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New Harmony was the second community founded by the followers of German pietist preacher George Rapp in 1814. In 1826 the town was purchased by Welsh social reformer and industrialist Robert Owen. He had an entrepreneurial spirit, management skill and progressive moral views. After a trial period of two years the project of a model working community failed due to lack of individual sovereignty and private property. New Harmony became known for advances in education and scientific research. Its residents established the first free library and a public school system open to men and women.

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