Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. The frontier was the force that changed the lives of many Americans. The Frontier in American History. Though the frontier has been gone for more than a century, Americans continue to identify with the trials and tribulations of those who conquered the West. Capitalizing on generous government grants to railroads and state educational institutions (which did not want to be bothered with sales to individuals), or buying bonus script from soldiers, or securing Indian lands as the reservations were contracted, or seizing on faulty features of congressional acts for the disposal of swampland and limberland, jobbers managed to engross most of the Far West’s arable acreage. As the newcomers moved backward along the scale of civilization, the habits and customs of their traditional cultures were forgotten.
"The Significance of the Frontier in American History" Every man wanted something for himself, but the big beast that was all of them wanted only westering. O'Sullivan wrote: The American claim is by the right of our manifest destiny to overspread and to possess the whole of the continent which Providence has given us for the development of the great experiment of liberty and federative self-government entrusted to us.
Women's Diaries of the Westward Journey. Benjamin West (1738-1820), the first of America's emigré artists, became one of Europe's most important neoclassic painters. This 'frontier’ was also referred to as the land of opportunities by the explorers.
Since shortly after the first colonies were founded on the Atlantic coast, the frontier has beckoned to settlers. Where autocratic governments controlled population movements, where resources were lacking, or where conditions prohibited ordinary individuals from exploiting nature’s virgin riches, a frontier in the Turnerian sense could not be said to exist. During the past fifty years the American people have been adjusting their lives and institutions to existence in a frontierless land, for while the superintendent of the census was decidedly premature when he announced in 1890 that the country’s “unsettled area has been so broken into by isolated bodies of settlement that there can hardly be said to be a frontier line” remaining, the era of cheap land was rapidly drawing to a close. I went ahead with my children and I was afraid to look behind me for fear of seeing the wagons turn over into the mud ... My children gave out with cold and fatigue and could not travel and the boys had to unhitch the oxen and bring them and carry the children on to camp.
While traveling from Indiana over the Oregon Trail, pioneer Elizabeth Smith Geer recorded the hardships of emigration that shaped the character of many Americans.
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