Robert Owen

Portrait by [[William Henry Brooke]], 1834 Robert Owen (; 14 May 1771 – 17 November 1858) was a Welsh textile manufacturer, philanthropist and social reformer, and a founder of utopian socialism and the co-operative movement. He strove to improve factory working conditions, promoted experimental socialistic communities, sought a more collective approach to child-rearing, and 'believed in lifelong education, establishing an Institute for the Formation of Character and School for Children that focused less on job skills than on becoming a better person'. He gained wealth in the early 1800s from a textile mill at New Lanark, Scotland. Having trained as a draper in Stamford, Lincolnshire he worked in London before relocating aged 18 to Manchester and textile manufacturing. In 1824, he moved to America and put most of his fortune in an experimental socialistic community at New Harmony, Indiana, as a preliminary for his utopian society. It lasted about two years. Other Owenite communities also failed, and in 1828 Owen returned to London, where he continued to champion the working class, lead in developing co-operatives and the trade union movement, and support child labour legislation and free co-educational schools. Provided by Wikipedia
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