It had a wide mixture of nationalities, a varied society, the mixed town and county system of local government, a varied economic life, many religious sects. The disposition of the public lands was a third important subject of national legislation influenced by the frontier. It is true that building a new society requires the setting up of new rules etc. Gordon that it has been another principal object of those who set this ball of revolution in motion, to overturn the doctrine of State rights, of which Virginia has been the very pillar, and to remove the barrier she has interposed to the interference of the Federal Government in that same work of internal improvement, by so reorganizing the legislature that Virginia, too, may be hitched to the Federal car. Having now roughly outlined the various kinds of frontiers, and their modes of advance, chiefly from the point of view of the frontier itself, we may next inquire what were the influences on the East and on the Old World.
Debates in the Constitutional Convention, 1829-1830. This proved to be an important educational influence, since it was almost the only way in which the pioneer learned what was going on in the East. In the first half of the eighteenth century another advance occurred. Year by year the farmers who lived on soil, whose returns were diminished by unrotated crops were offered the virgin soil of the frontier at nominal prices. The New England preacher and school-teacher left their mark on the West. It was this nationalizing tendency of the West that transformed the democracy of Jefferson into the national republicanism of Monroe and the democracy of Andrew Jackson.
Little by little he transforms the wilderness; but the outcome is not the old Europe, not simply the development of Germanic germs, any more than the first phenomenon was a case of reversion to the Germanic mark. It strips off the garments of civilization and arrays him in the hunting shirt and the moccasin. What Turner wants to point out here is that the American West is the most important feature of American history, and of the development of its society. Spotswood, of Virginia, made an expedition in 1714 across the Blue Ridge. See post, for illustrations of the political accompaniments of changed industrial conditions. The effects of the struggle of the landed and the landless States, and of the Ordinance of 1787, need no discussion.
The colonial and revolutionary frontier was the region whence emanated many of the worst forms of an evil currency. The trading posts reached by these trails were on the sites of Indian villages which had been placed in positions suggested by nature; and these trading posts, situated so as to command the water systems of the country, have grown into such cities as Albany, Pittsburg, Detroit, Chicago, St. The people would occupy without grants. And let me tell the gentleman from Albemarle Mr. The frontier is the line of most rapid and effective Americanization. They are regenerated, politically I mean, sir. Movement has been its dominant fact, and, unless this training has no effect upon a people, the American energy will continually demand a wider field for its exercise.
The Middle region, entered by New York harbor, was an open door to all Europe. Calhoun, abandoned his own American system. Compare Roosevelt, Thomas Benton, ch. It is quite immaterial whether he ever becomes the owner of the soil. Salt Springs In an interesting monograph, Victor Hehn has traced the effect of salt upon early European development, and has pointed out how it affected the lines of settlement and the form of administration. But in the case of the United States we have a different phenomenon.
In another way the advance of the frontier decreased our dependence on England. The trade was coeval with American discovery, The Norsemen, Vespuccius, Verrazani, Hudson, John Smith, all trafficked for furs. The isolation of the region increased its peculiarly American tendencies, and the need of transportation facilities to connect it with the East called out important schemes of internal improvement, which will be noted farther on. Clay, and to supplant him as the leading statesman of the West. We have the complex European life sharply precipitated by the wilderness into the simplicity of primitive conditions. Turner gives great credit to the frontier as a paramount feature of American history.
Loria, the Italian economist, has urged the study of colonial life as an aid in understanding the stages of European development, affirming that colonial settlement is for economic science what the mountain is for geology, bringing to light primitive stratifications. The policy of the United States in dealing with its lands is in sharp contrast with the European system of scientific administration. This gives him bone and muscle, sir, and preserves his republican principles pure and uncontaminated. A rapid enumeration of some of the more noteworthy effects is all that I have time for. It was the frontier of Europe in a very real sense. Year by year the farmers who lived on soil whose returns were diminished by unrotated crops were offered the virgin soil of the frontier at nominal prices.
Spain kept territory west of the Mississippi, but exchanged East and West Florida for Cuba. Each expedition was an epitome of the previous factors in western advance. The fierce struggle of the sections over slavery on the western frontier does not diminish the truth of this statement; it proves the truth of it. Over internal improvements occurred great debates, in which grave constitutional questions were discussed. Why was it that the Indian trader passed so rapidly across the continent? As successive terminal moraines result from successive glaciations, so each frontier leaves its traces behind it, and when it becomes a settled area the region still partakes of the frontier characteristics.
How does Turner connect the ingenuity of the American frontiersmen with the ever-present influence of nature? The men of the frontier had closer resemblances to the Middle region than to either of the other sections. Already they have topped the Appalachian Mountains. A primitive society can hardly be expected to show the intelligent appreciation of the complexity of business interests in a developed society. In the case of most nations, however, the development has occurred in a limited area; and if the nation has expanded, it has met other growing peoples whom it has conquered. Benton was the author of this system, which he brought forward as a substitute for the American system of Mr. The superintendent of the census for 1890 reports, as previously stated, that the settlements of the West lie so scattered over the region that there can no longer be said to be a frontier line. Among the important centers of attraction may be mentioned the following: fertile and favorably situated soils, salt springs, mines, and army posts.
The tide-water part of the South represented typical Englishmen, modified by a warm climate and servile labor, and living in baronial fashion on great plantations; New England stood for a special English movement— Puritanism. Hehn, Das Salz Berlin, 1873. They soon become working politicians; and the difference, sir, between a talking and a working politician is immense. See the suggestive paper by Prof. Truman viewed all steps taken by Stalin as a threat to democracy. The fact is, that here is a new product that is American.