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By Robert Owen

In his early works Owen argues that, on account that everyone is absolutely shaped via their atmosphere, schooling is the the most important think about remodeling them. Later he got here to undertake way more radical positions, presenting not anything below 'the emancipation of mankind' and the production of a 'new ethical world', a full-scale reorganization of British society, significant reforms of operating practices and the negative legislation and the institution of co-operative model.

Robert Owen (1771-1858) was once a Welsh social reformer and one of many founders of utopian socialism and the cooperative circulation. He labored within the cotton in Manchester earlier than constructing a wide mill at New Lanark in Scotland.

George Claeys bought his PhD from the college of Cambridge and is now affiliate Professor of historical past at Washington University.

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Sample text

Owen's mature system of thought was thus largely formed by the late 1830s, and included a conception of economic and social justice, a plea for equality between men and women, a plan for the elimination of war and political conflict, and a theory of communitarian life in which the evils of industrialism and cities were eliminated. All were to be educated to a high level, and would treat one another justly and with charity and respect, in harmony, and with mutual devotion to the common good. To the later nineteenth century Owen left several kinds of legacy.

This vital alteration in his thinking was closely linked not only to his own disappointment but also to the considerable growth in poverty in the immediate post-war years, which coincided with a period of rapid industrialization. In 1816 Owen insisted that, with the ending of Britain's wartime trade monopoly, it was the displacement of manual labour by machinery that chiefly caused distress. By 1817 he claimed that unemployment resulting from mechanization could be alleviated only by building ‘villages of union’ of 500 to 1,500 people motivated by ‘mutual and combined interest’, situated in the countryside but utilizing some machinery, and thus capable of providing most of their own food and manufactured goods.

The notion that communities should be ruled by all those of a certain age, Owen had suggested as early as 1817. Now he urged that society be reorganized according to eight age groups, each of which was to assume a major social task for a time, then move on to another occupation, with age thus supplanting class as the basis of social division. The first ‘class’ (as Owen termed it), from birth to age five, would attend school. Those aged five to ten would assist with domestic labour, supervised in part by those aged ten to fifteen, who would learn agricultural and industrial skills.

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