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Daniel Boone escorting settlers through the Cumberland Gap In the colonial era, beforethe west was of high priority for settlers and politicians. The American frontier began when JamestownVirginia was settled by the English in In the earliest days of European settlement of the Atlantic coast, until aboutthe frontier was essentially any part of the interior of the continent beyond the fringe of existing settlements along the Atlantic coast.
Only a few thousand French migrated to Canada; these habitants settled in villages along the St. Lawrence Riverbuilding communities that remained stable for long stretches; they did not simply jump west the way the British did. Although French fur traders ranged widely through the Great Lakes and mid-west region they seldom settled down.
French settlement was limited to a few very small villages such as Kaskaskia, Illinois  as well as a larger settlement around New Orleans.
Likewise, the Dutch set up fur trading posts in the Hudson River valley, followed by large grants of land to rich landowning patroons who brought in tenant farmers who created compact, permanent villages. They created a dense rural settlement in upstate New York, but they did not push westward.
These areas remained primarily in subsistence agriculture, and as a result by the s these societies were highly Prairie metropolis new essays, as explained by historian Jackson Turner Main: The typical frontier society therefore was one in which class distinctions were minimized.
The wealthy speculator, if one was involved, usually remained at home, so that ordinarily no one of wealth was a resident. The class of landless poor was small. The great majority were landowners, most of whom were also poor because they were starting with little property and had not yet cleared much land nor had they acquired the farm tools and animals which would one day make them prosperous.
Few artisans settled on the frontier except for those who practiced a trade to supplement their primary occupation of farming. There might be a storekeeper, a minister, and perhaps a doctor; and there were a number of landless laborers.
All the rest were farmers. North Carolina was representative. However frontier areas of that had good river connections were increasingly transformed into plantation agriculture. Rich men came in, bought up the good land, and worked it with slaves. The area was no longer "frontier".
It had a stratified society comprising a powerful upper-class white landowning gentry, a small middle-class, a fairly large group of landless or tenant white farmers, and a growing slave population at the bottom of the social pyramid.
Unlike the North, where small towns and even cities were common, the South was overwhelmingly rural. Land ownership brought a degree of independence as well as a vote for local and provincial offices. The typical New England settlements were quite compact and small—under a square mile.
Conflict with the Native Americans arose out of political issues, namely who would rule. The series of large wars spilling over from European wars ended in a complete victory for the British in the worldwide Seven Years' War. In the peace treaty ofFrance lost practically everything, as the lands west of the Mississippi river, in addition to Florida and New Orleans, went to Spain.
Otherwise lands east of the Mississippi River and what is now Canada went to Britain. Steady migration to frontier lands[ edit ] Regardless of wars Americans were moving across the Appalachians into western Pennsylvania, what is now West Virginia, and areas of the Ohio CountryKentucky and Tennessee.
In the southern settlements via the Cumberland Gaptheir most famous leader was Daniel Boone Young George Washington promoted settlements in West Virginia on lands awarded to him and his soldiers by the Royal government in payment for their wartime service in Virginia's militia.
West of the mountains, settlements were curtailed briefly by a decree by the Royal Proclamation of However the Treaty of Fort Stanwix re-opened most of the western lands for frontiersmen to settle.
Pioneers housed themselves in a rough lean-to or at most a one-room log cabin. The main food supply at first came from hunting deer, turkeys, and other abundant game.
Clad in typical frontier garb, leather breeches, moccasins, fur cap, and hunting shirt, and girded by a belt from which hung a hunting knife and a shot pouch—all homemade—the pioneer presented a unique appearance.
In a short time he opened in the woods a patch, or clearing, on which he grew corn, wheat, flax, tobacco, and other products, even fruit. Homespun clothing replaced the animal skins. Land policy[ edit ] The land policy of the new nation was conservative, paying special attention to the needs of the settled East.
By the s, however, the West was filling up with squatters who had no legal deed, although they may have paid money to previous settlers. The Jacksonian Democrats favored the squatters by promising rapid access to cheap land. By contrast, Henry Clay was alarmed at the "lawless rabble" heading West who were undermining the utopian concept of a law-abiding, stable middle-class republican community.
Rich southerners, meanwhile, looked for opportunities to buy high-quality land to set up slave plantations. The Free Soil movement of the s called for low-cost land for free white farmers, a position enacted into law by the new Republican Party inoffering free acre 65 ha homesteads to all adults, male and female, black and white, native-born or immigrant.Dear Twitpic Community - thank you for all the wonderful photos you have taken over the years.
We have now placed Twitpic in an archived state. Terms "West" and "Frontier" The frontier line was the outer line of European-American settlement. It moved steadily westward from the s to the s (with occasional movements north into Maine and Vermont, south into Florida, and east from California into Nevada).
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Prairie Metropolis brings together some of the best new graduate. New Essays on Winnipeg Social History, by Esyllt W. Jones (Editor), Gerald Friesen (Editor). Prairie Metropolis brings together some of the best new graduate research on the history of Winnipeg and makes a groundbreaking contribution to the history of the city between and the s.
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