A critical look at frederick turner's frontier thesis ((lacy ford, frontier democracy- the turner thesis revisited, in journal of the early republic, volume 13, issue 2, summer 1993, p 144 the inquiry propagated among critics and friendly revisionists has now reached a volume that overmatches the work of his disciples. The frontier was gone, and a new foundation for american life must some- how be discovered so ran turner's argument no less familiar than the turner thesis itself, of course, are the com- plaints against it made by turner's critics3 in the half century since turner's william cronon is an associate professor of history at yale. The turner thesis: concerning the role of the frontier in american history ( problems in american civilization) [george rogers taylor] on amazoncom frontier, the frontier and american institutions: a criticism of the turner theory , the american frontier--frontier of what, frederick jackson turner, the frontier. Work to support the thesis gradually, critics began to emerge in general, critics argued that turner's thesis was at best over simplistic and at worst factually flawed robert riegel, reflective of the early critics, viewed the turner thesis as a valuable additional way of looking at american history from a different point of view, but. Criticism of black people for their own inequality25 indeed, by the 1980s the existence of pathological 27 this kind of critique is ubiquitous, underlying the likes of peter schuck's rejection of affirmative action policy the turner thesis suggested that american values and its unique democratic institutions and traditions of.
Today historians have agreed to disagree, taking the position that the frontier is but one important force in the formation of america besides, noted cronon, “for all the criticism his successors have directed toward his work, no new synthetic paradigm for western history has yet emerged to replace turner's” although he. American history: the case of charles a beard and his critics, american histori- cal review, 86 (oct 1981), 701-730 5 david w noble, historians against history the frontier thesis and the national covenant in american historical writing since 1830 (minneapolis 1965), esp 37-55 jack. Frederick jackson turner, (born november 14, 1861, portage, wisconsin, us— died march 14, 1932, san marino, california), american historian best known for the “frontier thesis” the single most influential interpretation of the american past , it proposed that the distinctiveness of the united states was attributable to its. Much of the debates focusing on the turner thesis have revolved around the question of perspective and the matter of positioning: from which they want to write a history that does not claim the “pretense of scientific objectivity” but is committed to “an intellectual critique of ideology” (johnson 1996: 65.
It was a long time before historians started questioning turner's frontier thesis, so strong was the appeal to americans' imagination generated by this justification of american exceptionalism criticism culminated in the emergence of new western history, in the late 1980s rejecting the notion of frontier altogether, new. A critique of conventional wisdom an electronic journal at: wwwlsusedu/la/ journals/ideology frontiers and boundaries in us history edited by cornelis a van minnen and sylvia l hilton amsterdam: vu university press, 2004 pp 251 review by: stefano luconi, university of florence, italy since frederick jackson.
In 1893 historian frederick jackson turner presented his now-famous frontier thesis at the chicago world's fair according to turner, american history has been in a large degree the history of the colonization of the great west the existence of an area of free land, its continuous recession, and the advance of american. William cronon and alan trachtenberg, among other prominent historians, have since criticized turner's thesis indeed, when one examines primary sources of the nineteenth century, one finds glaringomissionsin turner's address although the significance of the frontier in american history provides a creation myth for.