Turner and the frontier thesis

criticism of turners frontier thesis

The racial warfare theory was an emerging belief in the late nineteenth century advocated by Theodore Roosevelt in The Winning of 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.

European characteristics fell by the wayside and the old country's institutions e. The follow-up to that study, The United States, — The Nation and Its Sectionswould not be published until after his death.

why did turner believe that the american frontier was different from the european frontier

This sectionalism had a great deal of influence on the development of the frontier. Western historians who still adhere roughly to Turner's approach accuse their opponents of mistaking a simple-minded political correctness for good scholarship in their quest to recount only the doom and gloom of the Western past.

turner thesis analysis

The Turner thesis became the dominant interpretation of American history for the next century, although after the early s "new western historians," who rejected Turner's grand theory for its lack of racial inclusiveness and overly triumphant paradigm, emphasized a more inclusive approach to frontier history.

The more foreboding and cautionary tale which increasing numbers of Western historians have offered in place of Turner's account has provoked sharp controversy.

Turner and the frontier thesis

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. Everything in American history up to the s somehow relates the western frontier, including slavery. He served as a teacher and scholar at the University of Wisconsin from to , when he joined Harvard's faculty. Trails: Toward a New Western History. Frederick Jackson Turner 's "The Significance of the Frontier in American History" is arguably one of the most influential interpretations of the American past ever espoused. The Turner thesis became the dominant interpretation of American history for the next century, although after the early s "new western historians," who rejected Turner's grand theory for its lack of racial inclusiveness and overly triumphant paradigm, emphasized a more inclusive approach to frontier history. But even within Western and frontier history, a growing body of historians has contested Turner's approach. In Australia, "mateship" and working together was valued more than individualism.

Moreover, as the 19th century wore on, the role of the federal government and large corporations grew increasingly important.

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Frontier Thesis