Prior to the Revolutionary War of 1776, the thirteen colonies of the eastern seaboard were uniformly recognized as an appendage of England.They were considered by many to be the Western segment of Great Britain.However, the colonial victory of the Revolutionary War depraved the Britons of their Western appendage.The United States had in fact begun its own establishment, developing the manifest destiny to grow Westward.The acquiring of the Louisiana Purchase from Napoleonic France overnight doubled the size of the infant nation and created a large sense of nostalgia.With the expeditions of Lewis and Clark came further expansion into the backcountry of the West.Eventually reaching the Pacific Ocean, the United States had accomplished its goal of reaching “from sea to shining sea”. Yet they had attained far more than their original goal. Development of the Western United States had returned man to his Darwinian beginnings, making evolution inevitable.With each evolutionary stage came the increase of true American character and the decrease of European influence.Frederick Jackson Turner, in his remarkable “The Significance of the Frontier in American History”, embraces that point and further analyzes it.Turner argues that it was the countless evolutions of the Frontier, from undeveloped lands to thriving towns and cities, and not European practices or influences that shaped American individualism, nationalism, independence, and democracy.
In his thesis, Turner argues that the frontier promoted American economic and political independence.Even after the American Revolution, the United States still received much of its final goods from European nations.However, in order to promote economic growth and manufacture in the United States, the government had imposed a set of tariffs and other economic sanctions on foreign goods.Despite this, Turner argues that it was the West that largely aided American self-sufficien…