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Robert Owen and New Lanark

Introduction

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Robert Owen (1771–1858) (see Figure 1) was one of the most important and controversial figures of his generation. He lived through the ages of Enlightenment and Romanticism and was personally touched by the ideas and dramatic changes that characterised that era. Profiting enormously during the first half of his life from the progress of industry and having the financial means, he later devoted himself to publicising and practising his social and economic ideas. Most of these derived from Enlightenment notions and, he thought, could eliminate poverty and crime, contributing to social and moral betterment.

This unit is an adapted extract from the Open University course From Enlightenment to Romanticism c.1780-1830 (A207). [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]

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