History 233 Reading Guide

The Opening Of The Trans-Appalachian West

  • Frederick Jackson Turner, "The Significance of the Frontier in American History," Presidential Address:  American Historical Association, Chicago, 1893, reprinted as Chapter 1 in The Frontier in American History, (New York, 1921).  American Studies at the University of Virginia Hypertext.  LINK


In his research, Frederick Jackson Turner (a late nineteenth century historian at the University of Wisconsin) examined and argued for the "frontier" (a.k.a., the non-New England) origins of American institutions.
According to the 1890 census, the physical line of the United States frontier had disappeared.  In 1893, Turner presented his argument in his Presidential Address to the American Historical Association, which met at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

  • What did Turner describe as the significance of the frontier?
  • Toward what interpretation did he build his discussion and analysis?
  • What did Turner present as the troubling implications of the changes that his research described for late nineteenth-century Americans?

Second Critical Analysis due (primary document written between 1801 and 1840).

  • Charles Schulz, Peanuts (9/25/1984; 8/20/1986):