In what ways does the frontier relate to American values like democracy and individualism? I have to thank the Secretary of the Society, Mr. With more people homesteading farms after 1890 than in the decades before, the Western experience was far from over. The wilderness masters the colonist. The United States lies like a huge page in the history of society. The Ohio, the Great Lakes, the Mississippi, the Missouri, and the Platte, the lines of western advance, were ascended by traders. Traders followed the Delaware and Shawnee Indians to the Ohio as early as the end of the first quarter of the century. The development of mines in Colorado had drawn isolated frontier settlements into that region, and Montana and Idaho were receiving settlers.
Over internal improvements occurred great debates, in which grave constitutional questions were discussed. Ray Allen Billington, Frederick Jackson Turner: Historian, Scholar, Teacher New York: Oxford University Press, 1973. The records of the various New England colonies show how steadily exploration was carried into the wilderness by this trade. This page is familiar to the student of census statistics, but how little of it has been used by our historians. The frontier States that came into the Union in the first quarter of a century of its existence came in with democratic suffrage provisions, and had reactive effects of the highest importance upon the older States whose peoples were being attracted there.
Questions to Consider: 1 What is The Frontier Thesis? Pioneers might own a few animals and have a family but did not necessarily own the land. The works of travelers along each frontier from colonial days onward describe certain common traits, and these traits have, while softening down, still persisted as survivals in the place of their origin, even when a higher social organization succeeded. Moving westward, the frontier became more and more American. Stand at South Pass in the Rockies a century later and see the same procession with wider intervals between. The men of capital and enterprise come. The Act established a Vice-Admiralty Court in Halifax, Nova Scotia to hear smuggling cases without jury and with the presumption of guilt.
What are the steps and stages along the way? It puts him in the log cabin of the Cherokee and Iroquois and runs an Indian palisade around him. It was western New York that forced an extension of suffrage in the constitutional convention of that State in 1821; and it was western Virginia that compelled the tide-water region to put a more liberal suffrage provision in the constitution framed in 1830, and to give to the frontier region a more nearly proportionate representation with the tide-water aristocracy. The Public Domain The public domain has been a force of profound importance in the nationalization and development of the Government. If the frontier had been so essential to the development of American culture and democracy, then what would befall them as the frontier closed? The most significant thing about the American frontier is, that it lies at the hither edge of free land. The first wave he refers to as the pioneers.
The land hunger of the Virginians drew them down the rivers into Carolina, in early colonial days; the search for soils took the Massachusetts men to Pennsylvania and to New York. But when discovery was made of the salt springs of the Kanawha, and the Holston, and Kentucky, and central New York, the West began to be freed from dependence on the coast. It takes him from the railroad car and puts him in the birch canoe. See the suggestive paper by Prof. When the mines and the cow pens were still near the fall line the traders' pack trains were tinkling across the Alleghanies, and the French on the Great Lakes were fortifying their posts, alarmed by the British trader's birch canoe.
The existence of an area of free land, its continuous recession, and the advance of American settlement westward explain American development. . It begins with the Indian and the hunter; it goes on to tell of the disintegration of savagery by the entrance of the trader, the pathfinder of civilization; we read the annals of the pastoral stage in ranch life; the exploitation of the soil by the raising of unrotated crops of corn and wheat in sparsely settled farming communities; the intensive culture of the denser farm settlement; and finally the manufacturing organization with city and factory system. If one would understand why we are to-day one nation, rather than a collection of isolated states, he must study this economic and social consolidation of the country In this progress from savage conditions lie topics for the evolutionist. Though Webster could declare that there were no Alleghanies in his politics, yet in politics in general they were a very solid factor.
Census Bureau announced that the frontier was closed. As the frontier has leaped over the Alleghanies, so now it skipped the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains; and in the same way that the advance of the frontiersmen beyond the Alleghanies had caused the rise of important questions of transportation and internal improvement, so now the settlers beyond the Rocky Mountains needed means of communication with the East, and in the furnishing of these arose the settlement of the Great Plains and the development of still another kind of frontier life. Turner described the need for westward expansion in terms of 'centers of attraction,' such as salt, mines, soil, and Army posts. The Middle region, entered by New York harbor, was an open door to all Europe. Turner moved to the in San Marino, , where he remained as senior research associate until his death.
The superintendent of the census for 1890 reports, as previously stated, that the settlements of the West lie so scattered over the region that there can no longer be said to be a frontier line. He builds his cabin, gathers around him a few other families of similar tastes and habits, and occupies till the range is somewhat subdued, and hunting a little precarious, or, which is more frequently the case, till the neighbors crowd around, roads, bridges, and fields annoy him, and he lacks elbow room. Does the Frontier Experience Make America Exceptional? It is evident that the farming frontier of the Mississippi Valley presents different conditions from the mining frontier of the Rocky Mountains. It was in part the effect of finding these salt springs that enabled settlement to cross the mountains. He served as a teacher and scholar at the University of Wisconsin from 1889 to 1910, when he joined Harvard's faculty. Weston, Documents connected with History of South Carolina, p.