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The Great Plains And The History Of The Froniter.

1437 words - 6 pages

The Great PlainsDo you need a paper about Great Plains History? This paper by two well known authors should do the trick.Walter Prescott Webb and Fredrick Jackson Turner were two of the most influential men to explain in detail the history of Frontier of the Great Plains. Webb and Turner differ in their interpretation of the how the Frontier movement began. Webb believed geography determines, where people chose to live whereas Turner believed each frontier movement occurred in a cyclical, yet unique manner. The purpose of this paper is to discuss both the Webb and Turner theses and to also show support or criticism of their ideasWalter Prescott Webb (1888-1963) was born in Texas. Webb's only education was elementary schooling until later attending the University of Texas. Webb espoused environment and civilization are intricately connected between man and his geographic climatic/location. In 1918, after graduating from school, he returned home to teach. Webb realized he did not like teaching there, so he returned to the University of Texas and taught prospective teachers how to teach history. He taught methodology for a short time, and so Webb decided to go to the University of Chicago to earn a PhD, but only to fail his first semester. He returned home where he became interested in local and regional history. Webb wrote three books, "The Great Plains", "Divided We Stand", and "The Great Frontier" in 1931, 1937, and 1952 respectively. Walter Prescott Webb was a regionalist who studied a particular area of the Great Plains and was very much interested in the how the weather influenced the Great Frontier movement. Although Webb believed in the geography determined where a man should live, Turner had a much different outlook on the movement.Fredrick Jackson Turner (1861-1932) was born in Portage, Wisconsin. He followed in his father's footsteps by becoming a journalist. He did this for only one year, until he decided to go back to school for a History degree in fur trading. Turner went to John Hopkins University for his PhD. He co-founded the American History Association (AHA). Turner believed there were four types of regional history: linear, chaotic, spiral and cyclical. Linear means in line or towards something; chaotic means all of the area at random; spiral means history is inter-woven in an historical event and cyclical means history repeats itself. Turner also mentioned that history is organic- one is born, lives, flourishes and then begins to decline. Turner wrote three papers, "Significance of History"(1889), "Problems in American History"(1889), and "Significance of the Frontier in American History"(1893). The last book was his greatest accomplishment, explaining the general movement of the frontier, the psychological factors and the character of the people, and lastly why each frontier movement began anew. Turner ended his career by teaching at the University of Chicago until his retirement and won a Pulitzer Prize in 1932. The purpose of...

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