New Harmony, Indiana

Originally founded by the Harmonie society under the leadership of German Immigrant George Rapp, New Harmony, Indiana was formed due to the increasing populations and costs of land in Harmony, Pennsylvania, that threatened their desire for solitude. A religious society with aspects of German culture, New Harmony found great success along the Wabash river. In stark contrast to the society following it, it was extremely well planned, self-sufficient with it's own factories and workers. They thrived until 1824, when George Rapp received a prophecy about the second coming of Christ, forcing him to move back to Pennsylvania. When he put the town up for sale, it was bought by Robert Owen, a wealthy industrialist and socialist who hoped to eliminate the growing class divide of the industrial revolution. He sought to bring together scholars and academics from all over the US, but let anyone join the society. Because of this, there was a large shortage of skilled craftsmen, and poor management and planning. In 1826, in an effort to unite this society, they wrote a new constitution, which was based on equal rights and duties, which would also hopefully bring more management to the society and train the children to become skilled craftsmen. But this was not enough to unite the people, as Robert Owen himself was a flawed leader. For one he had an open distaste for organized religion, which split much of the community. His ideals drove away farmers, upset anarchists, and divided the common people. And finally, he struggled to receive the same amount of donations that he had in Europe. Due to this disorganisation and lack of unity, New Harmony, Indiana broke apart into smaller, separate communities in 1827, and then eventually entirely dissolved in 1829.

Works Cited (Timeline)


“New Harmony, Indiana.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 10 Aug. 2020,,_Indiana.


Owen, William. Diary of William Owen fromto April 20, 1825. ed by Hiatt, Joel W Indianapolis, The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1906. Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.

The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. “New Harmony.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 22 July 2011, 

Wilson, William Edward. The Angel and the Serpent: the Story of New Harmony. Indiana University Press, 1992.

Associated Place(s)

Event date:

Mar 1814 to Jun 1827