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The Harmony Society was a Christian theosophy and pietist society founded in Iptingen, Germany, in 1785.Due to religious persecution by the Lutheran Church and the government in Württemberg, the group moved to the United States, where representatives initially purchased land in Butler County, Pennsylvania.Rapp became inspired by the philosophies of Jakob Böhme, Philipp Jakob Spener, Johann Heinrich Jung, and Emanuel Swedenborg, among others, and later wrote Thoughts on the Destiny of Man, published in German in 1824 and in English a year later, in which he outlined his ideas and philosophy.

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Ten years after the move to Indiana the commune moved again, this time returning to western Pennsylvania, and named their third and final town Economy ('Ökonomie' in German).

On February 15, 1805, the settlers at Harmony, Pennsylvania, signed articles of association to formally establish the Harmony Society in the United States.

In this document, Society members agreed to hold all property in a common fund, including working capital of $23,000 to purchase land, livestock, tools, and other goods needed to establish their town.

The agreement gave the Society legal status in the United States and protected it from dissolution.

Rapp and a small group of men left Iptingen in 1803 and traveled to America to find a new home.

On May 1, 1804, the first group of emigrants departed for the United States.

Members were known as Harmonists, Harmonites, or Rappites.

The Society is best known for its worldly successes, most notably the establishment of three model communities, the first at Harmony, Pennsylvania; the second, also called Harmony, in the Indiana Territory, now New Harmony, Indiana; and the third and final town at Economy, now Ambridge, Pennsylvania.

Members contributed all of their possessions, pledged cooperation in promoting the interests of the group, and agreed to accept no pay for their services.

In return, the members would receive care as long as they lived with the group.

On February 15, 1805, the group of approximately 400 followers formally organized the Harmony Society, placing all their goods in common.

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