At first, the frontierwas the Atlantic coast.

Whenever social conditions tended to crystallize in the East, whenevercapital tended to press upon labor or political restraints to impede thefreedom of the mass, there was this gate of escape to the free conditions of thefrontier.

It was the frontier of Europe in a very real sense.

In short, atthe frontier the environment is at first too strong for the man.

Moving westward, the frontier became more and more American.

For Turner, the deeper significance of the frontier lay in the effects of this social recapitulation on the American character. "The frontier," he claimed, "is the line of most rapid Americanization." The presence and predominance of numerous cultural traits -- "that coarseness and strength combined with acuteness and acquisitiveness; that practical inventive turn of mind, quick to find expedients; that masterful grasp of material things... that restless, nervous energy; that dominant individualism" -- could all be attributed to the influence of the frontier.

Frontier Thesis Music Videos YouTube

The existence of an area of free land, its continuous recession, and the advance of American settlement westward, explain American development." This thesis proved to be remarkably durable, and despite numerous scholarly rebuttals and counter-theses in the century that followed, Turner's interpretation of American history still enjoys the acceptance of large numbers of ordinary Americans.Many of Turner's arguments, however, exhibit serious shortcomings when they are examined more closely.

[T]he frontier promoted the formation of a composite nationality for theAmerican people.

Frederick Jackson Turner, - The University of Virginia

This frontier lingered on long after its geographical counterparts in the colonies had vanished, and in some cases it hardened into deep-seated animosity.

Frederick Jackson Turner and the frontier

Along with denying the importance of the First Nations and the central role played by the fur trade in stimulating the colonial economies and Anglo-French rivalry, Turner also fails to acknowledge the complexity of the frontier itself.

Frederick Jackson Turner (1861 - 1932) - Genealogy

Doing so necessarily involved going to war with the English as well, and the course of these wars helped shape the development of all the European colonies, both French and English.The most enduring frontier was one that Turner's thesis never addresses - the cultural frontier between Europeans and the First Nations.

The result is that, to the frontier, the American intellect owes itsstriking characteristics.

PBS - THE WEST - Frederick Jackson Turner

In Pennsylvania the town of Bedford indicates the line of settlement. Settlements had begun on New River, a branch of the Kanawha, and on the sources of the Yadkin and French Broad. The King attempted to arrest the advance by his proclamation of 1763 forbidding settlements beyond the sources of the rivers flowing into the Atlantic; but in vain. In the period of the Revolution the frontier crossed the Alleghenies into Kentucky and Tennessee, and the upper waters of the Ohio were settled. When the first census was taken in 1790, the continuous settled area was bounded by a line which ran near the coast of Maine, and included New England, except a portion of Vermont and New Hampshire, New York along the Hudson and up the Mohawk about Schenectady, eastern and southern Pennsylvania, Virginia well across the Shenandoah Valley, and the Carolinas and eastern Georgia.

Frederick Jackson Turner and the ..

In both cases, colonists and Indians lived on opposite sides of a cultural divide that led the colonists to take repressive or violent measures against the Indians. It can thus be seen that Turner's "frontier thesis" is incomplete in its scope and inaccurate in its depiction of the many types of frontiers that made up colonial America.

Historian Frederick Jackson Turner's argument that ..

Almost a century later, Indians living in cities like Lancaster and Philadelphia, which were far-removed from the western frontier, found themselves attacked and murdered by groups like the Paxton Boys as a reaction to the outbreak of Pontiac's War.