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Evolution[ edit ] Frederick Jackson Turner, c. They adapted to the new physical, economic and political environment in certain ways—the cumulative effect of these adaptations was Americanization. Successive generations moved further inland, shifting the lines of settlement and wilderness, but preserving the essential tension between the two.
Every generation moved further west and became more American, more democratic, and more intolerant of hierarchy.
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. In broad terms, the further west, the more American the community. Census of had officially stated that the American frontier had broken up.
He sounded an alarming note, speculating as to what this meant for the continued dynamism of American society as the source of U. South Africa, Canada, Russia, Brazil, Argentina and Australia—and even ancient Rome—had long frontiers that were also settled by pioneers.
The question is whether their frontiers were powerful enough to overcome conservative central forces based in the metropolis. In Australia, "mateship" and working together was valued more than individualism was in the United States.
Roosevelt argued that the battles between the trans-Appalachian pioneers and the Indians in the "Winning of the West" had forged a new people, the American race. It explained why the American people and American government were so different from their European counterparts.
It was popular among New Dealers—Franklin Roosevelt and his top aides  thought in terms of finding new frontiers. This is the great, the nation-wide frontier of insecurity, of human want and fear.
This is the frontier—the America—we have set ourselves to reclaim. However, others viewed this interpretation as the impetus for a new wave in the history of United States imperialism. 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.
Williams viewed the frontier concept as a tool to promote democracy through both world wars, to endorse spending on foreign aid, and motivate action against totalitarianism. Other historians, who wanted to focus scholarship on minorities, especially Native Americans and Hispanics, started in the s to criticize the frontier thesis because it did not attempt to explain the evolution of those groups.
Mode inargued that churches adapted to the characteristics of the frontier, creating new denominations such as the Mormonsthe Church of Christthe Disciples of Christand the Cumberland Presbyterians. The frontier, they argued, shaped uniquely American institutions such as revivals, camp meetings, and itinerant preaching.
This view dominated religious historiography for decades. Micheaux promoted the West as a place where blacks could transcend race and earn economic success through hard work and perseverance.
Historians have noted that John F. Kennedy in the early s explicitly called upon the ideas of the frontier. My call is to the young in heart, regardless of age—to the stout in spirit, regardless of party.
Limerick points out that Kennedy assumed that "the campaigns of the Old Frontier had been successful, and morally justified.
The frontier thesis is one of the most influential documents on the American west today. They argue that, "Frontier imagery motivates Fermilab physicists, and a rhetoric remarkably similar to that of Turner helped them secure support for their research.
The bison herd still lives on the grounds of Fermilab. They emphasized the values of individualism, empiricism, simplicity, equality, courage, discovery, independence, and naturalism in the service of democratic access, human rights, ecological balance, and the resolution of social, economic, and political issues.
If we can reach and cross this frontier, our generations will have furnished a significant milestone in human history.The Genesis of the Frontier Thesis: A Study in Historical Creativity. San Marino, Calif.: Huntington Library, Faragher, John Mack, ed.
Rereading Frederick Jackson Turner: "The Significance of the Frontier in American History" and . "The Significance of the Frontier in American History" is a seminal essay by the American historian Frederick Jackson Turner which advanced the Frontier Thesis of First published: With these words, Frederick Jackson Turner laid the foundation for modern historical study of the American West and presented a "frontier thesis" that continues to influence historical thinking.
In historian Frederick Jackson Turner presented his now-famous "frontier thesis" at the Chicago World's Fair. According to Turner, "American history has been in a large degree the history of the colonization of the Great West.
The Turner Theses The central thesis about the frontier coined by Frederick Jackson Turner, commonly called the frontier thesis, has to do with the origins of the American national character.
Despite shortcomings and weaknesses in Turner’s essay, the frontier thesis has a lasting appeal and the frontier idea keeps turning up in new forms, for example in everything from western movies, commercials and politics.
The frontier has become an important part of American consciousness.