September 29th, 2014
Perspective and Narrative essay
There are multiple aspects that contribute to an author’s views and perspective such as social status, cultural backgrounds, financial stability, political opinion, and personal upbringings. Fredrick Jackson Turner, a historian who documented historical accounts between the 1700's and late 1800's, was widely influenced by the different locations he lived in by encountering various popular beliefs of each society and Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. Turner adopts each of these beliefs and slowly incorporates them within his own and provides a new set of theories. On the other hand, new western historians, a small group of historians in the second half of the 20th century who wrote about the frontier and the American identity between the 1600s and late 1900s, were influenced by social uprisings of ethnic groups and the demand for the truth. The earlier of the two historical western theories was developed by Fredrick Jackson Turner who grew up in a rural town of Portage, Wisconsin. His experiences in the small town of Portage played a huge role in the development of Turners opinions in his youth because his outlook upon issues was not influenced by popular beliefs at the time. In his youth he believed “Historians who took the trouble to examine those areas, he felt, would discover that the unique physical and cultural conditions of the frontier, and not the eastern cities had shaped the American character.”(AFT, p.127). Turner went against popular belief which was the “Atlantic Coast bias” (AFT, p.127). This was referenced as the true American culture at the time, Turner despised that view and believed that the frontier is what made the American identity not the east coast. Turner’s view that reflected his rural upbringing and rebellious view towards the east coast had changed once he attended John Hopkins University and obtained his PhD. Turners perspective towards the American identity had...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document