Summary significance frontier frederick jackson turner ple

Rebelling against this view, Turner argued instead that Europeans had been transformed by the process of settling the American continent and that what was unique about the United States was its frontier history.

The result is that to the frontier the American intellect owes its striking characteristics. The numerous Indian wars provoked by American expansion belie Turner's argument that the American "free land" frontier was a sharp contrast with European nations' borders with other states.

In the case of most nations, however, the development has occurred in a limited area; and if the nation has expanded, it has met other growing peoples whom it has conquered.

Turner did not publish extensively; his influence came from tersely expressed interpretive theories published in articleswhich influenced his hundreds of disciples.

Such sources should cover a variety of topics, including politics, population, social customs, and trade.

The Significance of the Frontier in American History Summary

He proved adept at promoting his ideas and his students, whom he systematically placed in leading universities, including Merle Curti and Marcus Lee Hansen. Turner may have had difficulty writing books, but he was a brilliant master of the historical essay.

The Significance of the Frontier in American History

The winner of an oratorical medal as an undergraduate, he also was a gifted and active public speaker. Since the days when the fleet of Columbus sailed into the waters of the New World, America has been another name for opportunity, and the people of the United States have taken their tone from the incessant expansion which has not only been open but has even been forced upon them.

Limiting our attention to the Atlantic coast, we have the familiar phenomenon of the evolution of institutions in a limited area, such as the rise of representative government; the differentiation of simple colonial governments into complex organs; the progress from primitive industrial society, without division of labor, up to manufacturing civilization.


Turner began his teaching career at the University of Wisconsin in This demonstrated the importance of the West at a time when scholars often paid more attention to the East. There was, for historians, a vast frontier of local history to investigate in whatever state they might be located. The true point of view in the history of this nation is not the Atlantic coast, it is the Great West.

American social development has been continually beginning over again on the frontier. Turner may have had difficulty writing books, but he was a brilliant master of the historical essay. Summary 6 Homework Help Questions with Expert Answers You'll also get access to more than 30, additional guides andHomework Help questions answered by our experts.

Western historians who still adhere roughly to Turner's approach accuse their opponents of mistaking a simple-minded political correctness for good scholarship in their quest to recount only the doom and gloom of the Western past.

So the essay forms a touchstone to promote critical thought. 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.

Rereading Frederick Jackson Turner: This perennial rebirth, this fluidity of American life, this expansion westward with its new opportunities, its continuous touch with the simplicity of primitive society, furnish the forces dominating American character.

They complained that he celebrated too much the egalitarianism and democracy of a frontier that was rough on women and minorities. He also knew and lobbied many politicians, considering it his duty to bring about positive change.

Poor health forced his early retirement from Harvard in It shows how history shapes the way we see the world. Turner instead contended that Europeans had been transformed by the settlement of North Americaa process that produced a distinct American mentality and culture far different from European precedents.

The Significance of the Frontier in American History Summary

The Nation and Its Sectionswould not be published until after his death. The entire section is 1, words. There was, for historians, a vast frontier of local history to investigate in whatever state they might be located.

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

What the Mediterranean Sea was to the Greeks, breaking the bond of custom, offering new experiences, calling out new institutions and activities, that, and more, the ever retreating frontier has been to the United States directly, and to the nations of Europe more remotely.

He argued that the frontier had meant that every American generation returned "to primitive conditions on a continually advancing frontier line. Turner offered his frontier thesis as both an analysis of the past and a warning about the future.

The first paragraph asserts that American history is the gradual settlement of the West, and this is followed by four paragraphs defining the frontier as a moving belt between settled and free land; it moved because of the force behind it. Just as a talented journalist might someday make headlines, Turner's work as a historian changed history itself.

Turner taught at the University of Wisconsin untilwhen he accepted an appointment to a distinguished chair of history at Harvard University. In effect, he was directing his fellow historians away from political and diplomatic history, insisting that, no matter what happened in European capitals, American history was made in the hinterland, where the westward movement had been the most significant historical phenomenon for Americans.

His father, a journalist by trade and local historian by avocation, piqued Turner's interest in history. Turner made it credible to look at American History in isolation—bringing about a revolution in the way history was studied.

He also held a mirror up to America, allowing a nation to see itself clearly for the first time. In this way Turner also became an educational reformer. His hometown of Portage, Wisconsin, once sat on the frontier itself but in Turner's youth it became a settled town.

Frederick Jackson Turner, The Significance of the Frontier in American History *-* Turner, "The existence of an area of free land, its continuous recession, and the advance of American settlement westward explain American development."-The census of said that the frontier line by was indiscernible.

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. Put forth by historian Frederick Jackson Turner in his paper, “The Significance of the Frontier in American History,” his thesis asserted that the existence of a frontier and its settlement had shaped American character; given rise to individualism, independence, and self-confidence; and fostered the American spirit of invention and adaptation.

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.

In RetrievedSeptember 16,from WriteWork contributors. "A summary of The significance of the Frontier by Frederick Jackson Turner.4/5(2).

The Significance of the Frontier in American History. Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, In "The Frontier in American History," Frederick Jackson Turner, a past professor of American history at the University of Wisconsin and Harvard University, argues that American democracy and Americanism were made in the West.

Summary significance frontier frederick jackson turner ple
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