Essay on Frederick Turner Jackson: Frontier Thesis

1137 Words May 9th, 2013 5 Pages
Benjamin Farhi
Band D
East to West Frederick Turner Jackson, born in 1861, in Portage, Wisconsin, grew up in a time of severe social change, in a nation plagued with an identity crisis. Fascinated by the world around him, Turner chose to become a history professor, devoting his entire life to studying American culture/society while teaching at the University of Wisconsin and Harvard. Constantly having the opportunity to study and observe the development of the “American”, Turner wrote extensively, about which attributes composed and influenced American democracy, societal values, and image. He published an essay, “The Significance of the Frontier in American History” about these topics in 1893, and presented it at the Chicago
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Turner’s curiosity of figuring out what a present-time American meant intertwined with his disappointment from his studies at Johns Hopkins were two of the driving forces behind the formation of his thesis. Also inspiring his thesis was the large masses of his mid-western neighbors, migrating out West in search of a new, wealthy rebirth. The autonomy and creativity each individual or family sought and achieved in the, Turner deemed as a guiding reason as to how American’s separated from European ideology.
“The existence of an area of free land, its continuous recession, and the advance of American settlement westward, explain American Development. The true point of view in the history of this nation is not the Atlantic coast, it is the Great West. ”
Frederick Turner Jackson’s explanation of the Great West and its influence on American culture explains in far more depth, why America is distinctively America than other academics previously had. For Turner, America’s expansion West forged new, exclusively American qualities such as, economic mobility, individual freedom, and political democracy .
In 1890, the Census Bureau ruled that a Frontier no longer officially existed in the United States. Their study was supported by the West Coast’s transformation from a collection of sparsely inhabited, extreme terrain states, to a series of thriving metropolises. However, Turner denied that this would all of a sudden disqualify the

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