"The Legacy of Conquest" Analytical Essay by Research Group

"The Legacy of Conquest"
Discusses Patricia Nelson Limerick's book "The Legacy of Conquest" on the settlement of the American west.
# 26553 | 1,208 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2002 | US

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Limerick's book is a work of synthesis designed to suggest a new, comprehensive ground on which the history of the American West, often fragmented into many different branches, can be approached afresh. The paper discusses Limerick's view that, contrary to popular thinking based on the ideas by Frederick Jackson Turner that the American Frontier closed officially in 1890, the 'settling of the west' experience was not an exclusively European domain. The book reminds the reader of the Indians, Hispanics, Asians and women whose involvement in the Western history was not a minor matter.

From the Paper:

"As Limerick notes in discussing current events that may have an impact on further shaping the West, every historian operates from a presentist context and it was a mistake for historians to ignore the fact that Turner's presentism exerted a particularly limiting force on his thesis. If historians today look at the continuities and common themes of Western history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, rather than adhering to the artificial 1890 watershed imposed by Turner's thesis, they will certainly, even if they do not accept every aspect of Limerick's own thesis, develop a means of viewing Western history in a comprehensive fashion."

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