was effected using labour notes; this system superseded the usual means of exchange and middlemen. The London exchange continued until 1833, with a Birmingham branch operating for just a few months until July 1833.[67] Owen also became involved in trade unionism, briefly leading the Grand National Consolidated Trade Union (GNCTU) before its collapse in 1834.[11]

Socialism first became current in British terminology in discussions of the Association of all Classes of all Nations, which Owen formed in 1835 and served as its initial leader.[68][69] Owen's secular views also gained enough influence among the working classes to cause the Westminster Review to comment in 1839 that his principles were the creed of many of them.[70][33] However, by 1846, the only lasting result of Owen's agitation for social change, carried on through public meetings, pamphlets, periodicals, and occasional treatises, remained the Co-operative movement, and for a time even that seemed to have collapsed.[21][33][22]

Role in spiritualism

Tomb of Robert Owen, Newtown, Powys. The Art Nouveau railings were a 1902 addition

In 1817, Owen publicly claimed that all religions were false.[71] In 1854, aged 83, Owen converted to spiritualism after a series of sittings with Maria B. Hayden, an American medium credited with introducing spiritualism to England. He made a public profession of his new faith in his publication The Rational Quarterly Review and in a pamphlet titled The Future of the Human Race; or great glorious and future revolution to be effected through the agency of departed spirits of good and superior men and women.[72]

Owen claimed to have had medium contact with the spirits of Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and others. He explained that the purpose of these was to change "the present, false, disunited and miserable state of human existence, for a true, united and happy state... to prepare the world for universal peace, and to infuse into all the spirit of charity, forbearance and love."[73]

Spiritualists claimed after Owen's death that his spirit had dictated to the medium Emma Hardinge Britten in 1871 the "Seven Principles of Spiritualism", used by their National Union as "the basis of its religious philosophy".[74]

Death and legacy

As Owen grew older and more radical in his views, his influence began to decline.[61] Owen published his memoirs, The Life of Robert Owen, in 1857, a year before his death.[11]

Crowds gather to commemorate Robert Owen at his grave in Newtown, Montgomeryshire on 12 July 1902[75]

Although he had spent most of his life in England and Scotland, Owen returned to his native town of Newtown at the end of his life. He died there on 17 November 1858 and was buried there on 21 November. He died penniless apart from an annual income drawn from a trust established by his sons in 1844.[11][6][76]

Owen was a reformer, philanthropist, community builder, and spiritualist who spent his life seeking to improve the lives of others. An advocate of the working class, he improved working conditions for factory workers, which he demonstrated at New Lanark, Scotland, became a leader in trade unionism, promoted social equality through his experimental Utopian communities, and supported the passage of child labour laws and free education for children.[61] In these reforms he was ahead of his time. He envisioned a communal society that others could consider and apply as they wished.[77] In Revolution in the Mind and Practice of the Human Race (1849), he went on to say that character is formed by a combination of Nature or God and the circumstances of the individual's experience.[78] Citing beneficial results at New Lanark, Scotland, during 30 years of work there, Owen concluded that a person's "character is not made by, but for the individual,"[79] and that nature and society are responsible for each person's character and conduct.[80]

Owen's agitation for social change, along with the work of the Owenites and his children, helped to bring lasting social reforms in women's and workers' rights, establish free public libraries and museums, child care and public, co-educational schools, and pre-Marxian communism, and develop the Co-operative and trade union movements. New Harmony, Indiana, and New Lanark, Scotland, two towns with which he is closely associated, remain as reminders of his efforts.[27][81]

Owen's legacy of public service continued with his four sons, Robert Dale, William, David Dale, and Richard Dale, and his daughter, Jane, who followed him to America to live in New Harmony, Indiana:

Honours and tributes

Robert Owen Memorial (left), next to The Reformers Memorial, Kensal Green Cemetery, London

Selected published works

Collected works:

Archival collections:

See also


  1. ^ Richard Gunderman (11 May 2021). "Robert Owen, born 250 years ago, tried to use his wealth to perfect humanity in a radically equal society". New Haven Register. Archived from the original on 12 May 2021. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  2. ^ "John's Homepage".
  3. ^ Douglas F. Dowd. "Robert Owen". Encyclopædia Britannica (Online academic ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  4. ^ Arthur H. Estabrook (1923). "The Family History of Robert Owen". Indiana Magazine of History. Bloomington: Indiana University. 19 (1): 63 and 69. Retrieved 29 August 2017. See also: Frank Podmore (1907). Robert Owen: A Biography. Vol. I. New York: D. Appleton and Company. pp. 2, 4.
  5. ^ Estabrook, p. 63; Podmore, pp. 15–17.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h Sir James Frederick Rees (2007). "Owen, Robert (1771–1858), Utopian Socialist". Dictionary of Welsh Biography. National Library of Wales. Retrieved 30 August 2017. (online version)
  7. ^ Podmore, pp. 23 and 41.
  8. ^ A memorial plaque marks the firm's location."Owen Blue Plaque". 6 February 2016. Archived from the original on 1 February 2020. Retrieved 29 August 2017.
  9. ^ Podmore, pp. 42–43.
  10. ^ Podmore, pp. 47–48.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Robert Owen Timeline". Robert Owen Museum. 2008. Archived from the original on 10 October 2018. Retrieved 29 August 2017.
  12. ^ a b Thornber, Craig. "Thomas Percival, 1740-1804". Cheshire Antiquities. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  13. ^ Kimberling, Clark. "Robert Owen (1771-1858) social reformer, founder of New Harmony". University of Evansville. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  14. ^ a b c d e f g Estabrook, p. 64.
  15. ^ Robert Dale Owen (1874). Threading My Way, Twenty-seven Years of Autobiography. New York and London: G. W. Carleton and Company; Trubner and Company. p. 56.
  16. ^ Estabrook, pp. 72, 80 and 83Victor Lincoln Albjerg (March 1946). Richard Owen: Scotland 1810, Indiana 1890. The Archives of Purdue, no. 2. Lafayette, Indiana. p. 16.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link) See also"Richard Owen". Indiana Department of Administration. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  17. ^ a b Estabrook, p. 72.
  18. ^ a b Pitzer, "Why New Harmony is World Famous," in Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History, p. 11.
  19. ^ Estabrook, p. 70.
  20. ^ a b John F. C. Harrison, "Robert Owen's Quest for the New Moral World in America," in Donald E. Pitzer, ed. (1972). Robert Owen's American Legacy: Proceedings of the Robert Owen Bicentennial Conference. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society. p. 34. OCLC 578923.
  21. ^ a b c d e f cullen, Alex (1891). "Adventures in Socialism New Lanark establishment and Orbiston community". Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  22. ^ a b c Weekes, Richard (2004). The British retail co-operative movement (PDF) (MSa). University of Central Lancashire. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  23. ^ Bloy, Marjie (4 March 2016). "Robert Owen and the Co-operative movement". A web of English History. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  24. ^ Kent Schuette (Spring 2014). "New Harmony, Indiana: Three Great Community Experiments". Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society. 26 (2): 45.
  25. ^ a b Harrison, "Robert Owen's Quest for the New Moral World in America," in Robert Owen's American Legacy, p. 37.
  26. ^ , Harrison, "Robert Owen's Quest for the New Moral World in America", Robert Owen's American Legacy, p. 40.
  27. ^ a b c d e f g h Gugin, Linda C.; St. Clair, James E., eds. (2015). Indiana's 200: The People Who Shaped the Hoosier State. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society Press. pp. 269–70. ISBN 978-0-87195-387-2.
  28. ^ a b Donald E. Pitzer (Spring 2014). "Why New Harmony is World Famous". Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society. 26 (2): 12.
  29. ^ Ryan Rokicki (Spring 2014). "Science in Utopia: New Harmony's Naturalistic Legacy". Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society. 26 (2): 52.
  30. ^ Merle Curti, "Robert Owen in American Thought," in Robert Owen's American Legacy, p. 62.
  31. ^ a b Curti, "Robert Owen in American Thought," in Robert Owen's American Legacy, p. 61.
  32. ^ "Panel Discussion", Robert Owen's American Legacy, p. 85.
  33. ^ a b c d e Dowd, Douglas. "Robert Owen: British Social Reformer". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  34. ^ a b "Robert Owen". The Economist. 31 October 2008. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  35. ^ "Silent Monitor". Scottish Maritime Museum. Retrieved 15 April 2022.
  36. ^ Ward, Marguerite (3 May 2017). "A brief history of the 8-hour workday, which changed how Americans work". CNBC. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  37. ^ Owen, Robert (12 March 1817). "To the Chairman of The Committee on the Nation's Poor Laws". University of Texas. Archived from the original on 16 May 2021. Retrieved 4 December 2021. Human labour, hitherto the great source of wealth in nations, being thus diminished in value at the rate of not less than from two to three millions sterling per week in Great Britain alone, that sum, or whatever more or less it may be, has consequently been withdrawn from the circulation of the country, and this has necessarily been the means by which the farmer, tradesman, manufacturer, and merchant, have been so greatly impoverished. A little reflection will show that the working classes have now no adequate means of contending with mechanical power; one of three results must therefore ensue: 1. The use of mechanism must be greatly diminished; or, 2. Millions of human beings must be starved, to permit its existence to the present extent; or, 3. Advantageous occupation must be found for the poor and unemployed working classes, to whose labour mechanism must be rendered subservient, instead of being applied, as at present, to supersede it.
  38. ^ The Selected Works of Robert Owen Vol I. Taylor & Francis. 2021. p. 28.
  39. ^ Bloy, Marjie (4 March 2016). "Robert Owen and 'villages of co-operation'". A web of English History. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  40. ^ a b Carmony, Donald F; Elliott, Josephine M (1980). "New Harmony, Indiana: Robert Owen's Seedbed for Utopia". Indiana Magazine of History. 76 (3): 162–163. JSTOR 27790455.
  41. ^ Kishtainy, Niall (2017). "chapter 8". A Little History of Economics. Great Britain: New Haven: Yale University Press. pp. 50–52. ISBN 9780300206364.
  42. ^ Feller, Daniel (1998). "The Spirit Of Improvement: The America of William Maclure and Robert Owen". Indiana Magazine of History. 94 (2): 92–93. JSTOR 27792086.
  43. ^ a b Madden, Edward H (1982). "The Great Debate: Alexander Campbell vs. Robert Owen". Indiana University Press. 18 (3): 221. JSTOR 40319966.
  44. ^ Kumar, Krishan (1990). "Utopian Thought and Communal Practice: Robert Owen and the Owenite Communities". Theory and Society. 19 (1): 18–19. doi:10.1007/BF00148452. JSTOR 657761. S2CID 141338548.
  45. ^ Aybay, Rona (2005). Sosyalizmin öncülerinden Robert Owen: Yaşamı, öğretisi, eylemi. İstanbul: YKY.
  46. ^ Marx, Karl; Engels, Friedrich (February 1848). "Critical-Utopian Socialism and Communism". Marxists Internet Archive. Archived from the original on 7 July 2001. Retrieved 4 December 2021. The Socialist and Communist systems, properly so called, those of Saint-Simon, Fourier, Owen, and others, spring into existence in the early undeveloped period, described above, of the struggle between proletariat and bourgeoisie [...]. although the originators of these systems were, in many respects, revolutionary, their disciples have, in every case, formed mere reactionary sects...
  47. ^ Owen, Robert, The revolution in the mind and practice
  48. ^ Paden, Roger (2002). "Marx's Critique of the Utopian Socialists". Utopian Studies. 13 (2): 67–91. JSTOR 20718467.
  49. ^ Engels, Friedrich (1880). "Socialism: Utopian and Scientific". Marx/Engels Internet Archive. Archived from the original on 17 October 2000. Retrieved 4 December 2021. The Utopians' mode of thought has for a long time governed the Socialist ideas of the 19th century, and still governs some of them. Until very recently, all French and English Socialists did homage to it. The earlier German Communism, including that of Weitling, was of the same school. To all these, Socialism is the expression of absolute truth, reason and justice, and has only to be discovered to conquer all the world by its power. And as an absolute truth is independent of time, space, and the historical development of man, it is a mere accident when and where it is discovered. With all this, absolute truth, reason, and justice are different from the founder of each different school. And as each one's special kind of absolute truth, reason, and justice is again conditioned by his subjective understanding, his conditions of existence, the measure of his knowledge and his intellectual training, there is no other ending possible in this conflict of absolute truths than that they shall be mutually exclusive of one another. Hence, from this, nothing could come but a kind of eclectic, average Socialism, which, has up to the present time dominated the minds of most of the socialist workers in France and England... a mish-mash allowing of the most manifold shades of opinion: a mishmash of such critical statements, economic theories, pictures of future society by the founders of different sects, as excite a minimum of opposition; a mish-mash which is the more easily brewed the more definite sharp edges of the individual constituents are rubbed down in the stream of the debate, like rounded pebbles in a brook.
  50. ^ Richard William Leopold (1940). Robert Dale Owen, A Biography. Harvard Historical Studies. Vol. 45. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. p. 21. OCLC 774894.
  51. ^ Karl J. R. Arndt (1965). George Rapp's Harmony Society 1785–1847. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 298.
  52. ^ Spiegel, Henry William (1971). The Growth of Economic Thought. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, Inc. pp. 441–442.
  53. ^ Estabrook, p. 66. See also Robert Owen (1840). Manifesto of Robert Owen: The discoverer, Founder, and Promulgator, of the Rational System of Society, and the Rational Religion. p. 14.
  54. ^ Rowland Hill Harvey (1947). Robert Owen: Social Idealist. University of California Press. pp. 99–100.
  55. ^ a b Bryden, Amanda S.; Weinzapfel, Connie A. (Spring 2014). "Editors' Page: 'That Wonder of the West'". Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society. 26 (2): 2. See also: Heather Baldus (Spring 2014). "A Broad Stroke: New Harmony's Artistic Legacy". Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society. 26 (2): 25.
  56. ^ Roger D. Branigin, "Robert Owen's New Harmony: An American Heritage," in Robert Owen's American Legacy, p. 20.
  57. ^ Forestville Commonwealth was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. See "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 13 March 2009.
  58. ^ Joseph Clayton (1908). Robert Owen: Pioneer of Social Reforms. London: A.C. Fifield.
  59. ^ Warren, Periodical Letter II (1856)
  60. ^ Riggenbach, Jeff (23 February 2011). "Josiah Warren: The First American Anarchist". Mises Institute. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  61. ^ a b c d e Estabrook, p. 68.
  62. ^ Garnett, Ronald (1972). Co-operation and the Owenite Socialist Communities in Britain, 1825-45. Manchester University Press.
  63. ^ Penelope Harris, "The Architectural Achievement of Joseph Aloysius Hansom (1803-1882), Designer of the Hansom Cab, Birmingham Town Hall, and Churches of the Catholic Revival", The Edwin Mellen Press, 2010, p. 75 ISBN 0-7734-3851-3
  64. ^ Brittain, Marcus (January 2017). "Archaeology of 19th Century Utopia". Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  65. ^ "1828: Information from". Retrieved 13 July 2009. See also "Who said this: "all strange but thee and Me" – Literature Network Forums". Retrieved 13 July 2009.
  66. ^ Harrison, "Robert Owen's Quest for the New Moral World in America," in Robert Owen's American Legacy, p. 36.
  67. ^ "Timeline". TUC History Online. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  68. ^ Edward Royle (1998). Robert Owen and the Commencement of the Millennium. Manchester University Press. p. 56. ISBN 0-7190-5426-5.
  69. ^ Harvey, Robert Owen, p. 211.
  70. ^ A. (1839). "A letter to the Earl of Durham on Reform in Parliament, by Paying the Elected". London and Westminster Review. 32: 475–508. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  71. ^ Richard William Leopold (1940). Robert Dale Owen, A Biography. Harvard Historical Studies. Vol. 45. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. p. 8. OCLC 774894.
  72. ^ Lewis Spence (2003). Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. Kessinger Publishing Company. p. 679.
  73. ^ Frank Podmore. Robert Owen: A Biography. Vol. II. pp. 604–5.
  74. ^ "History of Spiritualism". SNU international. Retrieved 30 August 2017.
  75. ^ a b "Robert Owen the Socialist; Memorial Unveiled at Newtown; Glowing Eulogy by Mr. G. J. Holyoake". Western Mail. 14 July 1902. p. 6 – via
  76. ^ Leopold, Robert Dale Owen, A Biography, p. 327.
  77. ^ Harrison, "Robert Owen's Quest for the New Moral World in America," in Robert Owen's American Legacy, p. 41.
  78. ^ Robert Owen (1849). Revolution in the Mind and Practice of the Human Race, or, The Coming Change from Irrationality to Rationality. London: Effingham Wilson. pp. 1 & 9. OCLC 11756751.
  79. ^ Owen, Revolution in the Mind and Practice of the Human Race, p. 29. See also: Harrison, "Robert Owen's Quest for the New Moral World in America," in Robert Owen's American Legacy, p. 38.
  80. ^ Owen, Revolution in the Mind and Practice of the Human Race, p. 59.
  81. ^ Branigin, "Robert Owen's New Harmony" in Robert Owen's American Legacy, pp. 21–23.
  82. ^ Estabrook, pp. 72–74.
  83. ^ "Owen, Robert Dale (1801–1877)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. U.S. Congress. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  84. ^ Pancoast and Lincoln, p. 100.
  85. ^ Estabrook, p. 80.
  86. ^ Leopold, p. 21.
  87. ^ Estabrook, pp. 82–83.
  88. ^ Pancoast, Elinor; Lincoln, Anne E. (1940). The Incorrigible Idealist: Robert Dale Owen in America. Bloomington, Indiana: Principia Press. p. 25. OCLC 2000563.
  89. ^ Josephine Mirabella Elliott (December 1964). "The Owen Family Papers". Indiana Magazine of History. Bloomington: Indiana University. 60 (4): 343. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  90. ^ Estabrook, pp. 88–89.
  91. ^ a b Leopold, Robert Dale Owen, A Biography, pp. 50–51.
  92. ^ Elliott, pp. 343–344.
  93. ^ Estabrook, pp. 94–95.
  94. ^ "Robert Owen (1771-1858) by Gilbert Bayes (1872-1953)". Victorian Web. 26 June 2020. Retrieved 22 March 2023.
  95. ^ Coyle, Simon (14 April 2015). "Manchester public art: Robert Owen on the corner of Balloon Street and Corporation Street". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 22 March 2023.
  96. ^ Harrison, "Robert Owen's Quest for the New Moral World in America," in Robert Owen's American Legacy, p. 32.
  97. ^ Robert Owen (1818). Two Memorials Behalf of the Working Classes. London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown.
  98. ^ The collection includes papers and letters as well as pamphlets and books. See "National Co-operative Archive". Archived from the original on 3 October 2006. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  99. ^ The collection includes a letter describing Owen's views and documents related to the New Harmony community. See "New Harmony Collection, 1814–1884, Collection Guide" (PDF). Indiana Historical Society. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 July 2016. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  100. ^ Bound records of the New Harmony community. See "New Harmony Series II". Workingmen's Institute. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  101. ^ The collection includes the correspondence, speeches, and publications of Robert Owens and his descendants. See "Owen family collection, 1826-1967, bulk 1830-1890". Archives Online at Indiana University. Retrieved 30 April 2020.


Further reading

Biographies of Owen

Other works about Owen