Frederick Jackson Turners Thesis

He went on to say that as pioneers went west, they abandon European practices in favor of self-discovered methods developed on the frontier. They were devoured by academics and debated in most major universities, but they also alarmed many people as well.With the 1890 census declaring he American Frontier closed, it was clear that a new chapter in our history was beginning.Billington and Mood also add that the Frontier Thesis is meant to test a new approach to history that Turner had been developing since the beginning of his academic career.

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Turner took this "closing of the frontier" as an opportunity to reflect upon the influence it had exercised.

He argued that the frontier had meant that every American generation returned "to primitive conditions on a continually advancing frontier line." Along this frontier -- which he also described as "the meeting point between savagery and civilization" -- Americans again and again recapitulated the developmental stages of the emerging industrial order of the 1890's.

Many people continued his work by looking towards the possibilities of further colonization in the Pacific, but Turner’s work didn’t mention anything like this, instead concentrating on republicanism rather than territorial acquisition.

"The existence of an area of free land, its continuous recession, and the advance of American settlement westward explain American development." 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 even today. His father, a journalist by trade and local historian by avocation, piqued Turner's interest in history. He served as a teacher and scholar at the University of Wisconsin from 1889 to 1910, when he joined Harvard's faculty.

Turner saw this as inevitable and part of the upward moving thrust of American society created by the dynamic frontier.

American historians have continued to be fascinated by Turner's thesis, and it has had significant academic influence.Educators go through a rigorous application process, and every answer they submit is reviewed by our in-house editorial team.Frederick Jackson Turner's "Frontier Thesis" has had a major impact on historical thought since it was presented in 1893.He most cogently articulated this idea in "The Significance of the Frontier in American History," which he first delivered to a gathering of historians in 1893 at Chicago, then the site of the World's Columbian Exposition, an enormous fair to mark the four-hundredth anniversary of Columbus' voyage.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." Three years before Turner's pronouncement of the frontier thesis, the U. Census Bureau had announced the disappearance of a contiguous frontier line.The link between the “instinct for moving” and the development of human history and culture was forcefully made by Turner in an 1891 address to the Madison Literary Club: “The colonizing spirit is one form of the nomadic instinct. Frederick Jackson Turner's "The Significance of the Frontier in American History" is arguably one of the most influential interpretations of the American past ever espoused. Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Billington and Fulmer Mood have shown that the Frontier Thesis, formulated in 1893 in “The Significance of the Frontier in American History,” is not so much a brilliant early effort by a young scholar as a mature study in which Turner gave his ideas an organization that proved to be final.During the rest of his life he developed but never disclaimed or modified them.This development, in Turner's description of the frontier, "begins with the Indian and the hunter; it goes on with the disintegration of savagery by the entrance of the trader...the pastoral stage in ranch life; the exploitation of the soil by the raising of unrotated crops of corn and wheat in sparsely settled farm communities; the intensive culture of the denser farm settlement; and finally the manufacturing organization with the city and the factory system." For Turner, the deeper significance of the frontier lay in the effects of this social recapitulation on the American character.


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