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Introduction Utopian Literature Dystopian Literature Utopian Communities
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Oceana

James Harrington. The Common-wealth of the Oceana. London: Printed by J. Streater, for Livewell Chapman, 1656.

 

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JAMES HARRINGTON
Oceana

In his republican utopia Oceana, Harrington proposed a small-scale, property–owning democracy as the ideal basis for stable and just government. No one would be allowed to own property over the value of 2,000 pounds, but only owners of property would take part in government. Harrington dreamed of the agricultural democracy of Aristotle. He uses a very American model of the human being, the possessive individualist; there is no communism here. Harrington’s work was highly influential in the formulation of the American Constitution.

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