Summary of the turner thesis
Frontier thesis and imperialism
San Marino , Calif. There are two good reasons for us to give serious attention to Turner's ideas. But in a sense, the very acrimony of these debates takes us full circle back to Turner and his legacy, for debates about the significance of Western history are hardly ever confined to the past. Census of had officially stated that the American frontier had broken up. Evidently, the belief that free political institutions of the United States spawned in ancient Germanic forests endured well into the s. In , medieval historian Carl Stephenson published an extended article refuting the Germanic germ theory. His deep, melodious voice commanded attention whether he was addressing a teachers group, an audience of alumni, or a branch of the Chautauqua movement. However, the work of historians during the s—s, some of whom sought to bury Turner's conception of the frontier, and others who sought to spare the concept but with nuance, have done much to place Western myths in context.
Milton Stanley Livingston, the lab's associate director, said in"The frontier of high energy and the infinitesimally small is a challenge to the mind of man. They emphasized the values of individualism, empiricism, simplicity, equality, courage, discovery, independence, and naturalism in the service of democratic access, human rights, ecological balance, and the resolution of social, economic, and political issues.
The list is endless. Turner may have had difficulty writing books, but he was a brilliant master of the historical essay. Williams viewed the frontier concept as a tool to promote democracy through both world wars, to endorse spending on foreign aid, and motivate action against totalitarianism.
Limerick, Patricia Nelson, Clyde A.
Criticism of turners frontier thesis
According to the theory, the Germanic race appeared and evolved in the ancient Teutonic forests, endowed with a great capacity for politics and government. Milner II, and Charles E. On a more analytic level, an increasing number of Western historians have found the very concept of a frontier dubious, because it applies to too many disparate places and times to be useful. 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. Related concepts are the safety valve and successive frontiers. He sounded an alarming note, speculating as to what this meant for the continued dynamism of American society as the source of U. Turner took this "closing of the frontier" as an opportunity to reflect upon the influence it had exercised. Citing the Census of , Turner is writing to announce the end of the frontier, and consequently, according to Turner, the end of the most crucial instrument in creating a sense of a unique American identity.
However, others viewed this interpretation as the impetus for a new wave in the history of United States imperialism. Turner's essay reached triumphalist heights in his belief that the promotion of individualistic democracy was the most important effect of the frontier.
Turner moved to the Huntington Library in San Marino, Californiawhere he remained as senior research associate until his death. Related concepts are the safety valve and successive frontiers. However, the work of historians during the s—s, some of whom sought to bury Turner's conception of the frontier, and others who sought to spare the concept but with nuance, have done much to place Western myths in context.
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