Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
A New Significance$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Clyde A. Milner

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780195100471

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195100471.001.0001

Cultural Filters: The Significance of Perception

Chapter:
(p.175) 6 Cultural Filters: The Significance of Perception
Source:
A New Significance
Author(s):

Anne F. Hyde

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195100471.003.0006

The geographic region of the American West has done much to shape the culture and character of the United States. Conversely, the culture and character of the United States has reshaped much of the western landscape. Frederick Jackson Turner argued that the West molded American culture because it was a frontier, a meeting ground between savagery and civilization. This chapter argues instead that the American West has shaping power because of its unique geography and not necessarily because it was or is a frontier. Its significance comes from the fact that in a certain part of the American continent, particularly the lands west of the one hundredth meridian, Anglo Americans came up against a series of landscapes that defied their notions about utility and beauty. The region's strange appearance, combined with national expectations about its uses, created a volatile mixture of geography and culture. These shifting perceptions reflected the ways in which American culture defined itself—and this is the significance of perception in the history of the American West.

Keywords:   Frederick Jackson Turner, American West, culture, geography, frontier, United States, power, history, Anglo Americans, utility

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .