The Frontier : A Massive Influence

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The Frontier – A Massive Influence
At present, we consider ourselves living in a modern society with big cities and advanced technologies. New innovations allow us to transport and connect around the globe quickly. Human have more opportunities to interact, communicate and develop. The American life we live is such a happy picture drawn by ourselves, by the American Dream. But as a natural reaction, with those delightful and colorful layers on the top, we tend to forget the backdrop of our picture. We forget the foundation of that living picture, the origin that shaped the American being and characteristics. One of them is the frontier. Frederick Jackson Turner, a famous historian from the University of Wisconsin advanced his frontier
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Although we called it Westward movement, those formative experiences in the Western frontier did shape American culture and values. Directly by Turner’s statement, “individual liberty was sometimes confused with absence of all effective government,” and one way or another by the sense of guilt in Hawthorne’s story, we need to be aware of the development of democracy affected by the frontier condition, where selfishness and individualism are too strong to keep people united and loyal.
The clearest connection between Turner and Hawthorne’s description of the frontier at the first sight was its rough and dangerous setting when the Western expansion took place. The frontier at that time was suffering from the devastation of fierce wars. There wasn’t a fixed government to make law, to structure the society or to control humans’ ambition. People used violence to show off their power. The strongest always won; that was from nature’s rule. To press this point, Hawthorne began his story with the scene of the Lovewell’s war, a series of battles between New England and the Wabanaki Confederacy ( The battles that took place in the frontier were depicted as very terrible that affects both of the sides: Indian and people in the settlement. Countless numbers of the dead and injured as well as physical and mental damage resulted by the expansion of New England settlements along the coast of Maine, Nova Scotia, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts (
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