Varying viewpoints turner thesis

Besides, research essays present facts that support an exciting topic. Finally, compare and contrast essays debate an issue from different viewpoints. Writing is an essential skill that helps one to achieve better grades. While in school, every student must complete essays that evaluate writing skills. In this case, there are different types of essays that a student can write.

Also, different essays have varying requirements. For example, teachers assess the ability of a student to follow the guidelines in various essays. Hence, every student must understand the features of different formats of essays. In turn, a student should understand the meaning and scope of the essays. Therefore, narrative, classification, exposition, evaluation, descriptive, argumentative, research, and compare and contrast are the types of essays that have dissimilar scope and features.

Varying viewpoints turner thesis

A narrative essay contains a story that is important to the writer. For instance, the writer can detail the experience that the person faced in life. In this case, narrative essays must describe how the event changed the life of the individual. Besides, people can detail their reaction to the life event. In turn, the body paragraphs should give sufficient details of the personal story. Besides, one should use first-person language and descriptive terms to help the reader visualize the story.

Thus, a narrative essay, being one of the types of essays, should give a clear description of a personal account. A classification essay helps to arrange and organize a subject into several classifications. For instance, one should break down a complex topic into different sections to enhance their understanding. Basically, a classification essay helps readers to investigate the matter further. Along these lines, the writer must use simple language and phrases to enhance understanding followed the rules of types of essays. In turn, this type of essay should have subheadings with precise details.

Also, people must ensure that all categories relate to each other.

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In this case, every group should only deal with a single idea to avoid ambiguity or repetition. Thus, a classification essay helps to break a complex topic into sections that are clear to the reader. An exposition essay helps the author to present the views of other people.


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For instance, one can use an exposition essay to report about an event or a state of affairs. Besides, one should not criticize or interpret the views of others. In turn, an excellent exposition should have a clear thesis statement and supporting body paragraphs. Hence, people must ensure that body paragraphs have evidential support and logical transitions. Along these lines, the essay should end with a conclusion that restates the thesis. Toward the end of the century, other writers and publicists further wilded up the West.

INTRODUCTION

From into the early twentieth century, dime novelists utilized the frontier repeatedly for sensational and lurid tales of historical and quasi-historical figures like Billy the Kid , Buffalo Bill Cody, Wild Bill Hickok , and Calamity Jane as well as wholly fictional characters like Deadwood Dick, Rattlesnake Ned, and Sagebrush Sal. Dime novels depicted a West much more of fantasy than of reality. The most influential of all such promulgators of the romanticized West was William F.

Cody, " Buffalo Bill " — , who in organized his Wild West show and took it throughout the United States and western Europe. Cody's circus-like exhibition provided a mix of cowboys, Indians, shootists, and fancy riders, but most of all Buffalo Bill portrayed the frontier as a setting of nonstop vigorous competitions. The local color movement in American literature, which lasted from the end of the Civil War until the s and provided the southern animal fabliaux of Joel Chandler Harris and the Hoosier dialect stories of James Whitcomb Riley , also manifested itself in the stories of Mark Twain, Bret Harte , Joaquin Miller , and Alfred Henry Lewis , who utilized historical and imagined characters to depict mysterious, adventurous, and faraway frontiers peopled with exotic miners, courageous explorers, and exuberant cowboys.

The most influential interpreter of the frontier before Turner was the Boston Brahmin Francis Parkman — A horticulturist by training, Parkman was one of the first in a long line of talented researchers and writers who have made immense contributions to American history as hobbyists rather than as professionally trained scholars. Parkman's most celebrated work is The Oregon Trail ; first published as The California and Oregon Trail in , a now-classic memoir of Parkman's direct experience of the frontier during a trip across the Great Plains on the overland trail in Parkman has been accused, most notably by the historian Bernard DeVoto, of missing the larger significance of the historic moment he witnessed because of his aristocratic disdain for the unwashed mountain men and the Indians, whom he typically referred to as savages, who shared the trail and were effecting the continental expansion that DeVoto considered the basic theme in American history.

Be that as it may, the experience aroused Parkman's literary instincts and set a great career in motion. Parkman's voluminous histories, which continued to flow from his inkwell until the early s, were deeply grounded in the grand Romantic vision that inspired his fellow historians George Bancroft and William H.

Turner's Thesis

Prescott as well as writers like Irving and Cooper. His pages are filled with such epic themes as the clash of empires in the Seven Years' War The History of the Conspiracy of Pontiac and the Indian War after the Conquest of Canada [] and Montcalm and Wolfe [] and the heroic deeds of great explorers and missionaries like La Salle and the French Jesuits. Modern western historians owe a great deal to Parkman, both for his tireless exploitation of archival resources and for his literary style, which, while no one would write in that mode in the early twenty-first century, reminds one that history is a literary art as well as a science.

Interpretively his contribution is much thinner. Parkman was certainly aware of the existence of a frontier as a line separating the primitive from the civilized, but he saw little utility in it or any other sociological phenomenon in his literary purposes.


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He was much less interested in explaining than in simply narrating. Issues of causation and significance—the interpretive elements in which modern historians believe history achieves its explanatory force and intellectual height—were less important to Parkman than exploring the literary potential of his epic themes and characters. Another pre-Turner historian of the West, who was much more read in his day than in later years, is Theodore Roosevelt — Only a little psychoanalysis is required to understand that Roosevelt's interest in what he imagined to be the robust masculinity of western life grew out of his personal determination to triumph over the limitations of the weak body with which he was born, a determination that made him a horseman, hunter, boxer, cowboy, and lifelong advocate of what he came to call "the strenuous life.

No armchair adventurer himself, Roosevelt's passion for the West led him to ownership of two cattle ranches in the Dakota Territory in the s. Although the rough-edged cowboys in his employ sometimes found themselves snickering at his Harvard accent, they had to applaud his toughness and energy, and Roosevelt vindicated his authentic western-ness by knocking out a bully in a Dakota saloon. The long shelf of Roosevelt's writings includes several titles recounting his experiences and travels in the West, but his multivolume history of the frontier, The Winning of the West: An Account of the Exploration and Settlement of Our Country from the Alleghanies to the Pacific, which appeared during —, was most influential in promoting a particular view of the frontier that remains vital in popular culture even to this day.

Driven by an unabashed racism that underlay most of the European and American imperialism of that day, The Winning of the West was the story of the triumph of the Anglo-Saxon pioneers in supplanting indigenous "savagery" with civilization. Filled with dramatic battles, desperate struggles, and similar vindications of "the strenuous life," Roosevelt's history was an implicit rebuke to the effete easterners of his native society whose vision failed to embrace the great challenge of redeeming the earth through Anglo-Saxon conquest.

The frontier began to take on increased importance in the American mind as a result of what various historians have called the "watershed," the "psychic crisis," and the "reorientation of American culture" during the s. Although twentieth-century western historiography, with its focus on ethnic and cultural minorities and on women, has tended to minimize some of the traumatic aspects of that decade as a tempest only within the teapot of elite white Americans, the fact that those Americans were the dominant power in politics, society, and culture gives the thesis some force.

In broad terms, the thesis focuses on a widespread failure of confidence in the basic soundness of American culture in the face of the end of the frontier, the great economic depression of the decade, the resulting revolt of farmers, labor unrest and violence in the Homestead and Pullman strikes of and , respectively, ostensibly unassimilable waves of immigrants and the resulting ghettos and slums, widespread civic corruption, and the death of free enterprise and competition by the domination of big business conglomerates. The West played a major role in the attempt of Americans to revert to and reassert virtues and attributes that they imagined had defined America's strength in the simpler years before the Industrial Revolution.

A new focus on the outdoors as opposed to the city was manifested by the creation of national parks such as Yosemite and Sequoia, in the nature writings of Ernest Thompson Seton and John Muir , by the founding of organizations like the Boone and Crockett Club and the Sierra Club , and a general emphasis on Roosevelt's "strenuous life. Before Turner could give the frontier its rightful place in the American past, he had to clear away what he considered three major impediments.

For one, after the Civil War, American historians had placed too much stress, Turner was convinced, on the controversies that led to that fratricidal conflict. True, slavery and the attendant political and economic embroilments were important, but they must be viewed in larger contexts, alongside other powerful forces that shaped what became the United States. Second, Turner urged his fellow historians to avoid their nearly exclusive emphases on the molding influences of Europe on American history.

In this urging, Turner was separating himself from his teacher Herbert Baxter Adams. As Turner's doctoral mentor at Johns Hopkins University, Adams preached the doctrine of the "germ theory," which asserted that the "germs" of European history and culture were the primary shaping forces of the American past. Third, Turner wanted to put distance between himself and historians and popularizers who wanted to turn the frontier into a Wild West replete with gigantic heroes and villains.

Without naming names Turner implied that his analytical approaches to the study of the frontier were miles distant from the kinds of Wests that Buffalo Bill, Theodore Roosevelt , and others were portraying in their arena shows and romantic narrative histories. Turner was convinced that if the underbrush of slavery, the "germ theory," and a Wild West could be cleared away, his ideas about the significance of the frontier as the most important force in influencing American history could gain the attention they merited. In the opening paragraph of Turner's notable presentation in , he sounded the tocsin for the importance of the frontier in American history.

Out on the frontier, he argued, "the existence of an area of free land, its continuous recession, and the advance of American settlement westward, explain American development" Frontier in History, p. The frontier experience did not help explain, partially explain, or largely "explain American development"; it did the explaining by itself. This is the boldest statement in an iconoclastic essay. Once one accepts the proposition encapsulated in that sentence, it is not difficult to understand the central significance of the frontier to American history.

Turner pointed to several results of the American frontier experience. The outcome of demanding wilderness contact, Turner asserted, encouraged individualism and a democracy derived from individual effort and from the necessity of working together to survive and to form political and social institutions. On the frontier a social and economic leveling took place when all families, without servants or slaves, had to do their own work. Here were Thomas Jefferson 's yeoman farmers laboring in a setting where class divisions could not be sustained.

Besides individualism and democracy, the frontier spawned a new, corporate nationality, a real melting pot in which ethnic differences dissolved in the light of common experience. Turner was equally convinced that the frontier had encouraged another of kind of nationalism in which frontier residents forged links with the federal government through their need for banks, tariffs, and internal improvements such as canals and roads.

A new kind of culture had also emerged on the frontier and influenced the remainder of the nation. Turner notes elsewhere that historical figures such as Daniel Boone , Andrew Jackson , Abraham Lincoln , and Mark Twain prove that the frontier produced, in the words of the transcendentalists, men of reason homespun, grassroots, intuitive democrats rather than men of understanding rational intellectuals and philosophers.

The "intellectual traits" of the frontier, Turner opined, were a "coarseness and strength combined with acuteness and inquisitiveness. Reflecting the nationalistic, reforming, and positive spirit of his time and personal temperament, Turner produced a generally optimistic essay. True, the frontier had closed, but its powerful, shaping legacies would sustain Americans in the future.

The individualism, democracy, nationalism, and social mobility that the frontier fostered were beacons for Americans facing an uncertain horizon. Turner's forward-looking vision, based on a valuable past, comes into focus in the rhetorical flourishes appearing at the end of his remarkable essay. Turner, the historian and poet, wrote: "What the Mediterranean Sea was to the Greeks, breaking the bond of custom, offering new experiences, calling out new institutions and activities, that, and more, the ever retreating frontier has been to the United States directly, and to the nations of Europe more remotely" Frontier in American History, p.

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Although a few years passed before Turner's frontier thesis became irrevocable doctrine, most American historians had converted to the Turner camp by In that year Turner was elected president of the American Historical Association and was named to a chair of history at Harvard, two signs that he was among the most influential historians in the United States. Turner's students and other disciples carried the frontier message throughout the country. Hardly a major college or university was without its Turner man. Indeed, when Turner's replacement at the University of Wisconsin , Frederic Logan Paxson — , wrote a book-length frontier history that Turner often promised but never completed, Paxson seemed a Turner look-alike in arguing in his preface "that the frontier with its continuous influence is the most American thing in all America.

Soon after Turner died in , Paxson wrote an overview of frontier historiography, declaring that Turner's frontier thesis "stands today as easily to be accepted as it was when launched" "A Generation of the Frontier Hypothesis," p. One of the most widely read fictional proponents of the significance of the frontier in American history is an Ohio dentist turned novelist, Zane Grey — Grey's fictional portrayal of life on the frontier owes a good deal more to the hairy-chested imperialism of Theodore Roosevelt than to the social analysis of Turner, but Grey, by becoming one of America's bestselling authors, demonstrates the depth and persistence of interest in the frontier within the reading public.

Frustrated with dentistry, Grey in began trying his hand at fiction in the form of a trilogy based on the historical exploits of his ancestors on the Ohio River frontier. Betty Zane , The Spirit of the Border , and The Last Trail were melodramas featuring lurid prose and violence similar to the dime novels. Although they sold poorly, they provided Grey with practice plotting frontier action stories and convinced him that a literary career was possible. A trip in to the ranch of the former buffalo hunter Colonel C.