American democracy was born of no theorist’s dream; it was not carried in the Susan Constant to Virginia, nor in the Mayflower to Plymouth. 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. The first British settlers in the New World stayed close to the…. Everything in American history up to the s somehow relates the western frontier, including slavery. 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.

The most important aspect of the frontier to Turner is its effect on democracy. It was popular among New Dealers—Franklin Roosevelt and his top aides [19] thought in terms of finding new frontiers. 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. But even within Western and frontier history, a growing body of historians has contested Turner’s approach. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Photograph shows reproduction of painting with Indians fighting U. Next Post History, Crosby, Professor.

Please note that our editors may make some formatting changes or correct spelling or grammatical errors, and may also contact you if any clarifications are needed. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log turneds However, the work of historians during the s—s, some of whom sought to bury Turner’s conception of the frontier, and others who sought to spare the frererick but with nuance, have done much to place Western myths in context.


The frontier transformed Jeffersonian democracy into Jacksonian democracy. Slatta argues that the turnfrs popularization of Turner’s frontier thesis influenced popular histories, motion pictures, and novels, which characterize the West in terms of individualism, frontier violence, and rough justice. This is the great, the nation-wide frontier of insecurity, of human want and fear. Philosophy of historythe study either of the historical process and its development or of the methods used by historians to understand their material.

The bison herd still lives on the grounds of Fermilab. Turner begins the essay by calling to attention the fact frontifr the western frontier line, which had defined the entirety of American history up to the s, had ended.

Frederick Jackson Turner | American historian |

Turner never published a major book on the frontier for which he did 40 years of research. If Turner was right, then the American national character is a product of the frontier; we talk and behave the way we do because of the frontier experience.

Census of had officially stated that the American frontier had broken up. Unfortunately, our editorial approach may not be able to accommodate all contributions. 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.

Frederick Jackson Turner

Turner began his teaching career at the University of Wisconsin in In spite of this, Turner laments, the frontier has received little serious study from historians and economists. Metz, “Frederick Jackson Turner and the democratization of the electronic frontier. Limerick points out that Kennedy assumed that “the campaigns of the Old Frontier had been successful, and morally justified.

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 John, ” Turner, Beard, Chandler: You are commenting using your Twitter account.


Stand at South Pass in the Rockies a century later and see the same procession with wider intervals between. For many women, Asians, Mexicans who suddenly found themselves residents of the United States, and, of course, Indians, the West was no promised land.

Westward movement, the populating by Europeans of the land within the continental boundaries of the mainland United States, a process that began shortly after the first colonial settlements were established along the Atlantic coast.

Frontier Thesis

The mainstream of the profession frrontier 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. Thank You for Your Contribution!

Frederick Jackson Turner “The existence of an area of free land, its continuous recession, and the advance of American settlement westward explain American development. The frontier, they argued, shaped uniquely American institutions such as revivals, jacjson meetings, and itinerant preaching.

explain frederick jackson turners frontier thesis

Successive generations moved further inland, shifting the lines of settlement and wilderness, but preserving the essential tension between the two. Learn More in these related Britannica articles: The follow-up to jacksoon study, The United States, — Any text you add should be original, not copied from other sources.

Essays and Miscellany First ed. His critics have denied everything from his basic assumptions to the small details of his argument.

explain frederick jackson turners frontier thesis

I decided to publish my write-ups from my comprehensive exam reading fields. Prehistory Pre-Columbian Colonial — — turnerd — — — — — — —present.

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