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FSU AMH 3444 - The American West

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AMH 3444The American West- What is the American West?o Rancheso Cowboyso Cattleo Bar/Liquoro Dessert - Where is the American West?o It is different for everyone: Early settlers would think it would be anything west of the original 13 colonies, The Indians would think anything west of them, The Spanish would think anything outside Mexico and the Russian would think anything outside of Canadao So the west could be anything, it just depends on where you came from- When is the American West?o Depending on the groups the time period in which it is set in changes with each groupo It could be later in some groups and earlier in others- Frederick Jackson Turnero 1893, The US holds an exhibition in Chicago to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Columbus (Columbus Exhibition) and the Chicago’s world series win, it was to show how far we have come from the pasto Turner earned a PhD for John Hopkins and was born in the westo He gave a speech called the “Significance of the Frontier in American History”o The Frontier sets America apart from Europe was: Americans became self-reliant/ more individualistic  Class lines failed to developed in West because of this, and the pioneers fought for rights of the common man The frontier melded immigrants into Americans  West was a “safety valve”o The people on the frontier are the first people to rely on the government for help and they are the first to fight back big companies from raising prices on themo When the population was too much for the cities, people were forced out west because it was open and had room for everyoneAMH 3444o Criticisms of Turner Failed to mention the impact of others on the West West founded by groups with sense of community Immigrants retained their identity “Safety Valve” not necessaryo These were all critics of Turners speech, that contradicted what Turner said and showed what people really thought about the westo Turner said after the 1890’s that the Frontier line would be close, Americans start to expand out and try to find new lines and lands that can controlo What then is the American West? A Fluid Place: always changing “Safety Valve” Borderlands Self-reliance Different political ideology- Common Man vs. Industry Popular Culture and the


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