Frederick jackson turners frontier thesis summary

The thesis shares his views on how the idea of the frontier shaped the American being and characteristics. His model of sectionalism as a composite of social forces, such as ethnicity and land ownership, gave historians the tools to use social history as the foundation of all social, economic and political developments in American history.

Frederick Jackson Turner, “Significance of the Frontier in American History” (1893)

Often the rhetoric reaches an acrimonious crescendo. He traced the social evolution of frontier life as it continually developed across the continent from the primitive conditions experienced by the explorer, trapper, and trader, through maturing agricultural stages, finally reaching the complexity of city and factory.

The existence of an area of free land, its continuous recession, and the advance of American settlement westward, explain American development.

University of North Carolina, However, Turner downplays the importance of the trade, seeing it as only as a momentary phase in the development of the English colonies.

In reality, the land was anything but free when the Pilgrims and Puritans arrived in the s and s, and by Massachusetts had already fought its first major war with the land's non-existent inhabitants. Along with denying the importance of the First Nations and the central role played by the fur trade in stimulating the colonial economies and Anglo-French rivalry, Turner also fails to acknowledge the complexity of the frontier itself.

Although almost totally ignored at the time, Turner's lecture eventually gained such wide distribution and influence that a contemporary scholar has called it "the single most influential piece of writing in the history of American history.

He also commented directly on the connections he saw between the past and the present. Prior to westward expansion, Native Americans, Hispanics, and mixed race people inhabited the West and had their own cultures.

This could be seen in Massachusetts during Metacom's War, when colonial authorities detained its loyal Christian Indians for fear that they would follow the example of other "praying Indians" by joining the forces led by Metacom.

After conquering New Netherlands, the English continued what the Dutch had started, thereby making the fur trade into one of the most important elements of New York's colonial economy.

Frederick Jackson Turner

Where Turner told the triumphalist story of the frontier's promotion of a distinctly American democracy, many of his critics have argued that precisely the opposite was the case. Almost a century later, Indians living in cities like Lancaster and Philadelphia, which were far-removed from the western frontier, found themselves attacked and murdered by groups like the Paxton Boys as a reaction to the outbreak of Pontiac's War.

The result of this wave of expansion also resulted in oppression and greed. In both cases, colonists and Indians lived on opposite sides of a cultural divide that led the colonists to take repressive or violent measures against the Indians.

In the discussion of its extent, its westward movement, etc. Turner's characterization of the fur trade as a purely French activity can therefore be seen to be highly inaccurate.

They also gained numerous allies in the Ohio Valley and the Great Lakes region, who were sufficiently powerful to push English settlement back over the Appalachians and thereby reverse the "continuous recession" of the frontier.

Frederick Jackson Turner

Adams, his mentor at Johns Hopkinshad argued that all significant American institutions derived from German and English antecedents. 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.

Some have long disputed the very idea of a frontier of "free land. The Unbroken Past of the American West. Along with denying the importance of the First Nations and the central role played by the fur trade in stimulating the colonial economies and Anglo-French rivalry, Turner also fails to acknowledge the complexity of the frontier itself.

Turner taught at the University of Wisconsin untilwhen he accepted an appointment to a distinguished chair of history at Harvard University.


Next, the emigrants purchased the land, forming towns resulting in democracy and civilization. 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.

He also proposed that there were three waves to settling the West. Limerick pushes for a continuation of study within the historical and social atmosphere of the American Westwhich she believes did not end inbut rather continues on to this very day. This frontier lingered on long after its geographical counterparts in the colonies had vanished, and in some cases it hardened into deep-seated animosity.

Doing so necessarily involved going to war with the English as well, and the course of these wars helped shape the development of all the European colonies, both French and English.

He even goes so far as to argue that "French colonization was dominated by its trading frontier; English colonization by its farming frontier. Thus American development has exhibited not merely advance along a single line, but a return to primitive conditions on a continually advancing frontier line, and a new development for that area.

There were actually at least three frontiers that played a critical role in American history. He also brushes aside the importance of the fur trade, even though it was a catalyst for intense commercial rivalry for the New England colonies, New France, and the Indians themselves.

His mother taught school. He circulated copies of his essays and lectures to important scholars and literary figures, published extensively in highbrow magazines, recycled favorite material, attaining the largest possible audience for key concepts, and wielded considerable influence within the American Historical Association as an officer and advisor for the American Historical Review.

The Nation and Its Sectionswould not be published until after his death. The result is that to the frontier the American intellect owes its striking characteristics.

Richter, The Ordeal of the Longhouse: The existence of an area of free land, its continuous recession, and the advance of American settlement westward, explain American development. Turner saw this as inevitable and part of the upward moving thrust of American society created by the dynamic frontier.

In these writings Turner promoted new methods in historical research, including the techniques of the newly founded social sciences, and urged his colleagues to study new topics such as immigration, urbanization, economic development, and social and cultural history.

Turner Thesis Summary Frederick Turner Jackson: Frontier Thesis Research Paper Benjamin Farhi 5/1/13 Band D East to West Frederick Turner Jackson, born inin Portage, Wisconsin, grew up in a time of severe social change, in a nation plagued with an identity crisis.

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.

The Significance of the Frontier in American History

He was primarily known for his “Frontier Thesis.”. FRONTIER THESIS, TURNER'SFRONTIER THESIS, TURNER'S. Frederick Jackson Turner's "The Significance of the Frontier in American History" is arguably one of the most influential interpretations of the American past ever espoused.

Source for information on Frontier Thesis, Turner's: Dictionary of American History dictionary. Frederick Jackson Turner's "Frontier Thesis" has had a major impact on historical thought since it was presented in At the time Turner presented his idea (it was eventually associated.

In historian Frederick Jackson Turner presented his now-famous "frontier thesis" at the Chicago World's Fair. According to Turner, "American history has been in a large degree the history of the colonization of the Great West. Frederick Jackson Turner, (born November 14,Portage, Wisconsin, U.S.—died March 14,San Marino, California), American historian best known for the “frontier thesis.” The single most influential interpretation of the American past, it proposed that the distinctiveness of the United.

Frederick jackson turners frontier thesis summary
Rated 3/5 based on 24 review
Frederick Jackson Turner: An Examination of His "Frontier Thesis" and American History