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. As a result of settling this land, such features as individualism, materialism, self-reliance, and optimism were established.
The frontier thesis or Turner thesis also American frontierism , is the argument advanced by historian Frederick Jackson Turner in that American democracy was formed by the American frontier. He stressed the process—the moving frontier line—and the impact it had on pioneers going through the process. He also stressed results, especially that American democracy was the primary result, along with egalitarianism , a lack of interest in high culture , and violence.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document. Frederick Jackson Turner wrote a paper in later dubbed the Turner Thesis , which argued that American progress was a direct result of emigration along a receding western frontier of the United States. Furthermore, Turner contended that the free land of the frontier explained American advancement, and its settlement was the determining factor causing the United States to develop as a nation.