This page was last edited on 11 May , at In these writings Turner promoted new methods in historical research, including the techniques of the newly founded social sciences, and urged his colleagues to study new topics such as immigration, urbanization, economic development, and social and cultural history. According to Turner, American progress has repeatedly undergone a cyclical process on the frontier line as society has needed to redevelop with its movement westward. The Frontier Thesis or Turner Thesis , is the argument advanced by historian Frederick Jackson Turner in that American democracy was formed by the American frontier. Limerick asserts the notion of a “New Western History” in which the American West is treated as a place and not a process of finite expansion.

Kolb and Hoddeson argue that during the heyday of Kennedy’s “New Frontier,” the physicists who built the Fermi Labs explicitly sought to recapture the excitement of the old frontier. Although almost totally ignored at the time, Turner’s lecture eventually gained such wide distribution and influence that a contemporary scholar has called it “the single most influential piece of writing in the history of American history. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. For many women, Asians, Mexicans who suddenly found themselves residents of the United States, and, of course, Indians, the West was no promised land. We also see it in the frontiers of knowledge or the frontier between two countries. On a more analytic level, an increasing number of Western historians have found the very concept of a frontier dubious, because it applies to too many disparate places and times to be useful.

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Frontier Thesis – Wikipedia

American democracy was born of no theorist’s dream; it was not carried in the Susan Constant to Virginia, nor in the Mayflower to Plymouth. Census Bureau had announced the disappearance of a contiguous frontier line. It explains it, yet is also part fredericj it. Learn More in amdrican related Britannica articles: He retired in but continued his research until his death in If we can reach and cross this frontier, our generations will have furnished a significant milestone in human history.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: In the seventeenth century large numbers of European settlers arrived in America—a land without towns or cities.

Comps Notes: Frederick Jackson Turner’s “The Significance of the Frontier in American History”

Yet they also embraced democracy as they learned to live together and confront the difficulties they encountered as a group.

Thank you for your feedback. Limerick pushes for a continuation of study within the historical fredericj social atmosphere of the American Westwhich she believes did not end inbut rather continues on to this very day. In Australia, “mateship” and working together was valued more than individualism.

frederick jackson turners essay the significance of the frontier in american history

There was no landed gentry who controlled most of the land and charged heavy rents and fees. In contrast, the first settlers who arrived on the American East Coast built towns that reflected the way they lived in Europe. Rebelling against this view, Turner argued instead that Europeans had been transformed turnerss the process of settling the American continent and that what was unique about the United States was its frontier history.

frederick jackson turners essay the significance of the frontier in american history

Kolb and Hoddeson argue that during the heyday of Kennedy’s “New Frontier,” the physicists who built the Fermi Labs explicitly sought o recapture the excitement of the old frontier. The tensions between small churches as a result of this fight, Turner states, exist today because of the religious attempt to master the West and those effects are worth further study.

Frontier Thesis

Grossman, The Frontier in American Culture p. Slatta argues that the widespread popularization of Turner’s frontier thesis influenced popular histories, motion pictures, and novels, which characterize the West in terms of individualism, frontier violence, and rough justice.


This demonstrated the importance of the West at a time when scholars often paid more attention to the East. The frontier, they argued, shaped uniquely American institutions such as revivals, camp meetings, and itinerant preaching.

Boles, “Turner, the frontier, and the study of religion in America,” Journal of the Early Republic 13 2 pp. Most migrant wagon trains, for example, were composed of extended kinship networks. In his career as a historian he went a step further than most of his colleagues by persuading politicians to put social reforms in place to improve the lives of Americans.

The racial warfare theory was an emerging belief in the late nineteenth century advocated by Theodore Roosevelt in The Winning of the West.

By signing up, amrican agree to our Privacy Notice. His explanation is incomplete on its own, given what we now know, but life on the frontier—cowboys, Indians, and railroads—provides mass entertainment today.

Frederick Jackson Turner | American historian |

Wyman and Clifton B. Internet URLs are the best.

frederick jackson turners essay the significance of the frontier in american history

Help us improve this article! The mainstream of the profession has long since discarded Turner’s assumption that the frontier is the key to Fdederick history as a whole; they point instead to the critical influence of such factors as slavery and the Civil War, immigration, and the development of industrial capitalism. The follow-up to that study, The United States, — The public has ignored academic historians’ anti-Turnerian models, largely because they conflict with and often destroy kackson icons of Western heritage.

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