New Atlantis

Influences

New Atlantis and other writings of Bacon inspired the formation of the Royal Society. Jonathan Swift parodied them both in book III of Gulliver's Travels.

In recent years, New Atlantis influenced B.F. Skinner's 1948 Walden Two.

This novel may have been Bacon's vision for a Utopian New World in North America. In it he depicted a land where there would be freedom of religion – showing a Jew treated fairly and equally in an island of Christians, but it has been debated whether this work had influenced others reforms, such as greater rights for women, the abolition of slavery, elimination of debtors' prisons, separation of church and state, and freedom of political expression,[7][8][9][10] although there is no hint of these reforms in The New Atlantis itself. His propositions of legal reform (which were not established in his lifetime), though, are considered to have been one of the influences behind the Napoleonic Code,[11] and therefore could show some resemblance with or influence in the drafting of other liberal constitutions that came in the centuries after Bacon's lifetime, such as the American Constitution.

Francis Bacon played a leading role in creating the English colonies, especially in Virginia, the Carolinas, and Newfoundland in northeastern Canada. His government report on "The Virginia Colony" was submitted in 1609. In 1610 Bacon and his associates received a charter from the king to form the Tresurer and the Companye of Adventurers and planter of the Cittye of London and Bristoll for the Collonye or plantacon in Newfoundland[12] and sent John Guy to found a colony there. In 1910 Newfoundland issued a postage stamp to commemorate Bacon's role in establishing the province. The stamp describes Bacon as "the guiding spirit in colonization scheme" of 1610.[13] Moreover, some scholars believe he was largely responsible for the drafting, in 1609 and 1612, of two charters of government for the Virginia Colony.[14] Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States and author of the Declaration of Independence, wrote: "Bacon, Locke and Newton. I consider them as the three greatest men that have ever lived, without any exception, and as having laid the foundation of those superstructures which have been raised in the Physical and Moral sciences".[15] Historian and biographer William Hepworth Dixon considered that Bacon's name could be included in the list of Founders of the United States of America.[16]

It is also believed by the Rosicrucian organisation AMORC that Bacon would have influenced a settlement of mystics in North America, stating that The New Atlantis inspired a colony of Rosicrucians led by Johannes Kelpius to journey across the Atlantic Ocean in a chartered vessel called Sarah Mariah, and move on to Pennsylvania in the late 17th century. According to their claims, these Rosicrucian communities "made valuable contributions to the newly emerging American culture in the fields of printing, philosophy, the sciences and arts".[17]

The utopian writer Kārlis Balodis adopted the name "Atlanticus" when he wrote Der Zukunftsstaat in 1898.


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