The Significance of the Frontier in American History

For many years there was land that had been unclaimed. Many settlers decided to move West so that they could settle long enough to afford to move farther West to grow crops and hunt and feed their families. The first to arrive were the Pioneers. They were forced to leave their homelands and relocate several miles across the Mississippi River because the whites wanted to grow cotton on the empty land. They could not compete with the skills of the Native Americans.

The Native Americans did not like the idea of having them as neighbors; and they feared the whites because they knew that they were willing to do anything that they had to do to get what they wanted. They stole from them and they settled on land that did not belong to them, and they even burned the homes of other to gain ownership of their property. The Native American had to travel several miles in bad weather to get across the Miscopy River.

Many of them never made it to their destinations, most of them died from pneumonia, or other illnesses.

The emigrants came along after the Native Americans went farther West. They unlike the Pioneers wanted to settle for a long period of time so they built bridges and upgraded their homes by putting glass in the windows and doing other updates that would protect them from the weather, wild animals, and their enemies. They also wanted to expand by creating the following: schools, courthouses, roads and villages.

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They built structures that were later used to the advantage of the capitalist.

The capitalist were also called the men of capital. The foundations that were left behind by the emigrants were later turned into cities and huge enterprises. Each settler was separated by boundaries.

American was forced to adapt too quickly to the different climates and shadow how the Native Americans were living. They were not too fond of the Americans therefore they were on their own until they learned how to hunt food in the Wilderness, make their own tools from wood or whatever other material they could find. These tools were used to hunt food and do whatever necessary inside their households.

When the Americans settled most of the other nationalities continued to move west. Eventually people some got involved with other races, because not all of them were able to follow their tribe. So when the next generation or settlers arrives they got in relationships with other nationalities and had mix famines. This is what Turner referred to as the melting pot of culture.

The frontier no longer exists because settlers have arrived and claimed what was once open land as their own. This is crucial for Americans because they now had to compete with the other settlers to remain in control of their property.

The empty land that had gone unclaimed for hundreds of year was claimed by the travelers who came across it while they were travelling across the frontier that were said to come from land that had been abandoned during the colonial days. Each settler made it easier for the next generation or travelers to establish traits.

The Americans owes the Pioneers for cutting down trees and clearing of the land so that they could have their animals and they also learned a lot from the Native Americans. The Native American were treated so badly that they gathered their belongings and moved West despite the bad weather. Many of them died from pneumonia and other infectious disease before they could make it to their destination. Others were beaten and burned.

According to Turner, the frontier was a vast area of free land. The boundary line was continually being moved westward throughout each generation. It was used to determine the path of the traveler’s history instead of settlers.

Turner describes the need for westward expansion in terms of ‘centers of attraction.’ Salt was an attraction because it was needed to preserve food for storage and so that people could more easily travel. Mines and better soil were attractions that provided wealth and/or food. Army posts became necessary centers of attraction for protection. With all the wide-open space that was available, it was natural that people would move west to claim the land and the benefits from being able to grow their crops and animals. They built homes and some later built big cities and towns.

There were three groups of settlers who took advantage the free land. The first ones were the Pioneers; they did not own the land. They did however do their own farming and rising of their animals and foods. They were loner they did not feel safe when they are too voles to their neighbors. The whites stole from them and burned their homes and even killed some of them just to get access to their contents. They gave no one much trouble they would just peaceful move farther West.

The Pioneers passed their skill on to the emigrants, this tribe wanted to make improvements so they put glass in windows, and built bridges over the streams so that the water would be cleaners and safer to drink. They also wanted to build schools so that their family could get their education, roads so that it was easier to travel farther West or carry their goods back and forth and villages so that their living arrangements values would increase.

Lastly, the capitalists were the ones that would come along and take advantage of all the work that others had done for instance the emigrants had built some foundations, and when they went Westward the entire capitalist had to do was built huge buildings that would bring them more monies.

The Indians and the Native Americans were treated like slaves. One other problem that the Native American encountered was the loss of many of their tribes becoming extinct. Soon here was no more vacant land to be claimed the majority of it had been taken away from the other nationalist’s b the whites. After the American was progressing economically they want to drive all of the other people out of the territories.


  1. Turner, Frederick Jackson, Significance of the Frontier in American History: ( New York: Henry Holt and Company,1920), 37

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The Significance of the Frontier in American History. (2022, Apr 29). Retrieved from

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