Definition of Robert Owen from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


Robert Owen

; NAmE
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(1771-1858) a Welsh industrialist whose ideas on social reform (= changes to improve society) influenced the development of the Co-operative Movement and trade unions in Britain. He bought some cotton mills (= factories) in Scotland and created a model industrial community for his workers, providing them with good housing and education. The factories made a good profit and his ideas were admired even among the upper classes, though they were less enthusiastic when he argued that workers should share the ownership of factories. He started several other communities, including New Harmony in the US, but these were less successful.