Robert Owen was born on May 14, 1771 in Newtown, Montgomeryshire, Wales. He was the sixth of seven children. Robert Owen was a unique person because he focused heavily on helping out the poor, and earning profit in a way that was highly unusual. He felt that keeping his employees in a safe working environment was essential to the success and quality of the product. Robert Owen insisted on decent working conditions, livable wages, and education for the children. Owen believed that if human beings were treated humanely, both productivity and profits would increase. The outcome of the New Lanark community, which quickly gained international fame, demonstrated Owen’s idea that people are influenced by their environment or surroundings. In the New Lanark community, Owen enhanced his workers environment; he also managed to obtain an increase in profit and productivity. In 1824, Owen and his family moved to the United States in order to pursue his Utopian ideas. He did so by purchasing 20,000 acres of land in New Harmony, Indiana. Unfortunately, the two year experiment of the New Harmony society was a total failure for Owen. The community failed due to the lack of individual sovereignty and private property (Gorb 131). Owen’s life was filled with both success and failure in his plans and ideas. This paper will explain how Robert Owen managed to be successful in Scotland with the creation of the New Lanark community, and contrast this success with his experiment that failed in New Harmony, Indiana.
This paper will cover three areas of Robert Owen’s economic excellence and as well as his failures. The first topic I will cover, will be the early years of Owens business career, and how he became a successful manager at New Lanark. Following this topic, I will discuss and explain Owen’s experiment with the mill at New Lanark. To follow that topic will be another experiment with the community at New Harmony. Lastly I want to discuss his followers,
Cited: Page Brown, Paul. Twelve Months in New Harmony. Philadelphia: Porcupine Press Inc, 1972. Cole, Margaret. Robert Owen of New Lanark. New York: Oxford University Press, 1953. Gorb, Peter. “Robert Owen as a Business Man.” Harvard University, 1951. Pickering, William. Owen Vol. 1 Early Writings. London, 1993. Pickering, William. The development of Socialism. London, 1993.