He also commented directly on the connections he saw between the past and the present. Land, labour, and independence. Delivered in Chicago before two hundred historians at the World’s Columbian Exposition, a celebration of the four hundredth anniversary of Columbus’s discovery of America, Turner’s thesis discounted the then-dominant “germ theory” of American history, which argued that American political and social character evolved directly from European antecedents. Individualism was king on the frontier. The frontier thesis is one of the most influential documents on the American west today.
Behind institutions, behind constitutional forms and modifications, lie the vital forces that call these organs into life and shape them to meet changing conditions. Milner II, and Charles E. They argue that, “Frontier imagery motivates Fermilab physicists, and a rhetoric remarkably similar to that of Turner helped them secure support for their research. This page was last edited on 11 May , at Turner set up an evolutionary model he had studied evolution with a leading geologist, Thomas Chrowder Chamberlin , using the time dimension of American history, and the geographical space of the land that became the United States.
He also commented directly on the trontier he saw between the past and the present. Print this article Print all entries for this topic Cite this article. Not the constitution but free land and an abundance of natural resources open to a fit people, made the democratic type of society in America for three centuries while it occupied its empire.
Everything in American history up to the s somehow relates the western frontier, including slavery. He traced the social evolution of frontier life as it continually developed across the continent from the primitive conditions experienced by the explorer, trapper, and frontifr, through maturing agricultural stages, finally reaching the complexity of city and factory.
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Secondly, his story only accounts for those that chose an agrarian occupation, ignoring other industries such as mining. A similarly race-based interpretation of Western history also occupied the intellectual sphere in the United States before Turner. He won wide acclaim among historians and intellectuals. Thank You for Your Contribution! Any text you add should be original, not copied from other sources.
Even after independence, the eastern coast of the United States sought to control the West. 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 the thesis, the American frontier established liberty by releasing Americans from European mindsets and eroding old, dysfunctional customs.
It explained why the American people and American government were so different from their European counterparts. A small herd of American bison was started at the lab’s founding to symbolize Fermilab’s presence on the frontier of physics and its connection to the American prairie.
Contact our editors with your feedback. Looking backward, thinking ahead, careening toward the next millennium,” American Sociologist27 thhesis pp. 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. Poor health forced his early retirement from Harvard in Proponents of the germ theory believed thesus political habits are determined by innate racial attributes.
The follow-up to that study, The United States, — Citing the Census ofTurner 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. His deep, melodious voice commanded attention whether he was addressing a teachers group, an audience of alumni, or a branch of the Chautauqua movement. Turner instead contended that Europeans had been transformed by the settlement of North Americaa process that produced a distinct American mentality and culture far different from European precedents.
Europeans had long been trapped in the suffocating confines of the final stage, which had caused corruption and staleness both in Europe and in the eastern United States, where European traditions had continued to reign. Inmedieval historian Carl Stephenson published an extended article refuting the Germanic germ theory.
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. 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 frotnier to explain the evolution of those groups.
Essays and Miscellany First ed. Delivered in Chicago before two hundred historians at the World’s Columbian Exposition, a celebration of the four turnerx anniversary of Columbus’s discovery of America, Turner’s thesis discounted the then-dominant “germ theory” of American history, which argued that American political and social character evolved directly from European antecedents. If we can reach and cross this frontier, our generations will have furnished a significant milestone in human history.
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Subsequent critics, historians, and politicians have suggested that other ‘frontiers,’ such as scientific innovation, could serve similar functions in American development. Related concepts are the safety valve and successive frontiers.
A historical perspective,” Journal of the West Oct 34 4 pp.