Catherine M. Rokicky is assistant professor of history at Cuyahoga Community College. She is the author of James Monroe: Oberlin’s Christian Statesman and Reformer, 1821–1898.
Powerful currents of religious revival and political and social reform swept nineteenth-century America. Many people expressed their radical religious and social ideals by creating or joining self-contained utopian communities. These utopianists challenged the existing social and economic order with alternative notions about religion, marriage, family, sexuality, property ownership, and wage labor. Between 1787 and 1919, approximately 270 utopian communities existed in the United States.