Joshua Derman Joshua Derman is at Harvard, was born in England, and was a Junior at the Dalton School in New York City, when he wrote this paper for Mr. Geoffrey Gund's AP American History course during the 1993/1994 academic year.
Since its publication in 1893, Frederick Jackson Turner's Frontier Thesis has become one of the most pervasive and influential models of American history. Turner's thesis espouses three main points: (a) the frontier line was "the most rapid line of Americanization;" (b) the frontier experience shaped America's democratic institutions more than any other force; and (c) the frontier was instrumental in shaping the `American character' and culture. Although widely popular at the turn of the century, Turner's thesis became less credible in the eyes of later historians. Indeed, the first two tenets of his thesis are vague and hard to substantiate, if true at all. Turner's thesis accounts for only a small fraction of the American population, and does not consider the impact of late nineteenth-century urban immigration on American culture. Furthermore, Turner's estimate of the effect of the frontier on American politics and institutions seems exaggerated. In reality, the frontier states did not differ greatly from eastern models in state government or legislation. This paper will assume that Turner's premise is true-that American culture and world-view have been profoundly affected by the frontier-and from there will attempt to investigate exactly how the frontier became such an influential force in American history, using historical evidence outside that which Turner mustered. The frontier's open resources and lack of an established socio-political structure provided an environment ripe with opportunity, in which settlers could pursue dreams of limitless wealth and self-betterment. The most distinctive quality of the frontier was its rampant materialism and individualism. It was the frontier's work-ethic that contributed most to the `American character,' and proselytized a gospel of wealth that all Americans, whether Eastern or Western, `native' or immigrant, urban or rural could follow. Turner's frontier ethic, as outlined in his thesis, portrays the genesis of the American Dream.
Turner's epoch-making essay, "The Significance of the Frontier in American History" (1893), delivered before the American Historical Association, argued that "the existence of free land, its continuous recession, and the advance of American settlement westward, explain American development." Turner's notion was not a novel one. The American West and North-West, as both a geographic and a spiritual frontier, had loomed over the fiction and essays of earlier American writers, such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Herman Melville. To these authors, the frontier experience was an essential part of the American experience, although what constituted the "frontier" differed from writer to writer. For Turner, the "frontier" most often meant the American West (the North-West, Midwest, or Great Plains). In Moby Dick, Melville often compares the seemingly endless and mysterious Atlantic to the "Illinois prairie," and does not hesitate to compare Ishmael's experience at sea to that of the backwoods pioneer. For Thoreau, the unspoiled wilderness of Walden Pond provided a means of introspection into his own soul and that of society. Although several historians and philosophers before Turner (such as Hegel and de Tocqueville) had remarked upon the impact of the frontier on the American experience, Turner's thesis was the first to become widely adopted by other historians. In fact, Turner raised the casual observations of previous historians and travelers to a new level: he insisted upon the primacy of the frontier as an "explanation" for American history. What Turner meant by "explanation" has puzzled both critics and adherents of his thesis for the past sixty years. It is almost impossible for the reader of Turner's works to deduce whether he intended the frontier to be the "prime mover" in American political history, the single best explanation for why American cultural and political institutions developed the way they did, or a dogmatic rule for interpreting all events in American history. The "plasticity" of Turner's thesis, as historian Richard Hofstadter termed it, has helped to create a continuing controversy over his intent: his thesis, Hofstadter remarks, can "be invoked to argue for or against anything."
In his thesis, Turner argues that the only uniquely "American" part of American history is the history of its frontier regions, dismissing the rest as being too influenced by European institutions. One of Turner's most often quoted aphorisms proclaims the inherently "American" qualities of the frontier: "The frontier is the line of most rapid and effective Americanization." The frontier "finds him [the settler] a European in dress, industries, tools, modes of travel, and thought...little by little he [the settler] transforms the wilderness, but the outcome is not the old Europe, not simply the development of Germanic germs...[but] a new product that is American." Turner rejects the `germ-theory' of American history, which puts primary emphasis on the European roots of American institutions. He regards the frontier as a profoundly powerful entity, which molds the European settler into an entirely different creature, both in his faculties and behavior. Turner deals with the psychological and sociological aspects of the frontier in a manner similar to Melville, Thoreau, or Emerson's. However, unlike these writers, Turner has an obligation to prove his assertions with historical fact, and cannot rely on intuitive argument alone to be a truly effective historian.
Aware of his obligation to prove that American institutions were "not simply the development of Germanic germs" in a new environment, Turner sought to show how the frontier developed a uniquely American style of politics and representative democracy. "American democracy was born of no theorist's dream; it was not carried in the i>Sarah Constant to Virginia, nor in the Mayflower to Plymouth. It came out of the American forest, and it gained new strength each time it touched a new frontier," argued Turner, "...American democracy is fundamentally the outcome of the experiences of the American people in dealing with the West." To verify his statements, Turner summons a host of historical facts and personages. The Puritans, Albany trappers, Kentucky and Appalachian pioneers, Thomas Jefferson, Henry Clay, Andrew Jackson, and Abraham Lincoln represent an unbroken chain of American democratic values, all cultivated in frontier environments. Bacon's Rebellion and the Virginian Tidewater-Piedmont rivalry display a pitted struggle between East-coast European influences and Western, democratic ones. Even though he provides ample illustration of what he believes a democracy to be, Turner neglects to define exactly what characterizes a democracy. All of his cited rebellions display an abhorrence of privilege, property-based suffrage, and centralized government; but do these abhorrences alone constitute a democracy? Similar popular movements against aristocracy have erupted in European countries, such as Revolutionary France and England, two nations without any appreciable "frontier." Moreover, how does one account for the lack of democracy in Russia and China, which had vaster frontiers than America? What makes American democracy different from Canadian or Australian democracies, both of which had large frontiers? Turner's institutional historiography leaves itself open to all of these questions. In seeking what makes the "American experience" different from that of other countries, Turner had difficulty proving that American institutions owed more to the frontier than to European thought.
One of Turner's major failings is that he does not acknowledge how much American institutions owe to political theory worked out in seventeenth and eighteenth-century Europe or antiquity. In the Federalist Papers (1788), a series of articles publicizing the Constitution and encapsulating the essence of Federalist politics, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay drew extensively on the political theory and history of Europe, Greece, and Rome. Actually, the distinctive language and terminology of American democracy had already appeared in the Putney Debates (1647), held among soldiers of Cromwell's Army in England: the same debates over liberty, property, and representation raged among Cromwell's men as those among the delegates to the Constitutional Convention in 1787.
Furthermore, the American Declaration of Independence, a document as central to American history as any, almost mirrors in places John Locke's Two Treatises on Government (1690). The same characteristically American dislike of centralized power, quartering of soldiers, and aristocracy, was already brewing in the small towns of England in the 1640s. Historian George Pierson was concerned about the intellectual tradition of democracy when he asked Turner's thesis, "Above all, what happens to intellectual history if the environment be all?" Are Locke, Hobbes, and Milton of lesser importance than the physical environment of the frontier in shaping American institutional democracy?
Despite Turner's insistence that American democracy "gained strength each time it touched a new frontier," in reality democratic institutions in the West did not differ greatly from their predecessors in the East. Rather than develop unique solutions to pressing problems, such as property qualifications for suffrage and the structure of state legislatures, developing Western states modeled their government and legislation on those of earlier Eastern states. The Midwestern state governments all included a bicameral legislature, single executive, and a circuit of state and local courts. Ohio, Illinois, and other Midwestern states based their veto-revision clauses on those of eastern models, e.g. New York and Massachusetts's legislatures. The frontier states made only minor changes, if any, to the Bill of Rights adopted by the Federal government or that established by the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. Western states were far more reluctant than Eastern states to permit black suffrage, and even to allow freed slaves to enter their states, before and after Emancipation. "In their choice of political institutions," historian Benjamin Wright declares, "the men of this section [the West and frontier] were imitative, not creative. They were not interested in making experiments." Turner further weakens his examination of Western democracy by not defining what `democracy' is; it is unclear whether he is referring to a specific form of institutional government, i.e. broad-based suffrage and representative government, or a state-of-mind.
As an institutional historian, Turner fails to prove that the West contributed more to American democracy than any other region. At the same time, Turner came very close to showing how the frontier's work-ethic and philosophy pervaded the consciousness of the nation. It was on the wide plains and backwoods of the American West that the gospel of wealth, the American Dream, first emerged. The gospel of wealth would prove to be one of the most uniquely "American" qualities shared by all Americans, intertwined with the concept of individualism.
Turner singled out individualism as the most predominant frontier characteristic: "Steadily the frontier settlement advanced and carried with it individualism, democracy, and powerfully affected the East and the Old World." Individualism connotes many things: individual enterprise, anti-social behavior, lack of communal efforts, etc. Unfortunately, Turner never sufficiently explores any one of these characteristics. Nonetheless, there are certain key components to Turner's individualism: hard work, ingenuity, little reliance on existing institutions, and most importantly the "unchecked development of the individual." It is difficult to see the "unchecked development of the individual" in anything but material terms. Spiritual self-betterment, while often alluded to, does not appear as a dominant force in Turner's works. Individualism was the dominant force in frontier culture: it "promoted democracy." Free land lies at the heart of Turner's individualism: "In a word, free lands meant free opportunities," where the only restriction upon men's social or economic mobility was their desire to work. "The self-made man was the Western man's ideal, was the kind of man that all men might become. Out of his wilderness experience, out of the freedom of his opportunities, he fashioned a formula for social regeneration,-the freedom of the individual to seek his own." The "self-made man" plays a central role in the Frontier thesis.
From its beginning, Turner's study of frontier culture encounters a major obstacle. Demographics of the American West reveal that Turner's frontier never existed exactly in the way he imagined it. Frontier society was not as homogeneous as he depicts it in "The Significance of the Frontier in American History." Turner's ideal pioneer is `Germanic,' the heir of an old Teutonic or Scandinavian stock transplanted into the Midwest, or else he is a descendant of English settlers: "First, we note that the frontier promoted the formation of a composite nationality for the American people. The coast was predominantly English, but later tides of immigration flowed across to the free lands." This statement completely ignores the massive influx of Eastern and Southern European immigration to the East Coast and urban areas at the time of Turner's writing. The frontier line was, at any given moment, transitory; only a very small fraction of the American population lived on the "meeting-point between savagery and civilization." Towns that began as small trading outposts could bloom into cities in a matter of years. Does Turner mean to suggest that no portion of the American experience was imparted to these urban Westerners? More importantly, he neglects the great mass of Americans who had neither lived on the frontier nor seen it. Even up until 1870, only ten percent of American immigrants became farmers. Were these Easterners, immigrants, and urban dwellers shut out of the frontier experience of individualism, and by that untouched by `American' characteristics? How could a distinctly `American' quality be shared by only a relatively small fraction of the population?
Turner asserts that the frontier profoundly affected American culture, yet his argument contains ambiguities and errors. His short-comings, however, do not necessarily require that we reject the importance of his argument. The answer to Turner's question, "how did the frontier influence all Americans," may lie beyond the examples which he chose. The development of American industry in the late nineteenth-century, especially as seen through the eyes of Andrew Carnegie's Gospel of Wealth, provides a fascinating example of how frontier values, individualism in particular, did affect all Americans. In order to "salvage" the useful parts of Turner's thesis, it is necessary to explore the origins of frontier individualism.
The American pioneer was above all else committed to the accumulation of wealth and property, and constantly sought out new ways for material self-improvement. Frontier culture gravitated solely around the "Almighty Dollar," and profit was "the end and aim of their lives, their daily and nightly thought." Even the frontier vernacular was peppered with such phrases as "I calculate," " reckon," and other terms borrowed from the language of business. Frontier settlers were constantly moving: it was common to buy a small farm, sell it as soon as it became profitable, and move West in search of larger acreages.
By the very nature of these migrations, most Western settlements were transitory. Towns, as in the Roman era, would begin as a small cluster of tents where traders and land speculators would set up shop. Soon the settlement might rise into a large town, only for a subsequent surge of migration to depopulate it, or turn it into a `ghost-town.' Hamilton Wicks, who participated in an 1889 rush for free federal land in Oklahoma, described the birth of a town created by thousands of land-hungry squatters who flooded into the region during the race for land: "Ten thousand people had `squatted' upon a square mile of virgin prairie that first afternoon, and as the myriad of white tents suddenly appeared upon the face of the country, it was as though a vast flock of huge white-winged birds had just settled down upon the hillsides and in valleys. Here indeed was a city laid out and populated in a day." Much of Western land settlement and migration was fueled by land speculation. "The Westerner was a gambler, and so long as expansion went on the cards were stacked in his favor," noted historian Ray Allen Billington. The vast amounts of unclaimed Western land offered huge opportunities to those who were willing to take a risk; a seemingly distant and "unimproved" plot of land could easily double or treble its value during a land rush. Often, as in the stock exchange, the amount of profit that one could earn by speculating in a piece of land far outweighed the dividend acquired by cultivating it. The historian Ray Allen Billington quotes a German traveler, who wrote of frontier mores, "He [the frontier settler] knows no devotion to the soil; to him the earth is merchandise just like anything else and if someone offers him a good price for it today, tomorrow he packs up what is left to him and sets out to seek a new home." Land was not sacrosanct to the Western settler or bound to his family, as it was to his European brother. For Western settlers, periodic movement was the rule rather than the exception.
The archetype of the shifty confidence man may be as fitting as that of the pioneer to describe frontier society. Two of Mark Twain's most prominent characters in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn are a pair of dissembling hucksters, the `Duke' and the `Dauphin.' Set on the Mississippi during the early nineteenth century, Twain's novel provides a psychologically if not always historically accurate depiction of life on the American frontier. The Duke and Dauphin adopt one guise after another: repentant sinners, comedic actors, distant relatives come to claim a will from credulous orphans. Beneath Twain's fun is serious social commentary; the Duke and Dauphin are representative types of disreputable characters that Twain had encountered during his childhood in Missouri. Huck's world is filled with slave traders, bounty hunters, river-boat robbers, all trying to `get rich quick.' The Duke and Dauphin were by no means unique to Twain's childhood. In his biography of Lincoln, William Herndon described the frontier milieu in which the Great Emancipator grew up: "These men could shave a horse's main [sic] and tail, disfigure and offer him for sale to the owner in a very act of inquiring for his own horse...." Novels and travelogues written by Europeans were filled with stories of innocent settlers, who after being duped by conniving confidence men and speculators, were left with nothing.
It is important to consult first-hand accounts of frontier life in order to assess the value of Turner's thesis as Turner himself rarely looks beyond the patriotic image of the pioneer, and neglects to mention the consequences of the Western scramble for land and profit. "One might expect a historian who as a young man had poled down the Wisconsin River with Indian guides to have written at least a few poignant lines about the subject of Indian removal in the 900-odd pages of his two books on the middle period," noted Richard Hofstadter. The worst feature Turner finds of the pioneers is their relative uncouthness and lack of culture; there is very little mention of the violence, wildly fluctuating markets, and lawlessness that accompanied Western expansion. In "The Flush Times in Mississippi and Alabama," Joseph G. Baldwin described the capacity of materialism to corrupt or turn sour, self-interested, reckless and greedy:
The new era had set in-the era of the second great experiment of independence; the experiment, namely, of credit without capital, and enterprise without honesty...prices rose like smoke...Society was wholly unorganized: there was no restraining public opinion: the law was well-nigh powerless...Swindling was raised to the dignity of the fine arts..."Commerce was king"-and Rag, Tag and Bobtail his cabinet council...
Turner does recognize "that dominant individualism, working for good and evil," but he spends most of his time describing its "buoyancy and exuberance," and glosses over its seamy side.
Turner correctly gauged the appeal of frontier opportunity. Opportunity was long identified by immigrants and European visitors as the hallmark of American culture. Letters written by newly arrived immigrants to the American frontier describe the limitless opportunities the frontier's free lands and homesteads offered for the `unchecked development of the individual': "Any man here that will work and save his earnings, and make use of his brains will grow rich." "A farm hand, starting without a cent, can in three or four years possess himself of his own homestead of thirty or forty acres, his own free for all time." When so much of success depended on whether one could take advantage of opportunity, a distinctive frontier work ethic developed. During his travels in America, Alexis de Tocqueville commented: "Labor is held by the whole community to be an honorable necessity of man's condition." Frontier society was not forgiving of those who did not wish to work. Whether in personal or communal enterprises, frontier society regarded highest the industrious farmer or businessman. Frontier society, which was often characterized by visitors as having no notable feudal or class hierarchy, soon developed an order of its own, based on wealth. "Wealth," a traveler in the West wrote, "is the only mark of rank, the only thing that in itself serves to erect a wall or boundary between the lower and the so-called upper classes." Where genealogy divided classes in the Old World, money gained from hard work divided classes on the American frontier: here was a cultural institution uniquely "American," distinct from the feudal hierarchies of Europe.
Turner had prefaced "The Significance of the Frontier in American History" with an ominous statement: according to the 1890 Census Report, a distinct frontier line of settlement no longer existed in the continental United States. The "passing of the frontier" and the end of free land heralded the closing of an era to Turner, and the beginning of a new one. For the rest of his career, Turner was plagued by the very thought he had used to usher in his thesis: if the frontier "closed" in 1890, what values were left for the American people? Turner himself phrased the question that many of his critics would later ask: "What ideals persist from this democratic experience of the West, and have they acquired sufficient momentum to sustain themselves under conditions so radically unlike those in the days of their origin?" Turner seems to have intended this to be a rhetorical question, as he never directly answered it. Although the open-endedness of Turner's thesis has attracted much criticism, only a few critics (such as Hofstadter) have noticed that Turner himself came on the verge of answering his own doubts.
In the latter pages of his 1920 essay, "Contributions of the West to American Democracy," Turner investigates the influences of the frontier on late nineteenth-century capitalism. He notes the large percentage of "captains of industry" who hailed from frontier or near-frontier regions: John D. Rockefeller from rural New York and later St. Louis, Marcus Hanna from Cleveland, Marshall Field from rural Massachusetts and later Chicago, and Andrew Carnegie from Pittsburgh, a "distinctively Western town." Turner views these men as natural outgrowths of the frontier's democratic tradition: "The conditions [of the frontier] were ideal for the production of captains of industry...The great geniuses that have built up the modern industrial concentration were trained in the midst of democratic society." It is certainly true that the men whom Turner cites were not trained in the business atmosphere of the East-coast, but rather in the burgeoning markets of the midwestern states. Yet, one must question whether it was the "democratic tradition" that these men absorbed from the West, or something different but equally pervasive. Did these men worship the "Almighty Dollar" as devoutly as the frontiersmen of fifty years earlier? Rather, was it the legacy of individualism that men like Carnegie and Rockefeller absorbed, and applied to the new entrepreneurial markets and resources of steel and oil refinery?
In his essay, "Wealth" (1889), Andrew Carnegie used the same vocabulary and language that Turner would in 1893, both sharing the same American idiom. To Carnegie, a Scottish immigrant who rose to become one of the richest men in America through steel manufacture, industry and work-ethic were the two tenets of success: "...civilization took its start from the day that the capable, industrious workman said to his incompetent and lazy fellow, `If thou dost not sow, thou shalt not reap,' thus ended primitive communism by separating the drones from the bees." "American civilization" was founded upon "Intense individualism." Carnegie considered Individualism, Private Property, The Law of Accumulation of Wealth, and the Law of Competition "the highest results of human experience, the soil in which society so far has produced the best fruit." If frontiersmen worshipped the "Almighty Dollar," then these qualities which Carnegie listed were its Gospel. Indeed, Carnegie later included "Wealth" in a larger compendium of essays, entitled The Gospel of Wealth(1901). Carnegie and the "captains of industry" were heirs to Turner's individualism, perhaps even grossly so: one of the most common charges leveled against these "robber barons" was their "unchecked development of the individual," which more often than not resulted in the vast depletion of natural and human resources.
Late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century industrialists were aware that their goals matched those of the early pioneers. They received not only a philosophy of business from the frontier, but a market for resources and goods. The railway and the petroleum industries owe in part their success to the frontier: the West was in desperate need of a transportation network, and held reservoirs of mineral and chemical wealth. As Hofstadter remarks, "...to a promoter like E.H. Harriman (a successful industrialist), as Turner was aware, the captains of industry were the true inheritors of the enthusiasm, hardihood, and imagination of the pioneers; their unconstrained enterprise was the making of America. This contrapuntal play on the frontier theme continued throughout the 1920s and the New Deal era." Hofstadter was correct; the lore of American competition and self-betterment, born on the frontier, would continue through the present day.
Marshall McLuhan, in examining the advertising industry of the 1940s and 50s, portrayed an American society consumed by a desire for instant success: "The spirit of rivalry: Why are your teeth so much harder, bigger, stronger, thicker, and longer than mine? Why are your undies so much softer, comfier, slinkier, and whiter than mine? What's he got that I haven't got? Why is she the center of the party when I eat all the box-top specials myself?" After the industrialists, Madison Avenue became the second largest purveyor of the frontier ethic: the Marlboro Man sells cigarettes and Roy Rogers sells hamburgers. By buying these products, instilled by the advertiser with the vitality and spirit of the frontier, the consumer buys into the possibility of vicariously fulfilling the American Dream.
De Tocqueville once said of the American people that the frontier "may be said to haunt every one of them in his ideas as well as in his most important actions and to be always flitting before his mind." The image of the pioneer has thoroughly pervaded American culture: the archetype of the solitary cowboy has appeared in everything from Western movies to cigarette advertisements. Motorcycle commercials invoke the "free spirit of the West." If the only truly "American" part of American history is that of the frontier, what was it about the frontier that made it so palatable to both Westerners, Easterners, old-stock "natives" and immigrants? "We need not prejudge the question: the frontier had, and has a profound appeal to the imagination, and something of it may have been conveyed to Italians in Providence and Poles in Hamtramck," said Hofstadter, "Something, but not all, and not in its immediacy." Some aspects of the frontier spoke to all Americans, transcended the rural environment of the West and spread all across the nation-this was the frontier's work-ethic and spirit of individualism. "Everywhere in America the nineteenth century was the day of the self-made man," noted David Donald, and the region that best preached the gospel of wealth was the West. Whether the frontier was the single largest region of opportunity in America, its "rough-and-ready" environment accentuated the successes of its pioneers. For the millions of Americans in the cramped cities of the East, the West was the spokesman for ambition and the "American Dream," a dream of self-betterment and success.
One question lingers, whose answer cannot be grasped by purely historical means, as its root is too ingrained into the American collective unconscious. What role did Turner himself play in spreading the gospel of wealth? If he had not delivered his address before the American Historical Association in 1893, would the American people still be as fascinated with the frontier as they are now? Did Turner's theories create a consciousness and consensus that never before existed? Thus Turner earns himself a place in the American mythology alongside the pioneer whose passage he eulogized.
1 Frederick Jackson Turner, "The Significance of the Frontier in American History," (1893) p. 1
2 Richard Hofstadter, The Progressive Historians: Turner, Beard, Parrington (Chicago: University of
Chicago Press, 1968) pp. 56-59
3 Herman Melville, Moby Dick (New York: Penguin Classics, 1986) pp. 378-381
4 Henry David Thoreau, Walden and Civil Disobedience (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1966) pp. 1-1
5 Hofstadter, p. 56
6 Ibid., p. 122
7 Ibid., p. 84
8 Turner, "The Significance of the Frontier in American History," p. 3
9 Ibid., p. 2
10 Ibid., p. 10
11 Frederick Jackson Turner, The Frontier in American History (New York: Henry Holt & Co., 1920) p. 293
12 Turner, "The Significance of the Frontier in American History," pp. 9-18
13 Hofstadter, p. 126
14 Carlton J.H. Hayes, "The American Frontier-Frontier of What?" American Historical Review 51 (January 1946) pp. 72-74
15 Ibid., p. 70
16 Eric Cochrane, et al., ed., Early Modern Europe: Crisis of Authority (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987) pp. 359-394
17 T.H. Breen, Puritans and Adventurers: Change and Persistence in Early America (Oxford University Press, 1980) pp. 6-22
18 George Wilson Pierson, "The Frontier and American Institutions: A Criticism of the Turner Theory," New England Quarterly 15 (June 1942) p. 47
19 Hofstadter, p. 162
20 Benjamin F. Wright, "Political Institutions and the Frontier," from Sources of Culture in the Middle West Dixon Ryan Fox, ed., (D. Appelton-Century Co., 1934) pp. 34-42
21 Ibid., p. 39
22 Hofstadter, p. 126
23 Turner, "The Significance of the Frontier in American History," p. 16
24 Hofstadter, p. 142
25 Turner, "The Significance of the Frontier in American History," p. 25
26 Ibid., p. 14
27 Turner, The Frontier in American History p. 213
28 Turner, "The Significance of the Frontier in American History," p. 10
29 Hofstadter, p. 123
30 Ray Allen Billington, Land of Savagery/Land of Promise: The European Image of the American Frontier (New York: W.W. Norton: 1981) pp. 196, 206
31 Richard B., Morris, ed., The Westward Movement: 1832-1889 (St. Louis: McGraw-Hill, 1961) pp. 57-58
32 Billington, p. 210
33 Ibid., pp. 203-207
34 Mark Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (New York: Signet Classic, 1959) pp. 122-225
35 David Donald, Lincoln Reconsidered: Essays on the Civil War Era (New York: Vintage Books, 1947) pp. 223-224
36 Billington, p. 239
37 Hofstadter, p. 104
38 Donald, p. 222
39 Turner, "The Significance of the Frontier in American History," p. 17
40 Billington, p. 228
41 Ibid., p. 228
42 Ibid., p. 212
43 Ibid., p. 211
44 Ibid., p. 243
45 Hofstadter, p. 107
46 Turner, "The Significance of the Frontier in American History," p. 28
47 Ibid., p. 31
48 Ibid., pp. 27, 31
49 Andrew Carnegie, "Wealth," North American Review 148 (June 1889) p. 3
50 Ibid., p. 3
51 Vernon L. Parrington, "The American Scene," from Main Currents in
American Thought (Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1927) p. 29
52 Hofstadter, p. 88
53 Marshall McLuhan, The Mechanical Bride: Folklore of the Industrial Man (Boston: Beacon Press, 1951) p. 115
54 Ibid., p. 57
55 Ibid., p. 123
56 Donald, p. 219
Billington, Ray Allen, Land of Savagery/Land of Promise: The European Image of the American Frontier New York: W.W. Norton, 1981
Breen, T.H., Puritans and Adventurers: Change and Persistence in Early America Oxford University Press, 1980
Carnegie, Andrew, "Wealth," North American Review 148 (June 1889): 653-664 Cochrane, Eric, et al., ed., Early Modern Europe: Crisis of Authority Chicago: University of Chicago Press: Chicago, 1987
Donald, David, Lincoln Reconsidered: Essays on the Civil War Era New York: Vintage Books, 1947
Elkins, Stanley, and Eric McKitrick, "A Meaning for Turner's Frontier, Part I: Democracy in the Old Northwest," Political Science Quarterly Vol. LXIX (September 1954) pp. 323-339
Emerson, Ralph Waldo, Selected Essays New York: Penguin Classics, 1982
Faulkner, William, Absalom, Absalom! New York: Vintage International, 1990
Faulkner, William, Go Down, Moses New York: Vintage International, 1990
Hayes, Carlton J.H., "The American Frontier-Frontier of What?" American Historical Review 51 (January 1946) pp. 199-210, 216
Hofstadter, Richard, The Progressive Historians: Turner, Beard, Parrington Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1968
McLuhan, Marshall, The Mechanical Bride: Folklore of the Industrial Man Boston: Beacon Press, 1951
Melville, Herman, Moby Dick New York: Penguin Classics, 1986
Morris, Richard B., ed., The Westward Movement: 1832-1889 St. Louis: McGraw-Hill, 1961
Parrington, Vernon L., "The American Scene," from Main Currents in American Thought New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1927
Pierson, George Wilson, "The Frontier and American Institutions: A Criticism
of the Turner Theory," New England Quarterly 15 (June 1942): 224-255
Thoreau, Henry David, Walden and Civil Disobedience New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1966
Turner, Frederick Jackson, The Frontier in American History New York: Henry Holt & Co., 1920
Turner, Frederick Jackson, "The Significance of the Frontier in American History," 1893
Twain, Mark, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn New York: Signet Classic, 1959
Wright, Jr., Benjamin F., "Political Institutions and the Frontier," from Sources of Culture in the Middle West Dixon Ryan Fox, ed., New York: D. Appelton-Century Co., 1934