In the discussion of its extent, its westward movement, etc. Up to our own day American history has been in a large degree the history of the colonization of the Great West. The existence of an area of free land, its continuous recession, and the advance of American settlement westward, explain American development.
Frederick Jackson Turner "The existence of an area of free land, its continuous recession, and the advance of American settlement westward explain American development. Turner was born in Portage, Wisconsin, in After his graduation from the University of Wisconsin inTurner decided to become a professional historian, and received his Ph.
He retired in but continued his research until his death in Census Bureau had announced the disappearance of a contiguous frontier line. Turner took this "closing of the frontier" as an opportunity to reflect upon the influence it had exercised.
He argued that the frontier had meant that every American generation returned "to primitive conditions on a continually advancing frontier line. Individuals, forced to rely on their own wits and strength, he believed, were simply too scornful of rank to be amenable to the exercise of centralized political power.
Turner offered his frontier thesis as both an analysis of the past and a warning about the future.
If the frontier had been so essential to the development of American culture and democracy, then what would befall them as the frontier closed?
It was on this forboding note that he closed his address: His critics have denied everything from his basic assumptions to the small details of his argument. Some have long disputed the very idea of a frontier of "free land.
On a more analytic level, an increasing number of Western historians have found the very concept of a frontier dubious, because it applies to too many disparate places and times to be useful. How much do Puritan New England and the California of the transcontinental railroad really have in common?
Many such critics have sought to replace the idea of a moving frontier with the idea of the West as a distinctive region, much like the American South. Cooperation and communities of various sorts, not isolated individuals, made possible the absorption of the West into the United States. Most migrant wagon trains, for example, were composed of extended kinship networks.
Moreover, as the 19th century wore on, the role of the federal government and large corporations grew increasingly important.
Corporate investors headquartered in New York laid the railroads; government troops defeated Indian nations who refused to get out of the way of manifest destiny; even the cowboys, enshrined in popular mythology as rugged loners, were generally low-level employees of sometimes foreign-owned cattle corporations.
Moreover, these revisionist scholars argue, for many places the West has not been the land of freedom and opportunity that both Turnerian history and popular mythology would have us believe.
For many women, Asians, Mexicans who suddenly found themselves residents of the United States, and, of course, Indians, the West was no promised land.
Often the rhetoric reaches an acrimonious crescendo. But in a sense, the very acrimony of these debates takes us full circle back to Turner and his legacy, for debates about the significance of Western history are hardly ever confined to the past.
In our understanding of what we are as a nation, if on no other level, the Western past continues to define us today.I. Introduction. Native Americans long dominated the vastness of the American West.
Linked culturally and geographically by trade, travel, and warfare, various indigenous groups controlled most of the continent west of the Mississippi River deep into the nineteenth century. BibMe Free Bibliography & Citation Maker - MLA, APA, Chicago, Harvard.
The Turner Theses The central thesis about the frontier coined by Frederick Jackson Turner, commonly called the frontier thesis, has to do with the origins of the American national character.
Related concepts are the safety valve and successive frontiers. "The Significance of the Frontier in American History" is a seminal essay by the American historian Frederick Jackson Turner which advanced the Frontier Thesis of American history.
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The Frontier Thesis or Turner Thesis, is the argument advanced by historian Frederick Jackson Turner in that American democracy was formed by the American benjaminpohle.com stressed the process—the moving frontier line—and the impact it had on pioneers going through the process.
He also stressed results, especially that American democracy was the primary result, along with egalitarianism, a.