I decided to publish my write-ups from my comprehensive exam reading fields. They were written between September and July The full collection is accessible here. Citing the Census of , Turner is writing to announce the end of the frontier, and consequently, according to Turner, the end of the most crucial instrument in creating a sense of a unique American identity. Turner believes that civilization has an orderly evolutionary cycle that starts in the savage state, moves to pastoralism, and ends with cities and industry.
Exploring the Western Frontier with the Records of Congress
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In the settlement of America we observe how European life entered the continent, and how America modified and developed that life. The frontier is the line of most rapid and effective Americanization. The wilderness masters the colonist. It finds him a European in dress, industries, tools, modes of travel, and thought. It takes him from the railroad car and puts him in the birch canoe.
What was Frederick Jackson Turner’s Frontier Thesis?
Critics of the notion point to Amercan slavery, our troubled civil rights history, etc. Frederick Jackson Turner remains one of the most influential historians of America's past, and his famous frontier thesis is related to the above idea, in that his basic idea is that constant contact with an open frontier for almost years of American history contributed to America's uniqueness—or exceptionalism. He presented his thesis, "The Significance of the Frontier in American History," to a gathering of American historians in Chicago in Turner's conclusion, that the most important effect of the frontier was to promote individualistic democracy, has been both criticized and incorporated into various texts on America. From colonial times to the late 19th century, Turner argues, the value of individual labor and the ubiquity of opportunity contributed to American democratic ideals and discouraged monopolies on political power from developing.
Students will use facsimiles of historical records from the U. House of Representatives and the U. Senate to investigate whether the frontier shaped America or if America—through Congress—shaped the Western frontier of the contiguous 48 states from — In what ways did the frontier shape America, and in what ways did America—through Congress—shape the frontier?