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Robert Owen and New Lanark

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Childcare, education, working conditions, healthcare, crime: these issues are hotly debated in today's society. They are also issues that Robert Owen, seen by some as a visionary and by others as a knave and a charlatan, sought to address in the early 1800s. This free course, Robert Owen and New Lanark, uses a series of essays written by Owen to explore the ideas of this important and controversial figure.

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • understand the Enlightenment ideas that underpinned Robert Owen's social reform agenda
  • understand how Owen's background and experience at New Lanark fed through into his thinking in the essays in A New View of Society
  • understand the main proposals in the essays
  • understand New Lanark's role as a model for social reform during this period.

By: The Open University

  • Duration 12 hours
  • Updated Wednesday 27th January 2016
  • Intermediate level
  • Posted under History of Art
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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 OpenLearn course provides a sample of Level 2 study in Arts and Humanities [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

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