Frederick Douglass Turner The Expansion Of The Frontier Analysis

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In 1893, a historian from Wisconsin, named Frederick Douglass Turner read his essay entitled, “The Significance of the Frontier in American History,” at the world Columbian exposition in Chicago. This essay redefined history not just as a political narrative, but as the growth of the Western frontier. Turner makes the argument that, “American history is the history of the colonization of the Great West.” (Hollitz, 176). I, like Turner, believe that the expansion of the frontier helped mold America’s defining attributes of independence, diversity, and democracy. However, Turner tends to omit that what benefitted the white men during the colonization period of the United States, was at the expense of the Native Americans who previously inhabiting …show more content…
Turner speaks out about how the new nation must steer clear of all European influences. “Thus the advance of the frontier has meant a steady movement away from the influence of Europe, a steady growth of independence on American lines.” (Hollitz, 177). As the borders expanded, more land became available for the common man. This idea of the self-made man fulfilling the American dream- where anyone could be anything they wanted if they worked hard enough, regardless of their upbringing-captured the minds of millions as they settled westward to claim new province. Robert Baird, an immigrant in the west, describes the population in the frontier to differ greatly from the others surrounding it. Baird believes a defining trait of western Americans is their spirit of adventurous enterprise. He elaborates, “The western people think nothing of making a long journey, of encountering fatigue, and of enduring every species of hardship.” (Hollitz, 188). The west was a fertile ground for business enterprise, so it’s not surprising that countless people endured the trip. Turner notes that the wilderness of the frontier is not …show more content…
Some issues argued from back then still cause controversy. Although, if there is one thing most Americans will agree on, it’s that the people should hold the power. All people, not just the politically elite and wealthy. The idea that all men are seen as equals to their peers, that each individual has inalienable rights, and that everyone has a voice/vote in government is the basis of democracy. In George Bingham’s, “Stump Speaking,” an assembly of men are gathered discussing politics, or possibly having a debate. It was typical at that time for smaller groups of men to meet and practice democracy in the new western territories. New civilizations are chaos without order and leadership. Antonia Coronel describes the racial conflict between the Spanish and the whites in California during the gold rush. According to Coronel, two respectable Spanish men were unlawfully seized and hung for a crime they most likely did not commit. He reflects, “The circumstance that there were no laws nor authorities who could protect the rights and lives of men gave to these men advantages over peaceful and honorable men.” (Hollitz, 192). Laws are necessary to maintain the peace and safety of civilians. When entering the Salt Lake Valley in 1847, the Church of the Latter-day Saints began laying plans for a city that reflected the desire to live in an orderly society. In the “Brigham

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