Some have long disputed the very idea of a frontier of “free land. European characteristics fell by the wayside and the old country’s institutions e. Kingsland, The Evolution of American Ecology, — p. From petty towns built in the marshes, cities arose whose greatness and industrial power are the wonder of our time. My call is to the young in heart, regardless of age—to the stout in spirit, regardless of party. It was the frontier of Europe in a very real sense. Turner’s thesis quickly became popular among intellectuals.
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 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. They also became more violent, more individualistic, more distrustful of authority, less artistic, less scientific, and more dependent on ad-hoc organizations they formed themselves. Metz, “Frederick Jackson Turner and the democratization of the electronic frontier. Men would not accept inferior wages and a permanent position of social subordination when this promised land of freedom and equality was theirs for the taking. According to the theory, the Germanic race appeared and evolved in the ancient Teutonic forests, endowed with a great capacity for politics and government. Yen, “Western Frontier or Feudal Society:
Behind institutions, behind constitutional forms and modifications, lie the vital forces that call these organs into life and shape them to meet changing conditions. However, others viewed this interpretation as the impetus for a new wave in the history of United States imperialism. The coast was preponderantly English, but the later tides of continental immigration flowed across to the free lands.
It would be difficult to over-emphasize the importance of this training upon democracy. The more foreboding and cautionary tale which increasing numbers of Western historians have offered in place of Turner’s account has provoked sharp controversy. 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. Many such critics have sought to replace the idea of a moving frontier with the idea of the West as a distinctive region, much like the American South.
If you want to get Turner’s ideas in his own words, he’s available on-line from University of Virginia Hypertexts. Indeed, his influence was felt in American classrooms until the s and 80s. Brent, “Electronic communication and sociology: How much do Puritan New England and the California of the transcontinental railroad really have in common?
Whitman, Narcissa and Marcus. Even the homesteader on the Western prairies found it possible to work out a similar independent destiny, although the factor of transportation made a serious and increasing impediment to the free working-out of his individual career.
The numerous Indian wars provoked by American expansion belie Turner’s argument that the American “free land” frontier was a sharp contrast with European nations’ borders with other states. Looking backward, thinking ahead, careening toward the next millennium,” American Sociologist27 1 pp.
Instead Fermilab’s planners sought to return to Fontier themes. Little by little he transforms the wilderness, but the outcome is not the old Europe.
Census of had officially stated that the American frontier had broken up. Before long he has gone to planting Indian corn and plowing with a sharp stick; he shouts frontisr war cry and takes the scalp in orthodox Indian fashion. Proponents of the germ theory believed that political habits are determined by innate racial attributes. He argued that the frontier had meant that every American generation returned “to primitive conditions on a continually advancing frontier line.
FJ Turner, Frontier Thesis
American intellect owes its form to the frontier as well. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This conception has vitalized all American democracy, and has brought it into sharp frontifr with the democracies of history, thesia with those modern efforts of Europe to create an artificial democratic order by legislation.
There are two good reasons for us to give serious attention to Turner’s ideas. Western historians who still adhere roughly to Turner’s approach accuse their opponents of mistaking a simple-minded political correctness for good scholarship in their quest to recount only the doom and gloom of the Western past.
PBS – THE WEST – Frederick Jackson Turner
It takes him from the railroad car and puts him in the birch canoe. The works of travelers along each frontier from colonial days onward describe certain common traits, and these traits fj, while softening down, still persisted as survivals in the place of their origin, even when a higher social organization succeeded.
Metz, “Frederick Jackson Turner and the democratization of the electronic frontier.
In the thesis, the American frontier established liberty by releasing Americans from European mindsets and eroding old, dysfunctional customs. Williams viewed the frontier concept as a tool to feontier democracy through both world wars, to endorse spending on foreign aid, and motivate action against totalitarianism.
The peculiarity of American institutions is, the fact that they have been compelled to adapt themselves to the frontuer of an expanding people to the changes involved in crossing a continent, in winning a wilderness, 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. The material forces that gave vitality to Western democracy are passing away.
In short, democracy has learned in the West of the United States how to deal with the problem of magnitude. He most cogently articulated this idea in “The Significance of the Frontier in American History,” which he first delivered to a gathering theeis historians in at Chicago, then the site of the World’s Columbian Exposition, an enormous fair to mark the four-hundredth anniversary of Columbus’ voyage.