Considered as the founding father of Western history, Frederick Jackson Turner is famous for a lecture he gave in 1893, entitled "The Significance of the Frontier in American History".
Considered as the founding father of Western history, Frederick Jackson Turner is famous for a lecture he gave in 1893, entitled "The Significance of the Frontier in American History".Tags: Many Pages 1400 Word EssayEssays On Globalization And CultureResearch Papers On AdvertisingHow To Solve Economic ProblemComparison Contrast Brave New World 1984 EssayResearch Paper HistoryColumbia College Chicago Essay5 Paragraph Essay Athens
Focusing, first, on Turner’s interpretation, with its justification of American exceptionalism, it will then analyse the regionalism of the New Western History, which has resulted in the isolation of the West from the rest of the nation.
Finally, as scholars have been quick in criticizing the regionalist perspective of New Western History, it will try and assess how historians have started giving Western history a new orientation over the last decade, one that aims at reconciling the concepts of region and frontier, thus giving back to the West its significance at the national level.
The pioneer experiences a "rebirth", : "The wilderness masters the colonist.
It finds him a European in dress, industries, tools, modes of travel, and thought.
Véritable point de rencontre de nations et d’empires dès l’époque coloniale, région aux frontières internationales, l’Ouest semble se nourrir, aujourd’hui encore, de ces relations, contacts et interactions entre les peuples.
Since its settlement was the last stage in the completion of the country, thus marking the closing of a crucial period in American history, the West has had a special place in the nation’s self-image, and it has always been considered as central in the construction of American identity.The link between the “instinct for moving” and the development of human history and culture was forcefully made by Turner in an 1891 address to the Madison Literary Club: “The colonizing spirit is one form of the nomadic instinct.L’Ouest américain est souvent présenté comme ayant un statut à part dans la construction de l’identité américaine.Throughout the twentieth century, historians have tried to assess the significance of the West, regarded, by some critics, as "the most distinctively American part of America" (Bryce 315).In the late nineteenth century, Frederick Jackson Turner, the founding father of Western history, attributed the unique American character to the experience of the frontier.Criticism culminated in the emergence of "New Western History", in the late 1980s.Rejecting the notion of frontier altogether, New Historians suggested a rewriting of the Western past that focused on the West as a region, with geographical limits and specific characteristics distinguishing it from the other American regions.Society is described as an organism in constant evolution, and the frontier being "the line of most rapid and effective Americanization" (Turner 3).Not only does the frontier stand as the bedrock of the American nation, it also creates a new people, "a mixed race, English in neither nationality nor characteristics" (Turner 23).Turner famously asserted: "The existence of an area of free land, its continuous recession, and the advance of American settlement westward, explain American development" (Turner 1).The originality of the nation’s institutions, according to Turner, lay in their adaptation to the new environment encountered by the pioneers.