According to Turner, who presented his famous Frontier Thesis in 1893, what made the United States unique was the frontier experience, that movement of European-Americans from the East into the "open" spaces of the West.
The crucible of the frontier forged the American character as independent, rugged, and democratic.
Should it be abandoned, or is it valuable in understanding American society and culture?
" Very good questions, but students will have to look elsewhere for answers.
" The strength of Riley's piece lies not in its observation that Turner excluded women from his narrative, but in her detailed analysis of why he did so.
For example, Riley maintains that Turner did not harbor a misogynist agenda, but rather his "own words made clear that his view of history had little room for such specific groups as women" (65).The frontier experience, Turner maintained, explains America's departure from its European roots. The second essay, Richard White's "When Frederick Jackson Turner and Buffalo Bill Cody Both Played Chicago in 1893," carries the introductory question, "How has the idea of the frontier shaped our imagination?" White's intriguing and insightful analysis compares Cody and Turner as chief architects of frontier iconography.Both posed serious critiques of Turnerian exceptionalism.Charles Beard argued that the frontier did not explain American democracy. id=3689 Copyright © 2000 by H-Net, all rights reserved. It is an issue that has engaged observers of American history for some time: the so-called "American exceptionalism" question. And, if so, what is it that makes them exceptional?Contact us if you experience any difficulty logging in.The review you are about to read comes to you courtesy of H-Net -- its reviewers, review editors, and publishing staff. The series is designed for classroom use to provide students with a historical question or debate and essays by historians that offer different perspectives on the issue.The next essay in the volume is Donald Worster's oft-reproduced, and oft-quoted, "New West, True West: Interpreting the Region's History." Worster raises the now well-worn debate among western historians: Should the West be considered as a place, more or less definable on a map (region), or as a process (frontier)?Worster opts for a regional model loosely based on Walter Prescott Webb's pioneering work.