To what extent was progressivism an expression of America's old utopian tendencies, and to what extent was it a reaction common to all industrializing nations?

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Labor-saving and monopoly-ending arguments from the American Progressive period recalled civic equality principles originating from early American colonies. In Puritan communities, settlers believed in the principles of communalism. They based many of their decisions and market practices on Protestant morality. Many later Progressive thinkers balanced goals of civic equality against realities of industrial production and mechanized labor. Their ideas resembled the spirit of early American communities.

The most famous American Utopian thinker was Robert Owen. Owen founded the New Harmony Community of Equality in Indiana in 1825. It was not based on a specific religion. New Harmony grew from socialist principles ascending in Europe at the time. Its main principles included eight-hour workdays, communal living, and shared ownership over industrial property. New Harmony lasted two years before poor management and lack of funding forced Owen to cancel the project. The commune represented...

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