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As defined by Hine and Faragher, "frontier history tells the story of the creation and defense of communities, the use of the land, the development of markets, and the formation of states." They explain, "It is a tale of conquest, but also one of survival, persistence, and the merging of peoples and cultures that gave birth and continuing life to America." Through treaties with foreign nations and native tribes; political compromise; military conquest; establishment of law and order; the building of farms, ranches, and towns; the marking of trails and digging of mines; and the pulling in of great migrations of foreigners, the United States expanded from coast to coast, fulfilling the dreams of Manifest Destiny.Historian Frederick Jackson Turner in his "Frontier Thesis" (1893) theorized that the frontier was a process that transformed Europeans into a new people, the Americans, whose values focused on equality, democracy, and optimism, as well as individualism, self-reliance, and even violence.Rich men came in, bought up the good land, and worked it with slaves. 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.

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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.

Lawrence River, building 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.

Turner favored the Census Bureau definition of the "frontier line" as a settlement density of two people per square mile.

In the colonial era, before 1776, the west was of high priority for settlers and politicians.

Unlike Britain, where a small number of landlords owned most of the good land, ownership in America was cheap, easy and widespread.

Land ownership brought a degree of independence as well as a vote for local and provincial offices.

Enormous popular attention in the 19th and early 20th century media focused on the Western United States in the second half of the 19th century, a period sometimes called the Old West, or the Wild West, the theme of which typically exaggerated the romance, anarchy, and chaotic violence of the period for greater dramatic effect.

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