Fredrick Jackson Turner Seminar

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Frederick Jackson Turner, “The Significance of the Frontier in American History,” Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1893.

CONTENT:

Turner’s article overviews the American past as it were in a transition period of expanding west. He reviews the significance of this move and evaluates the various results of the expansion on different groups in America.

THESIS:

The expansion resulted in crucial advancements/ building blocks for American society as it created significant economic, social, and culture transformations; although this period eventually ended.

THEMES:

1. Although Indians played a large part in assisting Americans find/ inhabit new land, many were not treated with peace and respect as the white man instead on remaining as the dominant power. While the Indians showed Americans the way (literally), Americans ungratefully followed.

2. As New England was strong on maintaining their religious values, they made sure to carry their same ideas west. Therefore, the western frontier was built with a strong influence of religion from the east.

3. Because of the continuous expansion, American gov’t buckled down and held stronger regulations and rules. Following the Louisiana Purchase, that area was proclaimed land where there could be national jurisdiction and must obey the constitution. The idea to spread land throughout the Union states had been suggested but President Johnson rejected the idea.

REACTION:

Although Turner’s paper was informative, I feel that it could have been better synthesized still make the same point.

HISTORIOGRAPHY:

Progressive School—
The paper covers the crucial aspect of the evolution of the American people during the expansion and the various hurdles that they had to overcome.
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