In North America, cooperatives were preceded by failed attempts to implement the utopian plans of Fourier and Owen. Some influence on the emergence of cooperatives was exerted by the ideas of cooperation brought here by immigrants from Europe. In the United States, there were successful communities based on community of property and self-government, based on the charter, originating from religious sekas (shakers, rapists, etc.). Sometimes cooperative societies were born out of so-called "purchasing clubs".

According to the American author D. Shaffer, the earliest cooperative in the United States is the Philadelphia Depositors Mutual Insurance Society for Home Insurance against Fire Losses. The society was founded by the famous politician and scientist B. Franklin and several of his neighbors in 1752, perhaps it was the world's first cooperative for property insurance.

In 1785, also in Philadelphia, the Society for the Promotion of Agriculture arose, and a quarter of a century later the first agricultural cooperative in the United States was founded in New Jersey.

The beginning of the cooperative consumer movement was laid by the organization in 1830 of the consumer society in New York. Then, in 1845, a similar society arose and had a short-lived success in Boston. The immediate cause of the death of this cooperative was the sale of goods on credit and at prices below market prices.

Over the years, cooperatives appeared: tailors in Boston (1849), cheese makers in New York (1856), loaders in Baltimore (1865). Over time, the main participants in the cooperative movement are American farmers who have created cooperatives for the sale of grain, livestock, and other agricultural products.

In Canada, the first cooperative in the form of a mutual insurance society was founded in 1861 by miners in the province of Nova Scotia. The cooperative movement in this country accelerated only in the last decades of the XIX century.

So, already at the stage of the emergence of the cooperative movement in North America, all the main types of cooperatives arose: consumer, industrial, credit and insurance, agricultural and fishing, housing.