Frederick Jackson Turner's Western Frontier Summary

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Frederick Jackson Turner, an American historian, stresses the importance of the great western frontier and all of the developments it has made on American history. It’s through Turner’s main points of how the frontier shaped America, how expansion to the west frontier changed people's cultural views, and why America is what it is today that he shows the true value the frontier has in American history. The first major point Turner emphasizes on greatly is how America was shaped by the frontier. The only limits Americans had discovered that they could not overcome were the physical barriers that lie between them and their vision of expansion. The frontier’s physical development that shaped America over each century began with the fall line of the east coast in the seventeenth century and ended at the belt of the Rocky Mountains. Turner relates his point to…show more content…
In a sense, America is what it is today because of every challenge, every victory, every defeat it has faced. With each victory over the Native Americans, America gained new territory. Even slavery holds a place in the development of the western frontier. The allowance and disallowance of slavery existed in the new frontier depending on each territory’s popular choice. Instead of having separate states with split decisions and “ignoring the huge elephant (slavery) in the room,” the frontier proposed the idea of having a uniform decision where slavery was either illegal or legal in all territories, thus introducing the idea of democracy. This unity is what created a uniform America instead of a bunch of individual states. America may have begun with predominantly Englishmen on the eastern coast, but immigration has molded America into being a true “melting pot” of the various cultures in which the present American culture developed around. The advances made on the frontier are what evolved the European influences into the influences of independent
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