Utopian Communities, 1800-1890
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Even before the nineteenth century, various groups flocked to the New World to claim land and establish a new way of life in communal living experiments. In the first century and a half after Jamestown was founded, almost all groups had a distinctly religious flavor. Most tended to be exclusive and did not welcome outsiders. Virginia was established as an Angilican state. Massachusetts was Puritan, actively persecuting Quakers and other dissident Protestant sects well into the eighteenth century. It wasn’t until William Penn, a Quaker, founded the colony of Pennsylvania in 1682, that Quakers and other groups had a haven with complete religious liberty. Penn actively recruited Protestant religious groups in Europe, which resulted in the largest wave of immigration to North America to that time. Besides English and German Quakers, Mennonites, Moravian Brethren and German Anabaptists responded to Penn’s pleas.