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Ironically, the Great Plains have been losing population for 80 years, and several hundred thousand square miles now have less than 6 persons per square mile - the density standard Turner used to declare the frontier "closed".
Roosevelt argued that the battles between the trans-Appalachian pioneers and the Indians in the "Winning of the West" had forged a new people, the American race.
His emphasis on the importance of the frontier in shaping American character influenced the interpretation found in thousands of scholarly histories.
The dynamic of these oppositional conditions engendered a process by which citizens were made, citizens with the power to tame the wild and upon whom the wild had conferred strength and individuality...
Successive generations moved further inland, shifting the lines of settlement and wilderness, but preserving the essential tension between the two.
The Frontier Thesis or Turner Thesis is the conclusion of Frederick Jackson Turner that the wellsprings of American exceptionalism and vitality have always been the American frontier, the region between urbanized, civilized society and the untamed wildnerness.
In the thesis, the frontier was seen as a region that created freedom, "breaking the bonds of custom, offering new experiences, [and] calling out new institutions and activities." Turner first announced his thesis in a paper entitled "The Significance of the Frontier in American History," delivered to the American Historical Association in 1893 at the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago.European characteristics fell by the wayside and the old country's institutions (e.g.established churches, established aristocracies, intrusive government, and class-based land distribution) were increasingly out of place.Please email Sara Mc Neil at [email protected] you have any questions about Digital History.After the closing of the American Frontier, Harvard professor Frederick Jackson Turner wrote a thesis in 1893 that concluded that the West (Frontier) personified the story of America.Turner's thesis quickly became popular, especially since the U. Census of 1890 had officially stated that the American frontier had ceased to exist and westward movement would no longer be discussed in census reports.The idea that the source of America's power and uniqueness was gone was a distressing concept.His model of sectionalism as a composite of social forces, such as ethnicity and land ownership, gave historians the tools to use social history as the foundation for all social, economic and political developments in American history.By the time Turner died in 1932, 60% of the leading history departments in the U. were teaching courses in frontier history along Turnerian lines.Every generation moved further west and became more American, more democratic, and as intolerant of hierarchy as they were removed from it.They became more violent, more individualistic, more distrustful of authority, less artistic, less scientific, and more dependent on ad-hoc organizations they formed themselves.