Significance Of Turner Thesis

Significance Of Turner Thesis-77
It explained why the American people and American government were so different from Europeans.

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The idea that the source of America's power and uniqueness was gone was a distressing concept for some intellectuals.

Some talked about overseas expansion as a new frontier; others (like John F.

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“frontier thesis.” The single most influential interpretation of the American past, it proposed that the distinctiveness of the United States was attributable to its long history of “westering.” Despite the fame of this monocausal interpretation, as the teacher and mentor of dozens of young historians, Turner insisted on a multicausal model of history, with a recognition of the interaction of politics, economics, culture, and geography.

Merle Curti, one of Turner's last students in 1944 won the Pulitzer Prize in history for The Growth of American Thought.

Curti adapted Turner's frontier thesis to intellectual history, arguing, "Because the American environment, physical and social, differed from that of Europe, Americans, confronted by different needs and problems, adapted the European intellectual heritage in their own way.The most important difference was vast amounts of unused high quality farmland (some of which was used by a few thousand Indians for hunting grounds.) They adapted to the new environment in certain ways — the sum of all the adaptations over the years would make them Americans. It discarded more European aspects that were no longer useful, for example established churches, established aristocracies, intrusive government, and control of the best land by a small gentry class.Every generation moved further west and became more American, and the settlers became more democratic and less tolerant of hierarchy.He 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.The thesis dominated much of scholarship until the 1960s.Franklin used the words frontier and West interchangeably and generally equated both of them with free land.He believed that the West was decisive in producing the phenomenal population growth of the society of his day and its "middle-class agrarianism." His frontier-inspired ideas had a demonstrable effect on public events and contributed to the coming of the American Revolution.What "Progressive" assessments of history appear in Turner's thesis? How does Turner's thesis reflect these changes, try to make sense of them, or sound a warning call for ways in which America might be losing its way as a result of the changes? What activities, identities, geographic locations, etc., reveal that American's normative status?8) Patricia Nelson Limerick has argued that Turner's "West" is his own hometown of Portage, Wisconsin, and that this fact shapes his assessment of the "frontier process." Do you agree with this assessment of Turner's essay? In what ways is Turner's thesis a statement of American hegemony at the moment of the 1890s, both with regards to that normative American and American territorial expansion?His argument was that the new environment had caused a rapid evolution of social and political characteristics, thereby creating the true "American." The first settlers who arrived on the east coast in the 17th century acted and thought like Europeans.They encountered a new environmental challenge that was quite different from what they had known.


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