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See more Research Topics. The term "frontier" was frequently [ quantify ] used [ by whom? Settlers at the frontier thus frequently referred to themselves as "the outsiders" or "outside residents" and to the area in which they lived as "the outside districts". At times one might hear the "frontier" described as "the outside borders". The use of the word "frontier" was thus frequently connected to descriptions of frontier violence, as in a letter printed in the Sydney Morning Herald in December which described murder and carnage at the northern frontier and calling for the protection of the settlers saying: The word "frontier" has often meant a region at the edge of a settled area, especially in North American development.
It was a transition zone where explorers, pioneers and settlers were arriving. Frederick Jackson Turner said that "the significance of the frontier" was that as pioneers moved into the "frontier zone," they were changed by the encounter. For example, Turner argues that in the United States in , unlimited free land in this zone was available, and thus offered the psychological sense of unlimited opportunity. This, in turn, had many consequences such as optimism, future orientation , shedding the restraints of land scarcity, and the wastage of natural resources.
In the earliest days of European settlement of the Atlantic coast, the frontier was any part of the forested interior of the continent lying beyond the fringe of existing settlements along the coast and the great rivers, such as the St. English, French, Spanish and Dutch patterns of expansion and settlement were quite different. Only a few thousand French migrated to Canada.
These habitants settled in villages along the St. Lawrence river, building communities that remained stable for long stretches, rather than leapfrogging west the way the English and later Americans did.
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Although French fur traders ranged widely through the Great Lakes and Mississippi River watersheds, as far as the Rocky Mountains , they did not usually settle down. French settlement in these areas was limited to a few very small villages on the lower Mississippi and in the Illinois Country. They did not push westward. In contrast, the English colonies generally pursued a more systematic policy of widespread settlement of the New World, for cultivation and exploitation of the land, which required the extension of European property rights to the new continent.
The typical English settlements were quite compact and small—under 3 square kilometres 1 square mile. Conflict with the Native Americans arose out of political issues, i. Early frontier areas east of the Appalachian Mountains included the Connecticut River valley. Most of the frontier movement was east to west, but there were other directions as well. The frontier in New England lay to the north; in Nevada to the east; in Florida to the south.
Throughout American history, the expansion of settlement was largely from the east to the west, and thus the frontier is often identified with "the west. They emphasized the relationship between the center and periphery. Katerberg argues that "in Canada the imagined West must be understood in relation to the mythic power of the North. Innis considered place as critical in the development of the Canadian West and wrote of the importance of metropolitan areas, settlements, and indigenous people in the creation of markets.
Turner and Innis continue to exert influence over the historiography of the American and Canadian Wests. The Quebec frontier showed little of the individualism or democracy that Turner ascribed to the American zone to the south. The Nova Scotia and Ontario frontiers were rather more democratic than the rest of Canada, but whether that was caused by the need to be self-reliant at the frontier itself, or the presence of large numbers of American immigrants is debated.
The Canadian political thinker Charles Blattberg has argued that such events ought to be seen as part of a process in which Canadians advanced a "border" as distinct from a "frontier" — from east to west. According to Blattberg, a border assumes a significantly sharper contrast between the civilized and the uncivilized since, unlike a frontier process, the civilizing force is not supposed to be shaped by that which it is civilizing.
Blattberg criticizes both the frontier and border "civilizing" processes. The pattern of settlement of the Canadian prairies began in , when the American prairie states had already achieved statehood. Like their American counterparts, the Prairie provinces supported populist and democratic movements in the early 20th century.
Following the victory of the United States in the American Revolutionary War and the signing Treaty of Paris in , the United States gained formal, if not actual, control of the British lands west of the Appalachians. Many thousands of settlers, typified by Daniel Boone , had already reached Kentucky , Tennessee , and adjacent areas. Some areas, such as the Virginia Military District and the Connecticut Western Reserve both in Ohio , were used by the states as rewards to veterans of the war.
How to formally include these new frontier areas into the nation was an important issue in the Continental Congress of the s and was partly resolved by the Northwest Ordinance The Southwest Territory saw a similar pattern of settlement pressure. For the next century, the expansion of the nation into these areas, as well as the subsequently acquired Louisiana Purchase , Oregon Country , and Mexican Cession , attracted hundreds of thousands of settlers.
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