Talk:Frontier Thesis

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Me too! good article! 15:54, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

'''''Yes me too, this has helped me tremendously also with my homework and many other assignments.'''''[edit]

Yes, me too. Thanks. -- (talk) 20:27, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

is it supposed to say pornographical in the first pharagraph? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:11, 9 March 2008 (UTC)


how did truner thinkthat his frontier thesis affected americans and american history —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:28, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

There is nothing mentioned here about the objections and the idea that this was possibly a myth and could have been written to appeal to the American population of the time. This theory is considered by many as both a racist and sexist view. The theory is based on an American census and assumes that beyond the frontier there was nothing. When really there were Mexian and Native American populations "out west". The theory stresses the idea of "Indian Removal." I think this wiki should include some of the objections to the thesis. The objections to this thesis are important to understanding the thesis and the history of the time. It disregards other important elements. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:55, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

This is weak.[edit]

Keep searching, folks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:13, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

Closed Frontier[edit]

I still have some concerns about the Closed Frontier section. I'm not entirely convinced the info on JFK belongs there, at least not without additional context -- he was hardly the first or last to draw on/rhetorically reshape the 'frontier' (e.g. Vannevar Bush's Science: The Endless Frontier). The organization is also odd; why is Roosevelt's use of frontier ideology discussed in one section, and JFK's in another? Finally, since the article is about Turner's essay, I think we probably need some more info about his definitions for a closed frontier and the implications thereof before we comment on subsequent interpretations. Strundle (talk) 03:03, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

lots of people have used the frontier theme--Kennedy is the most famous in naming his entire presidential program after it (echoing as well FDR's "New Deal") It was Turner who introduced the concept of the closing of the frontier--that's how he starts out his famous 1893 paper. As for TR he used the frontier idea BEFORE Turner (the two men read each other). Rjensen (talk) 03:48, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
I agree that lots of people have used it -- that's sort of my point. But I don't take it as a given that Kennedy's use was 'the most famous.' If it is indeed the most notable use of Turner, we need to cite some sources that establish that (not just that he used it, but that it's the definitive development in the theory). If it's not, we should either remove it or contextualize it with other cultural/political sites that positioned the frontier as a major force in American development (c.f. mid-century Western films, etc.). By only referring to Kennedy in that section, it makes it appear as if Kennedy's role in the space program somehow carried on Turner's legacy ipso facto (something that Turner, who was keen on undeveloped land and low population density as primary components of the frontier, might have objected to). I think the current organization, which puts TR and JFK side by side, helps bolster the claim that it was widely influential. But still, if we want to say the it was 'popular among intellectuals' and that 'many' key figures responded to it, we should provide some more context than just two individuals... even individuals as important as TR and JFK. Strundle (talk) 12:04, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
see the cited book by White et al that emphasizes JFK more than anyone else. Naming your main presidential program is a bigger deal than the subtitle of a minor book. Note that TR had his own different (and earlier) idea of the frontier as creating a new "American race"-- that's not a Turner influence (and TR had much less influence than FJT on this matter) Rjensen (talk) 23:24, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
The Endless Frontier isn't a minor book; it's a presidentially commissioned report that laid the basic foundations for post-War science policy in the US. But that's neither here nor there -- I'm not raising concerns about the merits of any one work for inclusion here. My concerns are two-fold: first, that we make a claim about the thesis being 'popular among intellectuals' and then cite 'critics, historians, and politicians,' but only identify one figure. Second, that by presenting only Kennedy in this section, we make him appear as the unchallenged heir apparent of the frontier thesis. The White text contains a few pages dedicated to Kennedy in a 116 page volume, and even they note JFK's departure from the Turner thesis ("Like Turner, most Americans in the audience assumed that the frontier had closed in the 19th century (81)), before they launch into a discussion of Reagan's use of frontier rhetoric that they devote nearly as much attention to as JFK. It doesn't make a compelling case that the New Frontier should be the only impact discussed here. Again, I'm not suggesting that the discussion of JFK absolutely doesn't belong here, I'm just suggesting that it needs additional context and that we should discuss other sites of impact. As it is now, there are more reverbations of the theory discussed in the subsection of Frederick Jackson Turner than there are here. If we want to justify this as an independent article, we should be more thorough than the summary on his biographical page.
If you want to move TR out of the impact section, I'd suggest creating a 'competing theories' section or something similar -- it would be worth sussing out the historiographical departure from his forebears in any case...Strundle (talk) 03:44, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
Also, should we consider merging this page with The Significance of the Frontier in American History? I prefer to maintain this title, as the thesis extends well beyond the initial essay, but two separate pages don't seem particularly justified here. Strundle (talk) 03:47, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

Merge request[edit]

Hi. This article should be part of "The Significance of the Frontier in American History". A redirect from "Frontier Thesis" and "Turner Thesis" would help also. I'm afraid they were forked just so somebody could have a whole section "Opposition to...". -SusanLesch (talk) 16:45, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

Turner wrote many essays on the frontier. The "Significance" one is especially important & deserves its own article. However the "frontier thesis" was further developed by Turner and others who moved beyond the "Significance"essay, hence the need for this article. I suggest: Do not merge. Rjensen (talk) 07:19, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
I concur with Jensen. Both have significance; but they are not the same. --Orange Mike | Talk 18:57, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
I don't know that it should be merged, but it certainly needs to be retitled. Intothatdarkness 14:26, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
I favor a merge, I think one strong article is better than three content forks. Montanabw(talk) 20:01, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
Withdrawing this request. Rjensen said merge (as in "merger should be into the more general article") on the other article and "Do not merge" above, on this one. Because I am not a historian and assume he is, I defer. But I still think they should be one instead of the garden of forking paths; there is my vote for anyone who cares to try again in the future. -SusanLesch (talk) 17:03, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
Well, I also am as much a historian as Rjensen, and the issue isn't significance, it's style and Wikipedia MOS; two crummy articles can and should be merged; when the sections are expanded enough, they can be broken out again. And, of course, Rjensen can always add some material to any of them. Montanabw(talk) 20:22, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

Never wrote a book[edit]

Hi there. This article says, prominently in the lead, that "Turner elaborated on many points in a series of essays published over the next 25 years, but never a wrote a book on the frontier." (the source is a paper written by Billington). So I don't have to go to a library, I wonder if someone here can please explain why Turner's book was titled "The Frontier in American History". Sorry but as I wrote above, I sense a point of view here that might be valid but might go too far afield from Fredrick Jackson Turner. -SusanLesch (talk) 00:41, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

I think it's a nonsense sentence worth deleting. The essays were collected into a book, so I think that's all that needs to be said. It would be like saying Walt Whitman never "wrote a book called Leaves of Grass." [This comment posted by User:Montanabw. -SusanLesch (talk) 16:01, 13 September 2012 (UTC)]
Thank you. The article makes more sense now that you have deleted this phrase. I would like to learn however what Billington had to say. -SusanLesch (talk) 16:01, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
Billington says that all of Turner's friends expected him to publish a major book on the frontier, for which he had done enormous research--he filled dozens of file cabinets with notes in 40+ years of intense research. He never did pull it together. The "Frontier" book is reprinted essays that had been previously published. Other historians have made the same point about FJT and it is important. The first page of the Billington article says it in a nutshell; i'd be happy to send along the full article to anyone who asks at (that is allowed by the JSTOR rules) Rjensen (talk) 20:32, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
Absent any sort of context, it makes no sense, and especially not in the lead. If you want to develop a whole paragraph on why he didn't write a book and why we should care, then that might be worthwhile. Montanabw(talk) 23:40, 13 September 2012 (UTC)