American Frontier

| May 13, 2014

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PLEASE READ ENTIRE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY Essay #4—History, Herstory, Whosestory???
Frederick Jackson Turner argues that the frontier, the first period of American history, closed with the close of the nineteenth century. However, a number of the other writers whose work we have been reading for the “Frontier unit” suggest that the frontier did not close at that time and some argue that the Frontier has indeed not yet closed.
It is imperative that you have the book, Cultural Conversations The Presence of the Past, written byStephen Dilks, Regina Hansen, and Matthew Parfitt.
For this essay, you assignment is to compare and contrast Turner’s version of the frontier with a vision of the frontier offered by one of the other authors we have read for the “Frontier unit.” How do these essays help you to understand the significance of the frontier in American history?
Please answer these questions and incorporate them in the essay and you will do well on the assignment.
1. According to Turner, what is the frontier? (Consider such ideas as how Turner believed the borders of the frontier were different than the borders in Europe, how the frontier marked the line of Americanization, how trade paved the way for American civilization, how the frontier decreased America’s financial and intellectual dependence on Britain and what Turner believes to be the intellectual traits inspired by the frontier.)
2.According to the other author you selected, what is the frontier? ( consider such ideas a whether the author believes the frontier truly closed at the end of the 19th century, or whether the author seems to conceive of the lands West of the boarder of America as a frontier, how they viewed their place in the frontier, how they view nationhood in relation to the frontier.)
3. How are the two author’s opinions the same?
4. How are they different?
5.What do these similarities and differences suggest about the idea of the “frontier” and why that idea was created?(Consider who created the idea of the frontier, for what purpose and who was writing about it.)
6.What do these similarities and differences suggest about the way the idea of the “frontier” has been used to talk about America’s development as a nation? (consider the romantic ideas we are taught about the frontier- Think of Little House on the Prairie or stories of Daniel Boone (the frontiersman), Geronimo ( the heroic yet vanishing indian), Wyatt Earp( the law), or Butch Cassidy (the outlaw). How do these sorts of figures and their struggles and successes shape your perspective of the frontier?)
7. How do these author’s perspectives help you to understand the significance of the frontier in American history?( Consider both how the frontier has been talked about and also who was writing the history. For instance, ask yourself how Standing Bear’s version of the history of that place called the Frontier differs from dominant accounts ,like the ones you learned in grade school.)
This essay must be in MLA format.
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