Еssay on The Frontier Experience and American Democracy

Traditionally, the frontier experience of American people was associated with the traditional American spirit, American democracy and basic American values such as personal freedom and independence. However, in actuality, such a view on the frontier experience proves to be idealized since in the course of time the frontier experience produced a dualist impact on the development of American society and American ideology. On the one hand, the frontier experience contributed to the emergence of traditional American values, while, on the other hand, there were times when it practically undermined them.

In this respect, the beginning of European colonization was really a very contradictive epoch and it is basically to this period the frontier experience was idealized and romanticized. In fact, at that epoch Europeans practically discovered the new world, where the wild nature persisted and the land were undiscovered by white people. In such a situation, colonizers were one-on-one with wild nature and they really developed such positive qualities as independence, love to freedom, spiritual strength. At the same time, it should be said that as white people continued their colonization westward they started to physically destroy the local population. At this point, it is possible to speak about the frontier experience as the basis for the development of racial inequality and intolerance in American society.

Such a controversial nature of the frontier experience persisted even in the 20th century. In fact, the enormous territory were still not “invaded” by men, but in the late 19th-20th century, the frontier experience transformed into the destruction of the wild nature and transformation of wilderness into the civilized world in the result of the development of agriculture and industries.

Thus, the frontier experience, being a basis of American values, practically always had another, dark side, which revealed negative characteristics of American spirit and values.

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