Frederic Jackson Turner is an outstanding historian in the United States of America. His works are devoted to the history of his country, which he tried to evaluate from different sides and to find reasons why these and those events took place in America at that very time. The number of Turner’s works is not so numerous, but “The Frontier in American History” is his most famous writing, which is devoted to the understanding of the American culture through the division of the American frontier line.
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Considering the first chapter of the book “The Frontier in American History”, which is called “The Significance of the Frontier in American History”, it is possible to conclude that the thesis statement of the essay may be delivered by such words, “The existence of an area of free land, its continuous recession, and the advance of American settlement westward, explain American development” (Turner para. 1). This only phrase may explain the whole idea of the chapter, the direction of thoughts of the Author. Turner is sure that the division of the frontier, the colonization, and the existence of free lands were the main reasons for the cultural and political development of the country, that only these divisions are responsible for the position of affairs in modern America, that this was the reason of why the country developed only in this direction and not in the other.
To give his thesis substantiates, Turner begins the explanation of the history from the very beginning of the American frontier, when it was Atlantic, and then comes step by step to the other changes which took place and provided its changes to the American life. The Atlantic frontier was in reality even European, and the author is sure that the great role was devoted to moving westward, where “the frontier became more and more American” (Turner para. 5). The frontier, moving westward, made the political, cultural, and economical life of the American land more American, as the European influence became limited and then absolutely eliminated. This part in the history of the country was significant, and it was the frontier that made the culture move this way.
Turner’s thesis is rather strong, and reading his work, it becomes more and more understandable that the author is right. The facts which are offered in the chapter are very informative and significant. Studying the information considering Turner’s Thesis, the attention was attracted by facts that there were some historians, who not only evaluated and criticized this work but also denied it, what impossible to avoid as every point of view should be criticized. My strong opinion is that Turner managed to prove his point of view by giving reasonable and strong facts and evidence, his ideas are clear and deserve attention in the historical world of the American culture.
So, the Frontier Thesis, introduced by Frederic Jackson Turner in his work “The Significance of the Frontier in American History” is a very powerful work that proves that history, life, culture, the economical and political life of the American people and country, in general, depended on the frontier line of the land in different periods of its history. The thesis was proved with the help of strong arguments and valid information, which is present in the work and which is impossible to deny easily.
Turner, Frederick Jackson. “The Significance of Frontier in American History.” The Frontier in American History. University of Virginia. 1996.