13 February 2013
Frontier Thesis- Summary, Agreement, and Why
“The existence of an area of free land, its continuous recession, and the advance of American settlement westward explain American development.”
In this article, Frederick Jackson Turner believes that, in relation to his frontier thesis, the history of the United States is most influenced mainly by how Americans had assimilated the West into the culture they held. The frontier, in Turner’s stance, was where settlers had restarted civilization as a whole and begun to redevelop the conditions present further east in the United States. By doing so, the frontier is classified as being the most rapidly Americanized area in the whole nation; however, the frontier also influenced the culture of the United States by promoting individualism, American ingenuity, and a restless amount of energy. Additionally supporting his argument, Turner also pointed out the dangers of having no frontier. Turner began to question the possible outcomes from the dissipation of the frontier. Historians, on the other hand, took up a different view on the frontier and its effect on American culture. The historians believed that, instead of the frontier, other factors had influenced the history of the United States, such as slavery, the Civil War, capitalism, and slavery. Furthermore, they hotly contested Turner’s claim of “free land.” The historians declared that the land, which was inhabited by the Indians, was in all actuality not free at all as countless wars had been fought for this land, resulting in many deaths. The historians also challenged Turner’s thesis by stating how communities, corporations, and even the federal government had allowed the inhabitation of the West, instead of individualism. Therefore, Turner’s thesis and the thoughts of the historians contrasted sharply; however, both sides acquiesced to the idea that the West had influenced us to some extent.
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