Frontier Thesis

frontierWestern frontierAmerican frontierAmerican Frontiersmenfrontier historyfrontier lifeFrontier theoryfrontierismnew frontierthesis
The Frontier Thesis or Turner Thesis, is the argument advanced by historian Frederick Jackson Turner in 1893 that American democracy was formed by the American frontier.wikipedia
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Frederick Jackson Turner

Frederick J. TurnerFrederick TurnerTurnerian
The Frontier Thesis or Turner Thesis, is the argument advanced by historian Frederick Jackson Turner in 1893 that American democracy was formed by the American frontier.
He is best known for his essay "The Significance of the Frontier in American History", whose ideas formed the Frontier Thesis.

American frontier

Old WestWild WestAmerican Old West
The Frontier Thesis or Turner Thesis, is the argument advanced by historian Frederick Jackson Turner in 1893 that American democracy was formed by the American frontier.
Turner, in his "Frontier Thesis" (1893), theorized that the frontier was a process that transformed Europeans into a new people, the Americans, whose values focused on equality, democracy, and optimism, as well as individualism, self-reliance, and even violence.

The Significance of the Frontier in American History

The Significance of the Frontier
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.
"The Significance of the Frontier in American History" is a seminal essay by the American historian Frederick Jackson Turner which advanced the Frontier Thesis of American history.

1890 United States Census

1890 census1890Population
Turner saw the land frontier was ending, since the U.S. Census of 1890 had officially stated that the American frontier had broken up.
This prompted Frederick Jackson Turner to develop his Frontier Thesis.

Historiography

historiographicalhistoriographerhistoriographic
However his ideas presented in his graduate seminars at Wisconsin and Harvard influenced many areas of historiography.

Rural history

rural and agricultural history
These findings strongly contrast with those in the old frontier history as well as those found in the new urban history.

Frontier

frontiersmanfrontiersmenAmerican frontier
The idea that the frontier provided the core defining quality of the United States was elaborated by the historian Frederick Jackson Turner, who built his Frontier Thesis in 1893 around this notion.

Politics of the United States

American politicianAmerican politicspolitician
The Frontier Thesis or Turner Thesis, is the argument advanced by historian Frederick Jackson Turner in 1893 that American democracy was formed by the American frontier.

American pioneer

pioneerpioneersAmerican pioneers
He stressed the process—the moving frontier line—and the impact it had on pioneers going through the process.

Egalitarianism

egalitarianequalityEconomic egalitarianism
He also stressed results, especially that American democracy was the primary result, along with egalitarianism, a lack of interest in high culture, and violence.

High culture

high arthighculture
He also stressed results, especially that American democracy was the primary result, along with egalitarianism, a lack of interest in high culture, and violence.

Susan Constant

"American democracy was born of no theorist's dream; it was not carried in the Susan Constant to Virginia, nor in the Mayflower to Plymouth. It came out of the American forest, and it gained new strength each time it touched a new frontier," said Turner.

Mayflower

The Mayfloweras its name suggestsMay Flower
"American democracy was born of no theorist's dream; it was not carried in the Susan Constant to Virginia, nor in the Mayflower to Plymouth. It came out of the American forest, and it gained new strength each time it touched a new frontier," said Turner.

American Historical Association

American Historical SocietyAHA American Historical Association
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.

Hubert Howe Bancroft

Bancroft, Hubert HoweBancroftHubert H. Bancroft
Historian and ethnologist Hubert Howe Bancroft articulated the latest iteration of the Germanic germ theory just three years before Turner’s paper in 1893.

Carl Stephenson (historian)

Carl StephensonStephenson, Carlthe historian Carl Stephenson
In 1946, medieval historian Carl Stephenson published an extended article refuting the Germanic germ theory.

Theodore Roosevelt

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

Gilded Age

The Gilded AgeGilded EraGilded-Age
Roosevelt was not entirely unfounded in saying that he and Turner agreed; both Turner and Roosevelt agreed that the frontier had shaped what would become distinctly American institutions and the mysterious entity they each called “national character.” They also agreed that studying the history of the West was necessary to face the challenges to democracy in the late 1890s.

Thomas Chrowder Chamberlin

Thomas C. ChamberlinT.C. ChamberlinThomas Chamberlin
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.

Alfred D. Chandler Jr.

Alfred D. Chandler, Jr.Alfred ChandlerAlfred D. Chandler
Historians adopted it, especially in studies of the west, but also in other areas, such as the influential work of Alfred D. Chandler, Jr. (1918–2007) in business history.

United States territorial acquisitions

Westward Expansionwestward expansion of the United Statesexpanded westward
Many 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.

American imperialism

American EmpireUS imperialismU.S. imperialism
However, others viewed this interpretation as the impetus for a new wave in the history of United States imperialism.

William Appleman Williams

William A. WilliamsWilliams, William Appleman.
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.

Wisconsin School (diplomatic history)

Wisconsin schoolWisconsin School" of diplomatic historyWisconsin School of diplomatic history
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.

Republicanism in the United States

republicanismRepublicanAmerican republicanism
However, Turner's work, in contrast to Roosevelt's work The Winning of the West, places greater emphasis on the development of American republicanism than on territorial conquest.