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What is the history of socialism in the United States

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[[File:Brook-farm.jpg|thumb|left|300px|Figure 1. Brook Farm was associated with the Utopian socialist movement.]]
Socialism, in the United States at least, has often been seen as a negative term or been associated with other countries, usually dictatorships or Marxist states. Nevertheless, socialism has a long political history in the United States and has been, at times, influential in American politics.
This developed into the Transcendentalism movement in the United States during the 1820s-1830s. Brook Farm was one of their well-known communities, established in 1841 by George Ripley, that once included Nathaniel Hawthorne and Ralph Emerson as members. The Transcendentalists were influenced by Charles Fourier, a prominent French Socialist thinker of the Utopian movement. At Brook Farm, the community attempted to pool their labor and resources so that intellectual and scientific pursuit could be followed by the community. By 1849, the community was financially insolvent, as the farming used for communal money proved unprofitable, and the farm itself was sold (Figure 1).<ref>For early history of American socialism and Utopian socialism, see: Taylor, K. (2016). <i>Political ideas of the utopian socialists</i>. Routledge. </ref>
[[File:AFL-label.jpg|thumb|left|300px|Figure 2. The AFL labor organization was a legacy of American socialism that eventually formed the AFL-CIO union today.]]
Edward Bellamy, a relatively unknown author, wrote what would become perhaps the second highest selling book in the United States in the 19th century, surpassed only by <i>Uncle Tom's Cabin</i>. The book (<i>Looking Backward: 2000–1887</i>), published in 1888, describes a socialist United State in the year 2000. The book was still part of the Utopian Socialism ideals but now began to tackle what would become core aspects of socialism as it discussed labor and production, including equal distribution of goods across the United States. The hero of the novel wakes up in 2000 to see the United States in a socialist Utopian state where everyone retires at 45 and production is distributed equally <ref>For more on the significance of Looking Backward, see: Trodd, Z. (Ed.). (2006). <i>American protest literature</i>. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard Univ. Press. </ref>.

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