Turner, Frederick Jackson (1861-1932). a United States historian. In “The Significance of the Frontier in American History,” a paper presented before the American Historical Association in 1893, he contended that “the existence of an area of free land, its continuous recession, and the advance of American settlement westward, explain American development,” and that the unique American character was a result of this frontier experience. Turner's hypothesis, called the “frontier thesis,” had a profound influence on historical interpretation, even though later historians have challenged many of his contentions as oversimplifications. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for The Significance of Sections in American History (1932).
Turner was born in Portage, Wisconsin. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1884 and in 1890 received a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University. Turner taught American history at Wisconsin, 1889-1910, and at Harvard, 1910-24.
Other books include Rise of the New West, 1819-1829 (1906); Frontier in American History (1920), essays; The United States, 1830-1850 (1935).