At the time Turner presented his idea it was eventually associated directly with his name and became the "Turner Thesis"the American frontier was actually viewed as something that was disappearing. Turner argued that the constantly moving frontier was a key factor in the development of a unique American character and contributed to many of its Turner argued that the constantly moving frontier was a key factor in the development of a unique American character and contributed to many of its essential features—egalitarianism, a certain down-to-earth anti-intellectualism, and even aspects of the society marked by conflict and violence. Turner saw this as inevitable and part of the upward moving thrust of American society created by the dynamic frontier.
How to Write a Summary of an Article? In his thesis, Turner argued that the West had to be taken seriously. The frontier past was, according to Turner, the best way to describe the distinctive American history and character.
Even though many scholars have questioned the thesis as an acceptable theory of explaining American history and culture, the thesis has its strengths. Turner explained what made America unique.
America as a unique nation was already a belief when the first colonies were established on the East coast.
And the notion that America was exceptional would continue to be re-created again and again on the frontier. The frontier was closely related to the myth that sustained the American faith, the ideals and images that represent the American Dream as well as America as an exceptional nation.
The paper will end with a look at the West as a myth. Turner did not define the West as a geographical place or region but as a process, which defined what he looked upon as uniquely American.
According to Turner, the westward expansion had transformed the savage and wild land into a modern civilization. This westward expansion could explain the American development, the national character The turner thesis argued that well as its democracy.
American characteristics like individualism, democracy and a strong work ethnic, which Turner looked upon as typical American qualities had all been developed when newcomers settled the wilderness. These special qualities would later influence the whole nation. Other historians and philosophers such as Tocqueville and Hegel have also talked about the impact of the frontier on the American experience, but the Turner thesis was the first to be accepted by other historians.
For example, both Russia and China have vaster frontiers than America, but they lack democracy. And in his essay, Turner has not showed what made the American frontier experience different from other countries with considerable frontiers.
To say that the frontier shaped American democratic institutions is vague and hard to prove. It is clear that the new land and communities in the wilderness demanded greater participation in political activities than in Europe and because of this ordinary people had to step in and contribute.
There were also several other values that owed the frontier its striking characteristics, for example the complex nationality later termed the melting potindividualism and economic mobility the American Dream.
Individualism was one of the most important and distinctive qualities created by the frontier, as stated in the essay: That coarseness and strength combined with acuteness and acquisitiveness; that practical inventive turn of mind, quick to find expedients; that masterful grasp of material things….
On the frontier, newcomers had to rely on themselves.
This feeling created the traditional, individualistic feeling. As a consequence, Turner thought, social life became more informal … than in the older and more settled communities.
According to the frontier thesis, all the resources on the frontier as well as its lack of an established socio-political structure provided opportunities for the settlers. Since the day when the fleet of Columbus sailed into the waters of the New World, America has been another name for opportunity, and the people of the United States have taken their tone from the incessant expansion which has not only been open but has even been forced upon them.
Everything was open to the man who knew how to seize the opportunity. The self-made man became the ideal of the West, and eventually every man in the U. It was the work ethic of the frontier, not of the South or East, Turner thought, that had contributed the most to the American character.
The frontier culture concentrated on the dollar and it became important to make something out of your life. People were constantly moving in search of larger acreage and new opportunities. The large amount of unclaimed western land offered huge opportunities for those who were willing to take a risk.
It could, if they worked hard, give them even more wealth and money. The frontier became the American Dream. To some extent, Turner is right when he talks about the opportunities on the frontier.
Newcomers came to the U. This became uniquely American. And this myth of America as a place of opportunity and optimism is still a part of the American character. Also, the American tradition of competition and self-betterment was born on the frontier and continues in America even today.
But a weakness of the frontier thesis is that Turner ignored the fact that many Americans have never or would never live on the frontier. The West was not a place of opportunity and freedom for everyone, as it seems in Turners essay. For example, to many women and minorities and of course the Indians, the West was no promised land.Turner argued that the constantly moving frontier was a key factor in the development of a unique American character and contributed to many of its Frederick Jackson Turner's "Frontier Thesis.
In his thesis, Turner argued that the West had to be taken seriously. He felt that up to his time there had not been enough research of what he in his essay call “the fundamental, dominating fact in the U.S.
history”: the territorial expansion from the Atlantic to the Pacific coast. Wisconsin Historical Society Frederick Jackson Turner ___Frederick Jackson Turner___ The Significance of the Frontier in American History Frederick Jackson Turner, (born November 14, , Portage, Wisconsin, U.S.—died March 14, , San Marino, California), American historian best known for the “frontier thesis.” The single most influential interpretation of the American past, it proposed that the distinctiveness of the United.
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. Frederick Jackson Turner’s famous frontier thesis argued that through the Westward expansion came the formation of the first “American” people.
Turner’s essay, presented around , strongly correlates with the upheaval ’s.