Turner, Frederick Jackson
The Significance of the Frontier in American History,which outlined brilliantly the history of the receding frontier and its effect in creating American democracy. Little noticed at the time, it was to prove epoch-making in American history writing. It supplied a large part of a generation of historians with a theme to investigate. Turner's ideas are now generally incorporated in some form in most American history texts; although a historical controversy has raged for decades over the validity of his frontier thesis, few critics reject it entirely. The address and various short papers were reprinted in The Frontier in American History (1920). He collaborated with Edward Channing and Albert Bushnell Hart in the revision of Guide to the Study and Reading of American History (1912). Though he produced few books—The Rise of the New West (
American Nationseries, 1906) and two studies in sectionalism, The Significance of Sections in American History (1932) and the posthumously published The United States, 1830–1850 (1935)—his influence as a teacher and proponent of a new and important theory made him one of the most renowned of all American historians.
See The Early Writings of Frederick Jackson Turner (1938, repr. 1969); R. Hofstadter, Progressive Historians (1968); R. A. Billington, Frederick Jackson Turner (1973).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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