Some forty utopian communities based their organization on the ideas of the French theorist Charles Fourier (1772–1837), who hoped to eliminate poverty through the establishment of scientifically organized cooperative communities called “phalanxes.” Each phalanx was to be set up as a “joint-stock company,” in which profits were divided according to the amount of money members had invested, their skill, and their labor. In the phalanxes, women received equal job opportunities and equal pay, equal participation in decision-making, and the right to speak in public assemblies. Although one Fourier community lasted for eighteen years, most were unsuccessful.

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