Turner fails to realize the extent to which Native Americans existed in the ‘Wilderness’ of the Americas before the frontier began to advance. Turner’s thesis relies on the idea that “easterners … in moving to the wild unsettled lands of the frontier, shed the trappings of civilization … and by reinfused themselves with a vigor, an independence, and a creativity that the source of American democracy and national character.” (Cronon) While this idea seems like a satisfying theory of why Americans are unique, it relies on the notion that the Frontier was “an area of free land,” which is not the case, undermining the the...
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...icans lived in and tamed the land around them millennia before European settlers arrived.
Cronon, William “The Trouble with Wilderness; or, Getting Back to the Wrong Nature” ed., Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature, New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1995, 69-90
Denevan, William M. "The Pristine Myth: The Landscape of the Americas in 1492." The Pristine Myth: The Landscape of the. Northern Arizona University, Web. 25 Mar. 2014.
Krech, Shepard. The Ecological Indian: Myth and History. New York: W.W. Norton &, 1999.
Solnit, Rebecca. "Spectators." Savage Dreams: A Journey into the Hidden Wars of the American West. San Francisco: Sierra Club, 1994. 228-47. Print.
Turner, Frederick Jackson. "The Significance of the Frontier in American History," Learner: Primary Sources. Annenberg Learner, Web. 25 Mar. 2014.
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