American Idealism and Reform 1820-1860

Instructor Resources

EXERCISE #1 - DESIGN A UTOPIA
After studying the communal Utopian societies of the Antebellum period, create a web outline of what you would include in your Utopian society.  How would you organize/control key societal points like food, education, work, religion, family, sex, race, and government?

Here’s a few YouTube videos that may help:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYjwcKxCp84

OPTIONAL: Divide Class into Groups.
RECRUIT GROUP (x1)
Designate one group as being set aside as recruits looking to pool resources to 'drop out' of mainstream 1840s American society and select a society that best meets their hopes & objectives. Have the recruit group develop a criteria for what they want in a group.
OTHER GROUPS (As many others as class dictates)
Have other groups combine their indiviudal Utopian society visions into a combined Group Utopian society
UTOPIAN GROUPS PITCH TO RECRUITS
Have the Utopias groups pitch their societies to the recruits group and llow brief questions form recruits.
RECRUITS GROUP DECISION
At the conclusion have the recruits confer and indicate which of the Utopias they will be investing & moving to and why.

EXERCISE #2 - SENECA FALLS v.s DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE?

Compare the “Declaration of Sentiment and Resolution to the Declaration of Independence
Why did the writers make the phrasing so similar to that of the Declaration?  What were they trying to achieve?