The Effects of Frontier on America's Growth

898 Words4 Pages
In Frederick Turner's thesis, “The Significance of the Frontier in American History,” he identifies the importance of the frontier as a medium for the growth of the American character and individualism. Turner explained how the “existence of an area of free land, its continuous recession, and the advance of American settlement westward” would be a cause for development and advancement (530). By providing the settlers with a vast new world, the frontier enabled them with new problems and opportunities to create something new. The Atlantic coast was a place of freedom and the start of it all. Populated by diverse groups of immigrants, the new world was a place that the Europeans could strip off their old lifestyle and be reborn. Only when the Europeans started to venture West, could this “perennial rebirth” take place (531). Traveling into an unknown land, the Europeans were caught off guard by the harsh environment. Turner stated that the environment was “too strong” for the Europeans to handle using the old world methods (532). By adapting and using the “Indian clearings and [following] the Indian trails,” they overcame the wilderness before long (532). Turner also noted that by adapting to the new world, the Europeans created “a new product that is American” (532). Even in the early stages of westward expansion, the Americans had already become independent. As the pioneers advanced westward, Turner noted that the expansion caused them to become less dependent on the East. This independency from the East could be traced back as far as England. To the pioneers, the frontier was held in higher regards than even that of a king. Turner stated that when the King of England tried to halt their westward advances through the “proclamation of 1763,” everything was for naught as they bypassed the King’s decree and continued farther (533). The pioneers showed that even

More about The Effects of Frontier on America's Growth

Open Document