- Oct 2022
I am not much like Turner ; but I believe that I am like him in that Iam aware that in history you cannot prove an inference. You cannotprove causation, much as you crave to do it. You may present sequencesof events, whose relationship suggests a link-up of cause and consequence ;
you may carry on the inquiry for a lifetime without discovering other events inconsistent with the hypothesis which has caught your eye. But you can never get beyond a circumstantial case. . . .<br /> "A Footnote to the Safety-Valve," August 15, 1940, Paxson Papers (University of California Library, Berkeley)
The author seems to take for granted that we know who Turner is. Would have been nice to have his full name up front at least.
Frederick Jackson Turner died in 1932 in Pasadena, California, where he had been a research associate at the Huntington Library.
Turner's sectionalism essays are collected in The Significance of Sections in American History, which won the Pulitzer Prize in History in 1933. Turner's sectionalism thesis had almost as much influence among historians as his frontier thesis, but never became widely known to the general public as did the frontier thesis. He argued that different ethnocultural groups had distinct settlement patterns, and this revealed itself in politics, economics and society.
Was sectionalism discussed or mentioned in Colin Woodard's American Nations (2011) as part of an underlying piece of his thesis about American history? It seems applicable.
Turner was never comfortable at Harvard; when he retired in 1922 he became a visiting scholar at the Huntington Library in Los Angeles, where his note cards and files continued to accumulate, although few monographs got published. His The Frontier in American History (1920) was a collection of older essays.
Where did Turner's note cards and files end up? Are they housed at the Huntington Library? What other evidence or indication is there that this was an extensive zettelkasten practice here?
His best known publication is his essay "The Significance of the Frontier in American History," the ideas of which formed the frontier thesis. He argued that the moving western frontier exerted a strong influence on American democracy and the American character from the colonial era until 1890.
- Frederick Jackson Turner
- American democracy
- Huntington Library
- open questions
- frontier thesis
- note taking
- Pasadena CA
- zettelkasten examples
- Colin Woodard
- American history
- American Dream