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A New Western History

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A New Western History

The unforgettable model of western American history was written by Frederick Jackson Turner. “The Significance of the Frontier in American History” was presented in 1893 at the Chicago World’s Fair. His influence to transcribe this paper was based off the U.S. Census in 1890 that pointed out that the United States Frontier line was outdated. Fredrick Jackson Turner was keen to explain what he believe happened in the West. Turner had many reason why the frontier line was no longer apart of American Western history. He touched on basis as how pioneers from England not being able to tame the wilderness therefore had to continue moving but adapted in other ways. Their continuing to move westward expanded the territory of the free land and made it more difficult for a settlement to be recognized in one area.

Turner admired the dedication that the pioneer men took on challenges of finding new land, setting up shop and moving on to the next land they could find. He considered the move as a rebirthing process. He labelled the wilderness experience valuable as Europeans learned along the moved towards a more self-sufficient life. Europeans, He explained became more Americanized as they struggle to maintained in the wilderness. (Turner 1893) Thus, Turner views of Western History did not change the insignificance of how historians viewed Western history as a dead field.

“The significance of the frontier in American History” became the center of attention, with confusion as to how the west changed over time. Turner controversy thesis encouraged new historians to study it. (Limerick n.d.)

Among the historians was Patricia Limerick who agreed in some of the things Turner stated in how the west development change dramatically and the Western part of the United States in fact had significance throughout history. Limerick also agreed that the way Turner presented western history from past to present was a great idea though risky. Limerick and Turner saw the West as both process and place. (Limerick n.d.) The controversy lied where Turner continued with history long after the 20th century but kept the 1893 vibe going.

Patricia Limerick quest to reinvent history began when she argued that Western American history was a conquest within the process of moving westward not a settlement as Turner sees it. She notion that pioneers from England settling in to the United States in search for new land wasn’t as important in the 20th century for Americans as the other significant events that took place.

Patricia Limerick stressed that movement into the west took little to no effort at all. The pioneers did not have to fight for land that was available and free. (Limerick



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