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turners frontier thesis

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. Related concepts are the safety valve and successive frontiers. 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 the pastoral stage in ranch life; the exploitation of the soil by the raising of unrotated crops of corn . 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 freedom, "breaking the bonds of custom, offering new experiences, [and] Status: Open.


Frederick Jackson Turner | American historian | nomrmasq.gq


The Frontier Thesis or Turner Thesisis turners frontier thesis 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.

He also stressed results, turners frontier thesis, especially that American democracy was the primary result, along with egalitarianisma lack of interest in high cultureand violence. It came out of the American forest, and it gained new strength each time it touched a new frontier," said Turner. In the thesis, the American frontier established liberty by releasing Americans from European mindsets and eroding old, dysfunctional customs. The frontier had no need for standing armies, established churches, aristocrats or nobles.

There was no landed gentry who controlled most of the land and charged heavy rents and fees. Frontier land was practically free for the taking. Turner first announced his thesis in a paper entitled " The Significance of the Frontier in American History ", delivered to the American Historical Association in in Chicago. He won wide acclaim among historians and intellectuals. Turner elaborated on the theme in his advanced history lectures and in a series of essays published over the next 25 years, published along with his initial paper as The Frontier in American History.

Turner's emphasis on the turners frontier thesis of the frontier in shaping American character influenced the interpretation found in thousands of scholarly histories. Turner begins the essay by calling to attention the fact that the western frontier line, which had defined the entirety of American history up to the s, had ended.

He elaborates by stating. Behind institutions, behind constitutional forms and modifications, lie the vital forces that call these organs into life and shape them to meet changing conditions. The peculiarity turners frontier thesis American institutions is, the fact that they have been turners frontier thesis to adapt themselves to the changes of an turners frontier thesis people to the changes involved in crossing a continent, in winning a wilderness, turners frontier thesis, 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.

According to Turner, American progress has repeatedly undergone a cyclical process on the frontier line as society has needed to redevelop with its movement westward. Everything in American history up to the s somehow relates the western frontier, including slavery. In spite of this, Turner laments, the frontier has received little serious study from historians and economists.

Furthermore, there is a need to escape the confines of the State. The most important aspect of the frontier to Turner is its effect on democracy. The frontier transformed Jeffersonian democracy into Jacksonian democracy. Turner sets up the East and the West as opposing forces; as the West strives for freedom, the East seeks to control it. He cites British attempts to stifle western emigration during the colonial era and as an example of eastern control.

Even after independence, the eastern coast of the United States sought to control the West. Religious institutions from the eastern seaboard, turners frontier thesis, in particular, battled for possession of the West.

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. American intellect owes its form to the frontier as well. Turner concludes the essay by saying that with the end of the frontier, the first period of American history has ended. The Frontier Thesis came about at a time when the Germanic germ theory of history was popular.

Proponents of the germ theory believed that political habits are determined by innate racial attributes. According to the theory, the Germanic race appeared and evolved in the ancient Teutonic forests, endowed with a great capacity for politics and government.

Their germs were, directly and by way of England, carried to the New World where they were allowed to germinate in the North American forests.

According to Bancroft, the Germanic germs had spread across of all Western Europe by the Middle Ages and had reached their height. Inmedieval historian Carl Stephenson published an extended article refuting the Germanic germ theory, turners frontier thesis.

Evidently, the belief that free political institutions of the United States spawned in ancient Germanic forests endured well into the s. A similarly race-based interpretation of Western history also occupied the intellectual sphere turners frontier thesis the United States before Turner. The racial warfare theory was an emerging belief in the late nineteenth century advocated by Theodore Roosevelt in The Winning of the West. Turner and Roosevelt diverged on the exact aspect of frontier life that shaped the contemporary American.

Each side, the Westerners and the native savages, struggled for mastery of the land through violence. Whereas Turner saw the development of American character occur just behind turners frontier thesis frontier line, as the colonists tamed and tilled the land, Roosevelt saw it form in battles just beyond the frontier line.

Turner set up an evolutionary model he had studied evolution with a leading geologist, turners frontier thesis, Thomas Chrowder Chamberlinusing the time dimension of American history, and the geographical space of the land that became the United States. They adapted to the new physical, turners frontier thesis, economic and political environment in certain ways—the cumulative effect of these adaptations was Americanization.

Successive generations moved further inland, turners frontier thesis, shifting the lines of settlement and wilderness, but preserving the essential tension between the two. European characteristics fell by the wayside and the old country's institutions e. Every generation moved further west and became more American, more democratic, and more intolerant of hierarchy. They also became more violent, turners frontier thesis, more individualistic, more distrustful of authority, less artistic, less scientific, and more dependent on ad-hoc organizations they formed themselves.

In broad terms, the further west, the more American the community. Turner saw the land frontier was ending, since the U, turners frontier thesis. Census of had officially stated that the American frontier had broken up.

He sounded an alarming note, speculating as to what this meant turners frontier thesis the continued dynamism of American society as the source of U. Historians, geographers, and social scientists have studied frontier-like conditions in other countries, with an eye on the Turnerian model. South Africa, Canada, Russia, Brazil, Argentina and Australia—and even ancient Rome—had long frontiers that were also settled by pioneers. The question is whether their frontiers were powerful enough to overcome conservative central forces based in the metropolis.

In Australia, "mateship" and turners frontier thesis together was valued more than individualism. Turner's thesis quickly became popular among intellectuals. It explained why the American people and American government were so different from their European counterparts.

It was popular among New Dealers—Franklin Roosevelt and his top aides [19] thought in terms of finding new frontiers. This is the great, the nation-wide frontier of insecurity, of human want and fear. This is the frontier—the America—we have set ourselves to reclaim. Chandler, Jr. Many 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.

However, others viewed this interpretation as the impetus for a new wave in the history of United States imperialism.

William Appleman Williams led the "Wisconsin School" of diplomatic historians by arguing that the frontier thesis encouraged Turners frontier thesis overseas expansion, especially in Asia, during the 20th century. 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.

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 never published a major book on the frontier for which he did 40 years of research. Mode inargued that churches adapted to the characteristics of the frontier, creating new denominations such as the Mormonsthe Church of Christthe Disciples of Christand the Cumberland Presbyterians.

The frontier, they argued, shaped uniquely American turners frontier thesis such as revivals, camp meetings, and itinerant preaching. This view dominated religious historiography for decades.

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. Slatta argues that the widespread 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. Disneyland 's Frontierland of the mid to late 20th century reflected the myth of rugged individualism that celebrated what was perceived to be the American heritage.

The public has ignored academic historians' anti-Turnerian models, largely because turners frontier thesis conflict with and often destroy the icons of Western heritage. 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 concept but with nuance, have done much to place Western myths in context. 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.

It came out of the American forest, and it gained new strength each time it touched a new frontier. Not the constitution but free land and an abundance of natural resources open to a fit turners frontier thesis, made the democratic type of society in America for three centuries while it occupied its empire. He asked why the Turnerian American character was limited to English settlements in the New World, and why the frontier did not produce that same character among Native Americans and Spaniards.

Indeed, his influence was felt in American classrooms until the s and 80s. Subsequent critics, historians, and politicians have suggested that other 'frontiers,' such as scientific innovation, could serve similar functions in American development.

Historians have noted that John F. Kennedy in the early s explicitly called upon the ideas of the frontier. My call is to the young in heart, turners frontier thesis, regardless of age—to the stout in spirit, regardless of party.

Limerick points out that Kennedy assumed that "the campaigns of the Old Frontier had been successful, and morally justified, turners frontier thesis. The frontier thesis is one of the most influential documents on the American west today. Kolb and Hoddeson argue that during the heyday of Kennedy's "New Frontier," the physicists who built the Fermi Labs explicitly sought to recapture the excitement of the old frontier. They argue that, "Frontier imagery motivates Fermilab physicists, and a rhetoric remarkably similar to that of Turner helped them secure support for their research.

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. The bison herd still lives on the grounds of Fermilab.

Instead Fermilab's planners sought to return to Turnerian themes. They emphasized the values of individualism, empiricism, simplicity, equality, courage, discovery, independence, and naturalism in the service of democratic access, human rights, ecological balance, and the resolution of social, economic, and political issues.

Milton Stanley Livingston, the lab's associate director, said in"The frontier of high energy and the infinitesimally small is a challenge to the mind of man. If we can reach and cross this frontier, our generations will have furnished a significant milestone in human history.

John Perry Barlowalong with Mitch Kaporpromoted the idea of cyberspace the realm of telecommunication as an "electronic frontier" beyond the borders of any physically based government, in which freedom and self-determination could be fully realized, turners frontier thesis. Wikipedia is a major presence on the electronic frontier, turners frontier thesis, and the Wikipedia editors have been explicitly compared to the pioneers of Turner's American frontier in terms of their youth, aggressiveness, boldness, equalitarianism and rejection of limitations.

From Wikipedia, turners frontier thesis, the free encyclopedia. Works by, Frederick Jackson Turner. The Frontier in American History.

 

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turners frontier thesis

 

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 freedom, "breaking the bonds of custom, offering new experiences, [and] Status: Open. 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 the pastoral stage in ranch life; the exploitation of the soil by the raising of unrotated crops of corn . 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 States was attributable to its long history of “.