Analysis Of Frederick Jackson Turner 's Work Essay

2024 Words Oct 24th, 2016 9 Pages
Frederick Jackson Turner’s work is described by some as the single most influential piece of writing in the history of American History. From his perspective he laid out a theory to catalog his ideas and thoughts regarding the story of America and the move West. His argument entails the belief that every American generation returned “to primitive conditions on a continually advancing frontier line as the “meeting point of savagery and civilization”. His analysis attempts to categorize the past as well as predict future events which appear to be his concern given that the frontier would now be closed. In simple terms he attempted to make history a science. The question emerged: How would America continue to prosper and grow without this unifying theme? Certainly his theory dictated historical precision and made a significant contribution to American history by emphasizing how sociological forces and historical process shape the national character. Even Turner proposed to constantly analyze previous assumptions and proclaimed the importance of presentism but, it appears that he was unwilling or unable to unilaterally apply these principles to his own work. In his mind, the move West was a process, not a place.
The challenge of the Turnerian theory, as it applies to the Southwest is that there is so much that he did not see. He failed to consider the perspective of groups that certainly played a prominent role in the Southwest. He largely dismissed those who already called the…

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