While the concept of a perfect society, or utopia, is as old as Plato's "Republic," the Utopian Movement gathered serious traction in 19th century America when thousands of people formed communities hoping to significantly improve on existing society. Many of these communities followed charismatic leaders and operated within a religious framework. Most of these societies dissolved with little trace by the early 20th century.Continue Reading
The heyday of the Utopian Movement was between 1820 and 1860 in the United States. One of the remaining groups from this period of time is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormon Church. Joseph Smith founded this society in 1830, saying God had revealed to him a new set of holy scripture known as the "Book of Mormon." Smith's fledgling society encouraged polygamy, which angered a number of Americans who persecuted Mormons for this practice.
Other utopian societies that existed in the 19th century included the Oneida Community in upstate New York; the Shaker Movement, which existed in several states, including Kentucky and Indiana; and Brook Farm, a utopian community located in Massachusetts. Brook Farm residents helped to promote women's rights, labor rights and abolition. Many utopian societies failed owing to a lack of sufficient financial resources, while others experienced generational conflicts.Learn more about US History
The Great Migration was a large movement of African American people out of the southern United States after Reconstruction. This movement lasted from around 1915 through the 1960s. During this time, over 6 million people moved north and west toward urban areas, creating a new black urban culture.Full Answer >
The civil rights movement directly resulted from the failure of post-Civil War policies to ensure the civil liberties of black people, many recently emancipated. Consequently, old forms of social and legal suppression took new shape in the South, particularly in the form of segregation laws.Full Answer >
Helen Keller helped to change the world by inspiring people and showing the world that people who are blind and deaf can do many things as valuable members of society. She changed the way that the world viewed people with all kinds of disabilities by showing that these people can earn degrees, communicate effectively and be intelligent.Full Answer >
Among Helen Keller's contributions to society were her fundraising and awareness initiatives with the American Foundation for the Blind, her efforts to make Braille the standard system used to write books for the blind, and her work to have blind people included in the government's definition of "disabled," making them eligible for government aid. In addition, Keller radically change public perception regarding what a disabled person could accomplish.Full Answer >