Turner and the frontier thesis

Frederick Jackson Turner

Every generation moved further west and became more American, and the settlers became more democratic and less tolerant of hierarchy. His argument was that the new environment had caused a rapid evolution of social and political characteristics, thereby creating the true "American.

Many, including historian Theodore Roosevelt, who later became president, 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.

Turner drew on his knowledge of evolution, and his own research into the fur trade frontier. He sounded an alarming note, speculating as to what this meant for the continued dynamism of American society as the source of U. Moreover, as the 19th century wore on, the role of the federal government and large corporations grew increasingly important.

The major attacks and defenses of Turner. Milner, and Charles E. 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.

The thesis dominated much of scholarship until the s. 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.

Turner took this "closing of the frontier" as an opportunity to reflect upon the influence it had exercised. Some have long disputed the very idea of a frontier of "free land. Poor health forced his early retirement from Harvard in Turner was born in Portage, Wisconsin, in 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.

Census of had officially stated that the American frontier had broken up. His emphasis on the importance of the frontier in shaping American character influenced the interpretation found in thousands of scholarly histories.

For this reason, some see the Turner thesis as the impetus for a new wave in the history of United States imperialism. Roosevelt argued that the battles between the trans-Appalachian pioneers and the Indians in the "Winning of the West" had forged a new people, the American race.

Turner's contribution to American history was to argue that the frontier past best explained the distinctive history of the United States. According to Blattberg, a border assumes a significantly sharper contrast between the civilized and the uncivilized since unlike with a frontier process the civilizing force is not supposed to be shaped by that which it is civilizing.

What was Turner's Frontier thesis?

Evolution[ edit ] Frederick Jackson Turner, c. Turner taught at the University of Wisconsin untilwhen he accepted an appointment to a distinguished chair of history at Harvard University. He proved adept at promoting his ideas and his students, whom he systematically placed in leading universities, including Merle Curti and Marcus Lee Hansen.

But even within Western and frontier history, a growing body of historians has contested Turner's approach. For many women, Asians, Mexicans who suddenly found themselves residents of the United States, and, of course, Indians, the West was no promised land. Williams viewed the frontier concept as a tool to promote democracy through both world wars, to endorse spending on foreign aid, and motivate action against totalitarianism.

The more foreboding and cautionary tale which increasing numbers of Western historians have offered in place of Turner's account has provoked sharp controversy. Sep 25,  · Best Answer: The Frontier Thesis or Turner Thesis is the conclusion of Frederick Jackson Turner that the wellsprings of American exceptionalism and vitality have always been the American frontier, the region between urbanized, civilized society and the untamed wilderness.

In the thesis, the frontier created Status: Resolved. Sep 25,  · Best Answer: The Frontier Thesis or Turner Thesis is the conclusion of Frederick Jackson Turner that the wellsprings of American exceptionalism and vitality have always been the American frontier, the region between urbanized, civilized society and the untamed wilderness.

In the thesis, the frontier created Status: Resolved. 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.

Frederick Jackson Turner

Related concepts are the safety valve and successive frontiers. The Frontier Thesis or Turner Thesis is the conclusion of Frederick Jackson Turner that the wellsprings of American character and vitality have always been the American frontier, the region between civilized society and the untamed wilderness.

In the thesis, the frontier created freedom, "breaking the bonds of custom, offering new experiences. The Frontier Thesis or Turner Thesis, is the argument advanced by historian Frederick Jackson Turner in that American democracy was formed by the American frontier.

He stressed the process—the moving frontier line—and the impact it had on pioneers going through the process. Frederick Jackson Turner (November 14, – March 14, ) was an American historian in the early 20th century, based at the University of Wisconsin untiland then at Harvard. He was primarily known for his “Frontier Thesis.” He trained many PhDs who came to occupy prominent places in the history profession.

Turner and the frontier thesis
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PBS - THE WEST - Frederick Jackson Turner