Thomas More's Utopia is a masterpiece of Renaissance political philosophy, responsible for introducing the term 'utopia' and spawning an entire genre of 'utopian' and 'dystopian' literature. First published in Latin in 1516, Utopia gave its name to the whole genre of books and movements hypothesizing an ideal society. More envisioned a patriarchal island kingdom that practiced religious tolerance, in which everybody worked, no one has more than his fellows, all goods were community-owned, and violence, bloodshed, and vice nonexistent. Based to some extent on the writings of Plato and other earlier authors, Utopia nevertheless contained much that was original with More.
In the nearly 500 years since the book's publication, there have been many attempts at establishing "Utopias" both in theory and in practice. All of them, however, seem to embody ideas already present in More's classic treatise: optimistic faith in human nature, emphasis on the environment and proper education, nostalgia for a lost innocence, and other positive elements.