Frederick Jackson Turner 's Frontier Thesis

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David Turley History 4120 Dr. Dant Frederick Jackson Turner’s Frontier Thesis In 1893, at the 400th anniversary of the appearance of Columbus in the Americas celebrated in Chicago , Frederick Jackson Turner presented an academic paper entitled, “The Significance of the Frontier in American History” In this essay, Turner proposes that, “The existence of an area of free land, its continuous recession, and the advance of American settlement westward explain American development.” The group dynamic that Turner champions is the farmer. More directly it is white, male farmers. While the expansion of the west by white male farmers was a factor in the development of America, it is not the only explanation for this progression. Turner fails to incorporate all of the demographics present during this expansion which were essential to the evolution of America. The first group Turner fails to credit is women. “…the only mention of the female sex in the entire essay…,” is when Turner states, “…Kit Carson’s Mother was a Boone.” While it was a positive thing to say, it didn’t f0cus on the woman, but on Kit Carson’s lineage. The part of women in colonization and culture is often seen as insignificant, but they have always worked alongside the men with equal duty or more, even though the recognition was not equal. The role of women during western expansion was not purely domestic however as the women would often take over the roles typically performed by men. The life of Mary Bommeli
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