According to Martin Ridge, the Turner thesis was based on the idea that American democracy was formed based on the American frontier. American democracy was the original result in line with the egalitarianism, which equated to the lack of interest in the high cultures as well as violence. The American democracy started prematurely but advanced over the years, gained new strength every time and as a result, each time, it touched the new frontier. Turner focused or stressed on the processes of moving frontier line as well as the impact that this had on the pioneers while going through the entire process of democracy (Ridge 13). According to Martin Ridge, the American democracy did not originate from the theorist's dream; it came from the American forest and gained new strength at every time that it touched the new frontier. The Turner thesis was therefore based on the achievement of the American democracy and the processes that the Americans went through to establish the freedom that they enjoy today.
Turner gave a powerful and influential speech on the significance of the Frontier in the history of America. The lessons from the speech proved to be meaningful and quite proactive. In the speech, Turner claimed that there was an elaboration that frontier had a bigger role when it came to the formation of the distinct and important national identity of the American people. The major theme or the principle behind the principle function of the frontier was to enhance the connection and the relationship of the American identity and that it called out for some of the intellectual beings including coarseness and strength combined with the acuteness and inquisitiveness (Ridge 17). The frontier was a symbol of virtually unpopulated areas in the American regions. The principle function of the frontier in the American history was to fight for the identity of the Americans and to establish democratic space that could enable every American to yield distinct identity in the struggle towards the achievement of democracy. The frontier was to Americanize the pioneers, immigrants, settlers, as well as entrepreneurs. The individual initiative, the independence as well as the ingenuity of the American people resulted from the frontier; in other words, they are gifts from the frontier. The frontier was also a gateway and a safety valve of escaping from civilization. The Turners theory was even applied in the discovery of the internet at the early stages. It was an embodiment of the inventive mind, restless of energy for the dominant individualism and the grasp of things. Finally, the frontier was a symbol of virtually unpopulated areas with the promise for the idea of pace and agriculture (Ridge 21).
Turner's thesis change many Americans understanding of American history in different ways. It enhanced the understanding of the achievement of democracy as well as the dynamic changes that resulted from the changes in the freedom and human perception of the American society. The thesis also enhanced the understanding of the American frontier and the struggle that Americans went to through in an attempt to achieve or establish the American democracy. Turner's theory impacts the understanding of the development in the democratic space in the United States. It incorporates the ideals and the foundation of the American philosophy of open, free and democratic space.
Ridge, Martin. "The life of an idea: the significance of Frederick Jackson Turner's frontier thesis." Montana: The Magazine of Western History 41.1 (1991): 2-13.
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