Turner's Frontier

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In “The Significance of the Frontier In American History” by Frederick Jackson Turner, written in 1893 he expounds strongly the importance of the frontier. In his thesis, he outlines that the frontier shaped and molded men into the embodiments of “Americanism”. These were people in a new world that Turner referred to as Americans that receive great traits all due to the encounter of the frontier. This statement made by Turner has been supported by several historians and to this day still holds true. Many people like Turner argue that the conditions on the frontier turned men into the values America still have today. This includes traits such as courage, self reliance, independence, and individualism. This was all due to the harsh conditions …show more content…
These concepts were crucial to America’s future and still do this day are the foundations of American society. These ideas created an exceptional nation who are strong believers in being independent and favoring freedom of actions of individuals rather than collective. The frontier also created the sense of democracy that every individual was treated equally and had equal rights. In Turner’s essay this is clearly demonstrated when Turner says the “free lands promoted individualism, economic equality, freedom to rise, democracy”(16). This is also approved by the Ray Allen Billington, who although sees many flaws in Turner’s thesis cannot deny that the frontier did indeed “accentuated the spirit of nationalism and individualism in the United States”(89). In Turner’s thesis he argues strongly that the notions of individualism and democracy resulted from both geographical isolation and the tough conditions of the wilderness. He emphasizes that the special brand of American democracy characterized by these traits were due frontiersmen living on primitive organizations based on seclusion. The frontier made men believe that true individual liberty was established by an absence of centralized government because in the free land it meant free expression of will under no regulations. This is also shown in Tindall and Shi …show more content…
The frontier created a new man called the American that unlike any man at the time were courageous and self reliant. The frontier created these traits along with new ideas and or values by shaping men through the wilderness. His thesis is very accurate and although the opposition may argue against it, they cannot deny that the frontier’s primitive conditions contributed greatly into the American figure seen today. To this day many Americans are demonstrating independence and toughness by factors the frontier exposed men to such as isolation, violence, and difficult terrain. It grew men to handle the worst of situations and to persevere no matter what. Therefore, Turner’s thesis is very accurate because it did indeed develop American character, the value of individual freedom, and most importantly the concept of an exceptional nation who believe individualism/democracy. All thanks to the frontier these ideals and traits made Americans what they are today that altogether makes them one of the most splendorous nations of the

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