How did Frederick Jackson Turner account for the differences between America and Europe?


SEYMOUR MARTIN LIPSET: Well, Frederick Jackson Turner, who was a very prominent and important historian, emphasized the fact that the United States was a society which moved West, [which] made the country a much more open system than Europe. European society was more densely populated. There was no open land [to which] people [could go to] start farms, towns. And so one of the things that made America different from Europe was the fact that it was a frontier society, that it had a frontier. But then, in his judgment, the frontier ended at the turn of the century, and this for him meant that there would be a qualitative change in the character of America. And America without a frontier would necessarily be a different sort of place. He assumed that this meant opportunity would decline, that a more fixed class system would emerge. QUESTION: How did the frontier set America apart from other countries? SEYMOUR MARTIN LIPSET: The difference between the American society and European society

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