The American Culture
In American political history, the Frontier had been considered the prime mover, as it helps in understanding the evolution of the American cultural and political institutions.
It is considered a rule in explaining the occurrence of events in American history. According to Turner (1893), the experience of the American Frontier marked the origin of a distinctive egalitarian, democratic, aggressive, and innovative feature of the American culture. In 18th century, US had a frontier of settlement, which was broken into isolated patches of settlement which cannot be regarded as a frontier line presently. Thus, the American history lies on the experience of the American Frontier through the process of moving the frontier line and the implications it had on the pioneers who were involved in moving the frontier line. The Frontier created freedom, because it led to break up of the bonds of customs that caused the emergence of newer experiences and the evolution of new political institutions and activities.
Hence, the frontier had a significant impact in American history (Turner 45). Tuner observed that, during the 17th century, the first settlers who arrived on the East Coast behaved like Europeans (23). During their arrival, they encountered challenging environmental conditions. They experienced the presence of a vast uncultivable land; hence, they got adapted to the environment through Americanization. Turner also pointed out that the process of Americanization involved both savagery of the wilderness and civilization of the settlement. The conditions that prevailed during this time involved a process in which citizens were subjected to be good stewards of the wild upon which the wild confers strength and individuality.
During the process of Americanization, new generations moved further in the country causing changes, in the lines of settlement and the separation of civilization from wilderness. However, there was the preservation of essential links between the two (Crane 6). The Europeans had a lot of influence in the countries old political institutions such as land ownership, churches, intrusive governing bodies, as well as established governing bodies which were outdated, due to the movements. This led to more generations penetrating further inland and became more American. Democracy was also put in place that led to the removal of intolerant class system. These changes made new generations become more violent, have less trust to leaders, less artistic, less innovative, but became more dependent on their communal organizations.
Simply, the movement of new generations further inland led to the emergence of Americanization. The Frontier contributed significantly to the present time American culture. Thus, after Independence people got freedom and began to move freely across the frontier lines. Currently, the land belonged to the pioneers since they were free to explore it, however much they wanted. The development of America was as a result of the existence of large uncultivable land that continued to recede, as well as the penetration of the new generation inland. The difference that existed between the American characteristics with the rest is that the institutions in the country have mechanisms of adapting themselves to the dynamic conditions in the country which they were able to adapt.
Consequently, American development has been a long single frontier and a cycle of going back to traditional, primitive conditions along a constantly changing frontier line through settlements and Americanization (Crane 13). Furthermore, the American Frontier is not like any other frontier, since other regions had developed in limited geographic areas whereby they understand the boundaries, hence able to meet and conquer neighboring countries. Thus, the American Frontier was a place where savagery and civilization met, and no one could predict what was possible beyond it. The early settlers never had an idea that America was large; therefore, they took the wilderness as it was. The pioneers’ urge to adapt to the changing environmental conditions by becoming individualistic has a lot of implications to the present day American culture.
The Frontier represents the beginning of a new stage in the American culture, making US expand to other regions (Turner 45).