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Of Borders and MarginsHispanic Disciples in Texas, 1888-1945$
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Daisy L. Machado

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195152234

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195152239.001.0001

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The Making of a National Identity

The Making of a National Identity

The Frontier Thesis

Chapter:
(p.23) 2 The Making of a National Identity
Source:
Of Borders and Margins
Author(s):

Daisy L. Machado (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0195152239.003.0002

Frederick Jackson Turner's frontier thesis became a significant force in shaping the national identity of the U.S. The ideologies incorporated into Turner's frontier thesis were not only meant to provide a historical interpretation of how the U.S. came into being but also satisfied the national need for a “usable past.” This frontier thesis was able to transmit a series of symbols that became imbedded in the nation's self‐perception and self‐understanding: Virgin land, wilderness, land and democracy, Manifest Destiny, chosen race. Race must be understood as an important piece of this developing national identity because the idea of “purity” of race was used as a rationalization to colonize, exclude, devalue, and even exterminate the native borderlands people.

Keywords:   democracy, frontier, Manifest Destiny, race, thesis, Turner, wilderness

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