The key idea of this thesis is that the unsettled land played a critical role in the development of the American nation and democracy. Compared to the traditional view that English and German antecedents impacted the US, he argued that it was the frontier and the process of settling that led to a unique experience. The historian traced the development of the country from the primitive trappers and traders to the period when cities and factories appeared. The availability of free land was considered by Turner as the main condition that shaped the American society.
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There will be no changes to other Yahoo properties or services, or your Yahoo account. You can find more information about the Yahoo Answers shutdown and how to download your data on this help page. I assume that you are referring to Frederick Jackson Turner and his essay on the frontier. His basic thesis was that Americans were shaped by the geography of the frontier. It's a sort of geographic determinism as an explanation of national character. Later historians have argued that Turner's frontier thesis fails since the frontier as Turner conceives it was largely mythical.
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Get access to this section to get all the help you need with your essay and educational goals. In , the Census Bureau declared that, due to brokenness by isolated bodies of settlement, the American frontier could hardly be considered to exist. However, three years later, one man historian and frontier expert Frederick Jackson Turner believed the frontier held the key to explaining American development on an economic, social, and historical level. He believed that the existence of free land to the west shaped the American character, made America more democratic, and was, frankly, the single most important experience in shaping American history. His essay did more than any previous works before him, and it brought the subject of the importance of the frontier to the attention of not only intellectuals and historians, but also to the general public.