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Frontiers of Historical ImaginationNarrating the European Conquest of Native America, 1890-1990$
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Kerwin Lee Klein

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780520204638

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520204638.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

From Spirit to System

From Spirit to System

(p.58) Book Two From Spirit to System
Frontiers of Historical Imagination

Kerwin Lee IZlein

University of California Press

This chapter analyzes the American frontier thesis as part of changing narrative traditions. It discusses the differences between the views of Frederick Jackson Turner, who emplotted the European occupation of America as the building of a modern democracy from wild nature, and John Dewey, who blamed many of the nation's social ills on frontier excess. The chapter also considers Merle Curti's frontier history, which epitomized the analytic turns as it carried forward the notion that American democracy was a product of American wilderness.

Keywords:   American frontier thesis, narrative traditions, Frederick Jackson Turner, John Dewey, democracy, social ills, Merle Curti, American wilderness

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