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Frederick Jackson Turner's The Significance of the Frontier in American History

Author: Dee Das, Joanna
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 104
Pub Date: 04/07/2017
ISBN: 9781912127863
Availability: Available for delivery in 48 hours
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Quick overview Turner's much-anthologized 1893 essay argues that the vast western frontier shaped the modern American character-and the course of US history. Interacting with both the wilderness and Native Americans, settlers on the frontier developed institutions and character traits quite distinct from Europe.
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Frederick Jackson Turner's 1893 essay on the history of the United States remains one of the most famous and influential works in the American canon.
That is a testament to Turner's powers of creative synthesis; in a few short pages, he succeeded in redefining the way in which whole generations of Americans understood the manner in which their country was shaped, and their own character moulded, by the frontier experience. It is largely thanks to Turner's influence that the idea of America as the home of a sturdily independent people - one prepared, ultimately, to obtain justice for themselves if they could not find it elsewhere - was born. The impact of these ideas can still be felt today: in many Americans' suspicion of "big government," in their attachment to guns - even in Star Trek's vision of space as "the final frontier." Turner's thesis may now be criticised as limited (in its exclusion of women) and over-stated (in its focus on the western frontier). That it redefined an issue in a highly impactful way - and that it did so exceptionally eloquently - cannot be doubted.

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