What Was The Turner Thesis

Turner first announced his thesis in a paper entitled "The Significance of the Frontier in American History", delivered to the American Historical Association in 1893 in Chicago.Turner elaborated on many points in a series of essays published over the next 25 years Other historians had begun to explore the meaning of the frontier, such as Theodore Roosevelt, who had a different theory.European characteristics fell by the wayside and the old country's institutions (e.g.

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The Frontier Thesis or Turner Thesis is the conclusion of Frederick Jackson Turner that the wellsprings of American exceptionalism and vitality have always been the American frontier, the region between urbanized, civilized society and the untamed wildnerness.

In the thesis, the frontier was seen as a region that created freedom, "breaking the bonds of custom, offering new experiences, [and] calling out new institutions and activities." Turner first announced his thesis in a paper entitled "The Significance of the Frontier in American History," delivered to the American Historical Association in 1893 at the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

They encountered environmental challenges that were different from those they had known in Europe.

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Most important was the presence of uncultivated arable land.Many, including future president Theodore Roosevelt, believed that the end of the frontier represented the beginning of a new stage in American life and that the United States must expand overseas.For this reason, some see the Turner thesis as the impetus for a new wave in the history of United States imperialism.He displayed the importance of how the Frontier line had always sparked individual strength and democracy.He believed that the West was the most important component of the American story.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.The first settlers who arrived on the east coast in the 17th century acted and thought like Europeans.They adapted to the new environment in certain ways — the cumulative effect of these adaptations was Americanization.According to Turner, the forging of the unique and rugged American identity had to occur precisely at the juncture between the civilization of settlement and the savagery of wilderness.Turner's thesis quickly became popular, especially since the U. Census of 1890 had officially stated that the American frontier had ceased to exist and westward movement would no longer be discussed in census reports.The idea that the source of America's power and uniqueness was gone was a distressing concept.


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