Prior to the 1848 Revolution in France, a democrat and communist named Étienne Cabet organized one of the largest worker's movements in Europe. Called "Icarians," members of this party ascribed to the social philosophy and utopian vision outlined in Cabet's 1840 novel, Voyage en Icarie, written while in exile. This thesis analyzes the conception of space developed in Cabet's book, and tracks the group's actual spatial practice over the next seventeen years. During this period, thousands of Icarians led by Cabet attempted to establish an actual colony in the wilderness of the United States. Eventually settling in the recently abandoned Mormon enclave of Nauvoo, Illinois, in 1849, Cabet and the Icarians struggled to find meaning in the existing architecture and design of the city. This work describes the spatial artifact that they inherited, and recounts how the Icarians modified and used the existing space for their purposes. The thesis concludes that they were not ultimately successful in reconciling their philosophy with the urban form of Nauvoo, and posits a spatial cause for the demise of their colony.
College and Department
Humanities; French and Italian
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
McCorquindale, John Derek, "Spatial Practices of Icarian Communism" (2008). Theses and Dissertations. 1364.
Cabet, Icarians Revolution in France, Icarian Communism, Voyage en Icarie