However, others viewed this interpretation as the impetus for a new wave in the history of United States imperialism. The peculiarity of American institutions is, the fact that they have been compelled to adapt themselves to the changes 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. Laura Bullion National Portrait Gallery. Furthermore, there is a need to escape the confines of the State. Kingsland, The Evolution of American Ecology, — p.

Every generation moved further west and became more American, more democratic, and more intolerant of hierarchy. What were the realities of life on the frontier in the late 19th and early 20th century? The bison herd still lives on the grounds of Fermilab. Limerick points out that Kennedy assumed that “the campaigns of the Old Frontier had been successful, and morally justified. William Appleman Williams led the “Wisconsin School” of diplomatic historians by arguing that the frontier thesis encouraged American overseas expansion, especially in Asia, during the 20th century. However, the work of historians during the s—s, some of whom sought to bury Turner’s conception of the frontier, and others who sought to spare the concept but with nuance, have done much to place Western myths in context.

In spite of this, Turner laments, the frontier has received little serious study from historians and economists.

Crucible of Empire – PBS Online

American intellect owes its form to the frontier as well. All articles with unsourced statements Articles with unsourced statements from October Indeed, his influence was felt in American classrooms until the s and 80s. 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.


Religious institutions from the eastern seaboard, in particular, battled for possession of the West. The frontier had no need for standing armies, established churches, aristocrats or nobles.

jackson turners thesis apush

He sounded an alarming note, speculating as to what this meant for the continued dynamism of American society as the source of U. Turner and Roosevelt diverged on the exact aspect of frontier life that shaped the contemporary American.

Turner concludes the essay by saying that with the end of the frontier, the first period of American history has ended. Turner first announced his thesis in a paper entitled ” The Significance of the Frontier in American History “, delivered to the American Historical Association in in Chicago.

Slatta, “Taking Our Myths Seriously. In the thesis, the American frontier established liberty by releasing Americans from European mindsets and eroding old, dysfunctional customs. Metz, “Frederick Jackson Turner and the democratization of the electronic frontier. They argue that, “Frontier imagery motivates Fermilab physicists, and a rhetoric remarkably similar to that of Turner helped them secure support for their research.

Spur National Museum of American History. Nash, “The frontier thesis: Wikisource has original text related to this article: This page was last edited on 11 Mayat Brent, “Electronic communication and sociology: The most important aspect of the frontier to Turner is its effect on democracy. Retrieved from ” https: Successive generations moved further inland, shifting the lines of settlement and wilderness, but preserving the essential tension between the two. This view dominated religious historiography for decades.

According to the theory, the Germanic race appeared and evolved in the ancient Teutonic forests, endowed with a great capacity for politics and government.


Turner set up an evolutionary model he had studied evolution with a leading geologist, Thomas Chrowder Chamberlinusing the time dimension of American history, and the geographical space of the land that became the United States. Every generation moved further west and became more American, more democratic, and more intolerant of hierarchy.

InFrederick Jackson Turner wrote what is known as the “frontier thesis,” arguing that our sense of democracy and hard work has been shaped by experience of survival and growth along the frontier. Boles, “Turner, the tyrners, and the study of religion in America,” Journal of the Early Republic 13 2 pp.

Frontier Thesis

They adapted to the new physical, economic and political environment in certain ways—the cumulative effect of these adaptations was Americanization. My call is to the young in heart, regardless of age—to the stout in spirit, regardless of party.

More than a century later, Americans still idolize the cowboy image and are fascinated by the train robbers, saloons, and violence of the era. He elaborates by stating. Kennedy to p. The question is whether their frontiers were powerful enough to overcome conservative central forces based in the metropolis.

jackson turners thesis apush

Notes to Other Users Teachers may want to familiarize themselves with the ideas in this essay: This is the great, the nation-wide frontier of insecurity, of human want and fear.

Author: admin