The Female’s Side of The “Frontier Thesis”
England, a small and familiar place for many, was a community with very strict rules and beliefs. The Church of England was the dominant power over the country, and not everyone was happy with this dictatorship. Once the land in America was founded, Puritans and other men searching for freedom gathered and sailed across the sea to the new land. America became a “melting pot” full of various traditions, cultures, and beliefs from England as well as new “American” ideas. This process took time and involved adapting and hard work to civilize the land. In 1893, Frederick Jackson Turner discussed and wrote about the frontier and how it shaped American characteristics. He talked about the steps the Europeans had to take to transform the environment into one with reasonable laws and into one with more of a community rather than mere wilderness. “As successive terminal moraines result from successive glaciations, so each frontier leaves its traces behind it, and when it becomes a settled area the region still partakes of the frontier characteristics. (Turner 153)”1This quote talks about the frontier having characteristics from the old country, England, as well as new developed ones from America. Turner’s argument is based off the European men arriving in American and having to adapt to the Indian lifestyle which consisted of hunting and of living off the land. Later the Europeans introduced their own more civilized ideas to further the society and build up the area as a whole. Turner only talked about the male figures shaping America and completely disregarded women and their roles in the community. Although Turner’s “frontier thesis” involving males shaping America became a very prominent idea, Elizabeth Ashbridge and Mary Rowlandson, two women, wrote about their completely different experiences. Elizabeth Ashbridge and Mary Rowlandson both represent victims of slavery and viewed the frontier as a place of fear, confusion,...
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