American Places II: Frontier Nation
- Answer all parts of the following essay question
- Support your analyses with relevant historical evidence from assigned course texts
The myth of the American frontier “claims the land for the European settler as a God given right. It also excludes non-whites from the story of how the United States came to be what it is, and when it does mention non-whites (Native Americans in particular), it treats them as an obstacle to the advance of civilization. Hence, it is not surprising that Americans struggle with the frontier myth legacy.” — Cynara Medina
- Write an essay in critical response to the claims made in the statement quoted above.
- Is Medina correct in her characterizations of the frontier myth?
- What explanations can you provide for the frontier myth’s North American origins, growth and popularity from the 1600s through the 1800s?
- What in your analysis has been what Medina calls the “legacy” of this myth?
- To what extent do you agree with her claim that Americans “struggle” with it?
- Should we? Do you?
Incorporate evidence into your analysis from course readings, including from at least three of the following:
- Mary Rowlandson’s Captivity Narrative (1685)
- President Jackson’s Speech on Indian Removal (1839)
- John O’Sullivan on Manifest Destiny
- Frederick Jackson Turner, The Significance of the Frontier (1893)
Incorporate evidence into your analysis from course films, including from at least two of the following:
- We Shall Remain – After the Mayflower
- Ghost Dance
- Buffalo Bill
- Hostiles (2017; Scott Cooper, director)
Exam Length: Four (4) full pages minimum. Six (6) full pages maximum.
Format: typed (12 point font, double spaced one inch margins); separate cover page with full course information; separate Works Cited page; pages numbered and stapled together.
Date and Time Due: Wednesday May 9th no later than 1:35 PM