Started by John Humphrey Noyes in 1848, the Oneida Community was a utopian society aimed to redefine traditional roles of women and families. They believed that Jesus had returned to the world and they could achieve a sinless society equal to Heaven, an idea called Perfectionism. Another name for their practices was Bible Communism.
Q- What do you rely upon for the regulation of members?
A- On religious influence, free criticism, and education
Goals and Tactics:
-Improve status of women -> made care of children a communal obligation, allowed freedom in dress and clothing, equal opportunities and freedom as men
- Communalism -> Stripculture (program to create a generation of perfect children who are raised communally and had limited contact with their parents)
-Mutual Criticism (allow community members to be criticized at meetings to promote the discarding of imperfect traits)
-Complex Marriage (no traditional marriage, everyone was free to engage in sexual activity with any other member, freed women of male dominance, and freed children of parental dominance)
-Male Continence (reliance on self-control of the men to limit pregnancies)
-Very religious: "The Bible...is our only written Constitution...wisdom is the common law"
-Outcome: Noyes tried to pass the leadership of the community to his son, but he wasn't as dominant and a power struggle caused the crumbling of the community. The younger generation began to question the morality of the community and its ideas, such as Complex Marriage
-Oneida Community dissolved in 1881, and eventually became the giant silverware company Oneida Limited
The Oneida Association, "An American Utopia as It Saw Itself." Classroom resource.
Noyes, John Humphrey, "Male Continence." (Oneida, N.Y., 1872) Classroom resource
"John Humphrey Noyes: The Oneida Community." Excerpt from the Bible Communism by John Humphrey Noyes, 1848. Classroom resource.
Noyes, John Humphrey. "Bible Communism." http://library.syr.edu/digital/collections/b/BibleCommunism/
"The Oneida Community."Classroom resource.
Brinkley, Alan. "American History, a Survey"
- "Community Members of Oneida." http://library.syr.edu/digital/images/o/OneidaCommunityPhotos/104.jpg
"John Humphrey Noyes, 1851." http://library.syr.edu/digital/images/o/OneidaComm...
"Mansion House" http://library.syr.edu/digital/images/o/OneidaComm...