Project #52402 - The Western Experience Worksheet

HIST110: Week Four

“The Western Experience” Worksheet

 

Please read “The Significance of the Frontier in American History.”  This is available at: http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/TURNER/.  Click on Roman numeral I; this is all for which one is responsible to read.

 

Answer the questions below concerning the reading:

 

1.      What is The Frontier Thesis? What role does Turner argue the frontier has played in American history?

 

 

 

2.      What does Turner say about American distinctiveness (or "exceptionalism") in the essay?

 

 

What evidence does he provide for his argument?

 

 

 

3.      Trace the process which Turner identifies as "Americanization." How does that process proceed? What are the steps and stages along the way?

 

 

 

4.      Turner is often identified as a "Progressive" historian, meaning that he views history as the inevitable process from chaos to improvement, with the underlying assumption that change is usually for the better. What "Progressive" assessments of history appear in Turner's thesis? Does he identify any threats to that progress?

 

 

 

5.      Think about America in the 1890s. What are the major social changes shaping peoples' lives during this era? How does Turner's thesis reflect these changes, try to make sense of them, or sound a warning call for ways in which America might be losing its way as a result of the changes?

 

 

 

6.      What makes it possible for Turner to argue that the land on the other side of the "frontier" is "empty," despite Native American and Spanish settlement in the region?

 

 

 

7.      Examine the language used by Turner. What does his use of such terms as "savagery" reveal about his social philosophy? How is he a product of his times?

 

 

 

 

8.      Who is Turner's "normative" American? What activities, identities, geographic locations, etc., reveal that American's normative status? In what ways is Turner's thesis a statement of American hegemony at the moment of the 1890s, both with regards to that normative American and American territorial expansion?

Subject History
Due By (Pacific Time) 12/18/2014 05:00 pm
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