Frontier Thesis The Frontier thesis was formulated , when American historian Frederick Jackson Turner theorized that the availability of unsettled land throughout much of American history was the most important factor determining national development. Evidently, the belief that free political institutions of the United States spawned in ancient Germanic forests endured well into the s. Slatta, “Taking Our Myths Seriously. Individualism was king on the frontier. This is the great, the nation-wide frontier of insecurity, of human want and fear. Even after independence, the eastern coast of the United States sought to control the West.

Many believed that the end of the frontier represented the beginning of a new stage in American life and that the United States must expand overseas. Prehistory Pre-Columbian Colonial — — — — — — — — — —present. This is the frontier—the America—we have set ourselves to reclaim. Roosevelt, Rendezvous with Destiny: Furthermore, there is a need to escape the confines of the State. Successive generations moved further inland, shifting the lines of settlement and wilderness, but preserving the essential tension between the two.

The more foreboding and cautionary tale which increasing numbers of Western historians have offered in place of Turner’s account has provoked sharp controversy. Turner sets up the East and the Frwderick as opposing forces; as the West strives for freedom, the East seeks to control it.

what was the message of frederick jackson turners frontier thesis

For many women, Asians, Mexicans who suddenly found themselves residents of the United States, and, of course, Indians, the West was no promised land. Turner’s emphasis on the importance of the frontier in shaping American character influenced the interpretation found in thousands of scholarly histories. Addresses and Opinions of Franklin Delano Roosevelt p.

Metz, “Frederick Jackson Turner and the democratization of the electronic frontier.

meszage John, ” Turner, Beard, Chandler: The particular environmental situation to which these individuals were subjected directly affected their economic and social development. Other historians, who wanted to focus scholarship on minorities, especially Native Americans and Hispanics, started in the s to criticize the frontier thesis because it did not attempt to explain the evolution of those groups.


Frontier Thesis | The Canadian Encyclopedia

Individualism was king on the frontier. This development, in Turner’s description of the frontier, “begins with the Indian and the hunter; it goes on with the disintegration of savagery by the entrance of the trader Kennedy in the early s explicitly called upon the ideas of the frontier. Women and fredeirck are not a part of his pretty picture. Turner set up an evolutionary model he had studied evolution with a leading geologist, Thomas Chrowder Chamberlinusing the time dimension of American history, and the geographical space of the land that became the United States.

what was the message of frederick jackson turners frontier thesis

However, the availability of free, undeveloped land in the West had enabled Americans to go through a kind of rebirthing process. Nash, “The frontier thesis: In The Canadian Encyclopedia. He crederick why the Turnerian American character was limited to English settlements in the New World, and why the frontier did not produce that same character among Native Americans and Spaniards.

Frontier Thesis

The Frontier in American History. Turner offered his frontier thesis as both an analysis of the past and a warning about the future. In spite of this, Turner laments, fdontier frontier has received little serious study from historians and economists. A Comprehensive Review p.

Comps Notes: Frederick Jackson Turner’s “The Significance of the Frontier in American History”

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what was the message of frederick jackson turners frontier thesis

The public has ignored academic historians’ anti-Turnerian models, largely because they conflict with and often destroy the icons of Western heritage. Whichever argument is emphasized, however, any realistic conclusion cannot deny that both the frontier and the ties to established centres were formative in Canada’s development. Instead Fermilab’s planners sought to return to Turnerian themes. William Appleman Williams led the “Wisconsin School” of diplomatic historians by arguing that the frontier thesis encouraged American overseas expansion, especially in Asia, during the 20th century.


Crucible of Empire – PBS Online

Yen, “Western Frontier or Feudal Society: Turner never published a major book on the frontier for which he did 40 years of research. He most cogently articulated this idea in “The Significance of the Frontier in American History,” which he first delivered to a gathering of historians in at Chicago, then the site of the World’s Columbian Exposition, an enormous fair to mark the four-hundredth anniversary of Columbus’ voyage.

He stressed the process—the moving frontier line—and the impact it had on pioneers going through the process. The peculiarity of American institutions is, the fact that they have been compelled to adapt themselves to the changes of an expanding people to the changes involved in crossing a continent, in winning a wilderness, and in developing at each area of this progress out of the primitive economic and political conditions of the frontier into the complexity of city life.

In broad terms, the further west, the more American the community.

The frontier, they argued, shaped uniquely American institutions such as revivals, camp meetings, and itinerant preaching. Every generation moved further west and became more American, more democratic, and more intolerant of hierarchy.