As the first farmers became crowded by more and more new immigrants, they packed up and took to moving further west. Historians have noted that John F. However, Turner claimed that the development of America began a new era. Turner made it credible to look at American History in isolation—bringing about a revolution in the way history was studied. Turner accomplished what he set out to do, which can be summarized another selection from his essay: He pushed historians to practice their trade with the same professionalism as lawyers or businessmen.

It is through Turner that a new approach to history gathered steam in the twentieth century. Turner’s emphasis on the importance of the frontier in shaping American character influenced the interpretation found in thousands of scholarly histories. Kennedy to p. First, it supplied a popular version of American identity. Your contribution may be further edited by our staff, and its publication is subject to our final approval. According to Turner, this frontier had a unanimous effect on those who would venture into its midst. Brent, “Electronic communication and sociology:

Ina year-old historian by the name of Frederick Jackson Turner would lay the foundation for future discussion of this topic—he posed his belief that the American frontier was at the root of American exceptionalism.

Frederick Jackson Turner

The “composite nationality” “melting-pot” ethnicity of many immigrants and cultures merging together ; growing economic autonomy as a result of new domestic merchants who rose to rival foreign importation of goods; proceedings of lawmaking of the national government that utilized a more loose construction of the constitution to facilitate growth and expansion as well as internal abuot for the frontier; the emergence of an Frecerick democracy resulting from the emerging individualistic aamerican of settlers as the became more and more secluded from the Eastern civilization; and a new “American intellect” that was pragmatic and individualistic; were all direct results, in some shape or form, of the frontier process.

Each side, the Westerners and the native savages, struggled for mastery of the land through violence. Most migrant wagon trains, for example, were composed of extended kinship networks. The tensions between small churches as a result of this fight, Turner states, exist today because of the religious attempt to master the West and those effects are worth further study.


Frontier Thesis

He asked why the Turnerian American character was limited to English settlements in the New World, and aamerican the frontier did not produce that same character among Native Americans and Spaniards. Micheaux promoted the West as a place where blacks could experience less institutionalized forms of racism and earn economic success through hard work and perseverance.

how accurate was frederick jackson turners thesis about the american frontier

The mainstream of the profession has long since discarded Turner’s assumption that the frontier is the key to American history as a whole; they point instead to the critical influence of such factors as slavery and the Civil War, immigration, and the development of industrial capitalism.

Ridge goes on to describe the process by which Turner made his thesis known. This is the frontier—the America—we have set ourselves to reclaim.

how accurate was frederick jackson turners thesis about the american frontier

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

A small herd of American bison was started at the lab’s founding to symbolize Fermilab’s presence on the frontier of physics and its connection to the American prairie. Turner saw the land frontier was ending, since the U. The settler who had once been European in quality and culture was thrown into the wilderness, and would find himself devolved into a buckskin-wearing, hooting and hollering backwoodsman. Another western historian, Glenda Riley, was not as enthralled with Turner as Richard White had been.

Frederick Jackson Turner: An Examination of His “Frontier Thesis” and American History

While Turner viewed the frontier as a peaceful conquering of the wilderness, Cody saw it as a violent conquest of savages. White acknowledges that Turner left out certain elements—such as the Indians—but he does not use this as a reason to just dismiss what Turner had to say.


It explains it, yet is also part of it. Turner’s essay reached triumphalist heights in his belief that the promotion of individualistic democracy was the most important effect of the frontier. Riley wants too much of Turner.

PBS – THE WEST – Frederick Jackson Turner

American intellect owes its form to the frontier as well. It explained why the American people and American government were so different from their European counterparts.

This view dominated religious historiography for decades. Even more importantly, it does successfully give justification to the idea of American exceptionalism. His view was more focused on categorizing the West as having an environment, as a whole, that was arid—this puts Worster into the school another famous western historian, second only to Turner, Walter Prescott Webb. Historians have endeavored to answer this in many ways.

how accurate was frederick jackson turners thesis about the american frontier

Individualism and love of liberty did bear the beginnings of American democracy whether or not these traits evolved of the frontier can be questioned, but Turner is highly convincing of this point.

Settling Fermilab, —,” Illinois Historical Journal 88 1 pp. Works by, Frederick Jackson Turner. Addresses and Opinions of Franklin Delano Roosevelt p. Worster, in his essay “New West, True West: Nash, “The frontier thesis: And most importantly, the beckon of arable land—affordable and there for the taking—brought the farmers westward. Through her research, she came up with four reasons that she believed made Thessis exclude women from the frontier.

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