A summary of The significance of the Frontier by Frederick Jackson Turner. Please read the original document. This is just here in case you need some reminders of what it said.

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Frederick Jackson Turner, The Significance of the Frontier in American History

*-* Turner, "The existence of an area of free land, its continuous recession, and the advance of American settlement westward explain American development."

-The census of 1890 said that the frontier line by 1880 was indiscernible. Turner considered that vital since the official American history up 2 that time consisted of the colonization of the West& that it was this that explained American development.-The West compelled ppl to adapt themselves& 2 developing each area out of its primitive economic/political conditions. - Its isolation led to the need of transportation.

-The American frontier is distinct from the European frontier due 2 an abundance of free land. Its isolation led to the need of transportation.

-Although the frontier forced ppl to change (switch from railroad car to canoe) it still maintains frontier characteristics after being settled. Thus, the frontier meant a steady movement away form the influence of Europe.

-The areas that had been settled upon were a source of political concern since it was surrounded by Indians.

-The frontier led to trade between Indians& whites. I.e. astor's American Fur co. operated in the Indian trade.

-The need to expand is inherent in Americans (Erie Canal, extension of cotton culture).

-California(gold rush) was a distinctive frontier. Now settlers needed means of communication w/the East.

-Railroads (aided by land grants) increased the influx of immigrants into the Far West.

-Natural boundary lines which affected the characteristics of the frontiers. 1) "fall line" 2) Allegheny Mts. 3) Mississippi/Missouri (direction North& south) 4)99th meridian(arid lands) 5) Rocky mountains.

-Frontiers similar in many ways.. 1) Indian "problem" 2) each settlement of one frontier served as a guide for the next for example, the mining experience in Wisconsin was applied to the Sierras.

-Frontier differences: The frontier reached by the railroad, guarded by the US army, moved forward at a swifter pace and in a different way than the frontier reached by the canoe/horse.

-The unequal rate of settlement is what forces the distinction between various frontiers(traders,miner etc).

-Colonies initially supported the fur trade and pushed forward exploration because of it. Unarmed Indians traded w/the trader to obtain weapons thus, ending the primitive Indian life.

-In spite of tensions between frontiers such as, the trader and farmer, Indian trade pioneered the way for civilization. The buffalo trail became the Indian trail, this in turn was the trader's "traces." Thus civilization in America has followed the arteries made by geology and these paths have been broadened and interwoven into the mazes of modern commercial lines.

-The finding of salt springs released the original settlers from reliance on sea coasts. Salt was used 4 preserving food. This in turn allowed us to decrease our dependence on G.B. (more difficult to transport goods/carry of raw materials). Those materials gave way to diversified agriculture.

-The steady advance of farmers was the result of their search 4 fertile land out west.

-Symbolized freedom. Indentured servants who completed their work could obtain land, imiigrants where Americanized and fused into a mixed race. The growth of nationalism and the evolution of American political constitutions were dependent on the advance of the frontier.

-The pioneer needed the goods of the coast. Thus came the demand for internal improvements which led to sectional voting/debates and resulted in loose construction(land ordinance of 1787). The govt. tried using land as a source of revenue. Jackson just gave away land to settlers. Legislation was made w/regard to the frontier. I.e.land, tariff, and internal improvements.

-mobility killed nationalism since the western frontier worked in unsettling population. The frontier promoted democracy here& in Eur. It promoted individualism. It was W. NY that forced an extension of suffrage. It was this individualism that induced America to allow a laxity in regard to governmental affairs (i.e. spoils system).

-W. statesman was inferior in logic to an old Vir. Statesmanw/slaves. but when he went home he takes hold of the plow which gave him muscle and allowed him to preserve his republican principles

-The East always feared an unregulated advance of the frontier, and tried to check and guide it.