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Amana Colonies Analysis

Page history last edited by Scott McLaughlin 11 years, 11 months ago

Exercising your critical thinking:


What are the appeals or strengths of this idea?

Similar to Walden Two, communal living in the Amana Colonies became a major strength of the settlement.  In fact, its communal core was so strong that it allowed the Amana Colonies to become the longest sustained Commune in the history of the United States.  The mixture of religious sanctity and communal togetherness led to its success as it brought hundreds of people together with common interests.  The colonies appealed to many people because of the simple life that it boasted both religiously and otherwise.  The community called for a peaceful coexistence with God and a simple way of living.  Religously, people trusted the werzeuges' prophecies and felt connected directly to God.  Because it was fairly isolated from the outside world, this also provided a significant strength to the colonies because the community emphasized keeping its distance from 'worldly' affairs.  The combination of communal living and deep religious connections allowed for a prosperous American commune.


What works against this idea?

Though the community managed to remain communal for a long period of time, eventually people began looking towards their families for support.  Because of the Great Depression, communal living was very hard to sustain so people living in Amana began running private enterprises.  There was a shift from community based living to family living.  Also, because the Amana colonies maintained their isolation from the rest of the world, it became difficult to advance as the outside world evolved.


What traces of this idea can we identify in 21st century US life?

I think that to a certain extent many Americans still turn to religion to guide their daily lives.  While it may not be as evident as being told what direction to go by prophets, religion still plays a significant role in shaping people's lives.  People trust their pastors just as the people of Amana trusted their Werkzeuge.




Amana Colonies Description

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