Once inhabited by Mormons, in 1849 Nauvoo was settled by followers of French utopian socialist ?tienne Cabet. His ideas attracted many people who saw him as a political messiah and sought to implement his ideas in a practical setting. In Nauvoo they created a theoretically egalitarian commune that was forced to disband in 1860 after it endured a loss of about 40% and ran into financial difficulties.

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