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How the West and Northwest were really won – A history essay

February 6, 2011

Comparing some Canadian and American myths

Everyone has an image of the old West. Americans like to depict it as the Wild West, the myth of a free land ripe for the conquering replete with scalp-happy Indian war parties, covered wagons and courageous lone gunmen who stayed just shy of outlaw status. In Canada, the West, and particularly the northwest, is often seen as an untamed wilderness that would, if managed properly, become a great fertile garden.

At least that was the myth regional boosters propagated in hopes of attracting would-be settlers to the rugged Hudson’s Bay territory. Although traditional historians, some with nineteenth century lived experience, have used these mythical images to help explain the West, modern historians argue that the myths belied the real story, stymied a fuller examination of the period through other historical lenses such as gender and race, and obfuscated the influence of other cultures.

Has the history of the North American West been subjected to a series of politically purposeful re-imaginings of a bygone era? Using relatively recent histories of the West by American historian Richard White and Canadian historian Doug Owram, this paper will examine that question and probe some of the myths that have served to represent the western past. Both historians offer distinct visions of how the respective Wests were ‘conquered’ or ‘expanded’. Both offer many examples of how the political economy of the times did much to shape how the West, in the popular vernacular, was ‘won’. Indeed, one sees much of the historical events of the period being precipitated by one business deal or another often couched in patriotic or imperial destiny terms.  The two histories also identify several contentious myths that have influenced history and western historians for decades.

Among the most devastating myths were the following: that white Anglo Saxons discovered the West, that the elimination or assimilation of pre-existing people’s was an unfortunate necessity, that the West drove the future of all North America, and, that dreams of nationhood guided the activities which ultimately shaped the West. This paper attempts to briefly address these four myths first from White’s perspective and then from Owram’s.

The first myth to dispel is the view that white explorers, entrepreneurs, Indian fighters and white Anglo-Saxon settlers were somehow the founders or discoverers of never-before-inhabited virgin wilderness. As White points out, “If by ‘wilderness’ we mean environments uninfluenced by human actions, then the lands that would become the West had ceased to be wilderness long before the first whites ever arrived.”[1] White, whose book has been called a “landmark in American historiography,”[2] takes pains to right the misinterpretations left by earlier western historians, but he does not romanticize the cultures that preceded the white invasion. Rather, he tells of slave economies, aboriginal violence, religious oppression and gender inequality. But nothing is quite so vividly portrayed as the willful annihilation of other cultures by the invading Anglo-Americans.

Perhaps the earlier historians are to be forgiven some of these misreadings or selective readings of events, for the writing of most western American history was heavily influenced by something called the “frontier thesis”. In the late 19th century and even later, it was a necessary starting point for any examination of western American historiography. Although long out of date at the time of the White history, the influence of American historian Frederick Jackson Turner cannot be underestimated. His ‘frontier hypothesis’, first presented at the Chicago world’s fair in 1893, held that the Western frontier had been the dominant factor in all of American development. He asserted that “the existence of an area of free land, its continuous recession, and the advance of American settlement westward explain American development.”[3] Henry Nash Smith summarized its appeal in Virgin Land:

Turner maintained that the West, not the pro-slavery South or the anti-slavery North, was the most important among American sections, and that the novel attitudes and institutions produced by the frontier, especially through its encouragement of democracy, had been more significant than the imported European heritage in shaping American society.[4]

This notion, with its emphasis on democracy and the ability of individuals to rise to greatness, became one of the overarching doctrines that guided not only historians but also governments for decades to come. However, it wasn’t without its problems.

Historian Patricia Nelson Limerick suggests that part of Turner’s role was to provide a creation myth for the West, “a tale explaining where its members came from and why they are special, chosen by providence for a special destiny.” Turner gave white Americans this tale and “Their most popular origin myth concerns the frontier.”[5] That myth along with a conquest myth shaped the historiography of the American West. The problem with Turner’s vision was that it was largely “ethnocentric and nationalistic”. Limerick argues that “English-speaking white men were the stars of his story; Indians, Hispanics, French Canadians, and Asians were at best supporting actors and at worst invisible.”[6]

In White’s history, Turner is not even mentioned. White could not have written his sweeping treatment of the West with such a limited and biased vision to guide him. His starting point was to connect the historic dots through an examination of the role of the groups the Turner thesis marginalized or simply disappeared as the collateral damage of progress. He writes of the first peoples to populate the regions of the West, then the Spanish invaders who exploited and enslaved them and eventually the Americans who slaughtered them. The skirmishes, territorial wars and inhuman mistreatments that ensued among all the western peoples bloody the pages of history and White attempts to mop up the mess by exposing the myths of glory and progress.

“Long before the first Europeans reached what is now the western United States, Indian peoples shaped this land,”[7] writes White before proceeding to dissect the many justifications for following a policy of war and extermination against anyone who was not a white Anglo-American. He is brutally frank about President Thomas Jefferson’s ‘empire of liberty’ project, the notion and practice of ‘manifest destiny’ popularized by President Andrew Jackson and the equally aggressive expansionist policies of President James Polk. He paints a less-than-complimentary image of these presidents in their handling of western issues, especially as they concerned the treatment of racial and ethnic minorities.

Jackson, for example, “refused to recognize either the brutal cost of his policy or the fragility of his guarantees” to aboriginal peoples in particular.[8]   The relative tameness of Jefferson’s promises “yielded to Andrew Jackson’s assertion that Indians had ‘neither the intelligence, the industry, the moral habits, nor the desire of improvement’ to live among whites.”[9] As successive administrations failed to protect aboriginal rights and property, White notes that “Indians tried to protect their property themselves,” but “intruding whites murdered them.”[10] When the putative solution of Indian reservations was established, White shows that “Whites attacked Indians on reservations.”[11] The solution failed just as the idea of a region specifically and exclusively for Indians had failed.

Where Turner barely recognized the role of women in western history, White identifies many instances where they played a significant role, especially aboriginal and Hispanic women. “Despite the romantic vision of mountain men and traders as supreme individualists who depended only on themselves, most would certainly not have prospered and probably not have survived without the liaisons they formed with Indian and Mexican women.”[12] He also details the division of labour and shows how male protectiveness of what was traditionally their work, often disadvantaged or degraded women.

On occasion, White seems to cross into Turner territory in his lengthy and thorough history. “While the federal government shaped the West, however, the West itself served as the kindergarten of the American state,” he writes. “In governing and developing the American West, the state itself grew in power and influence.”[13] But his meaning here, unlike Turner’s, is to suggest that government, not imperial or eastern power brokers, learned lessons from western development.

Having said that, White makes no mistake in identifying the eastern establishment as the financial and infrastructural base that promoted western expansion and influenced government decision making to keep the West going. It also promised to make them a lot of money in a virtually unregulated hinterland and to do so with the impunity granted by right of imperial authority. White puts it this way:

Jefferson’s ‘empire of liberty’ had sought to reconcile imperialism with republicanism, and later expansionists made the same attempt. They argued that American imperialism differed from European imperialism because, as Thomas Ritchie, a leading journalist subsidized by the Polk administration, put it: ‘Our government is not extended by the sword. By its own merits it extends itself’. To make such claims expansionists had to ignore wars against the Indians, two attempts to take Canada by force, and many filibustering expeditions, but they often made them nonetheless.[14]

It was the search for riches, then, that underpinned development, and it was the Turner thesis with its insistence on the mythical image of the West as the natural seat of true democracy and land of boundless opportunity for the ordinary man that fueled its continued march forward. “Fur traders, mountain men, and later leaders of emigrant trains all accumulated knowledge about the West,” notes White, “but they gathered this knowledge for private profit and released it only when profitable.”[15] As development pushed ahead, “Increasingly in the West, developmental interests determined the problems that were to be solved. How would minerals be found? Where could dams be built? What were the best routes for railroads? What crops might be grown?”[16]

White rounds off his history with a look at the imagined West, the Hollywood western, The Virginian, Davy Crockett, General Custer and Jesse James. His purpose in leaving this chapter until last is to avoid trapping the reader in an imagined past, perhaps somewhat in the Turner vein, which is inaccurate and misleading. He takes us to Montana for an example of how people re-imagine past events to suit themselves:

Thus an overland trail journey largely devoid of hostile Indians became in popular memory – in the imagined past – a trip full of threatening, bloodthirsty warriors. Montanans created a past appropriate to their present. Indians were violent outsiders whose present dispossession was necessary for progress to occur. Thus, the real history of Montana began with the coming of the pioneers, who were the metaphorical pilgrims of Montana society. Such memories suited a Montana of subordinated and marginalized Indians and dominant whites.[17]

White also shows us how re-imagining the past serves political purposes. In one example, New York Herald owner James Gordon Bennett uses Custer’s Last Stand to denounce various political enemies. “Bennett denounces the Sioux as ‘communistic’; he compared Indian violence with that of labor radicals; and he made lower-class tramps and vagrants the equivalent of ‘savages’.”[18] It wouldn’t be the last time that the imagined West suited such purposes.


The development of the Canadian northwest took a different path, but some similar myths have come into play in the telling of that story. Owram doesn’t begin his study as early as White, so there is no reference to the myth about white Anglo-Saxons ‘discovering’ the West. However, the Turner thesis had some resonance for Canadian historians. Similar notions did influence the historiography. Northwest expansionists could readily fit into the Turner doctrine. Historian J.M.S. Careless summarized the appeal and the downside:

Canadian environmentalists [western expansionists] frequently displayed the compelling mood of the frontier school, with its moral implications of a struggle between sound native democratic forces and elements that clung to privilege, exploitation and empty Old-World forms. In so doing they often oversimplified a conflict between West and East, or better, between pioneer agrarian interests and exploitative urban centres. As a result major Canadian movements for political change might be viewed too narrowly in the light of frontierism. For example, Upper Canadian radicalism of the 1850’s Clear Grit Liberalism of the mid-century and Progressivism of the 1920’s might all be explained in terms of the upsurge of the then newest West, as western forces of pioneer individualism launched Crusades against privilege and urban business domination?[19]

Owram, whose work has been described as “interesting and workmanlike,”[20] acknowledges the “idea of a hinterland to be tapped by old Canada had been replaced by the notion of the West as a potential empire; Canada’s growth seemed dependent on the rate at which the territory was developed.”[21] This seems to merge with the Turner thesis. But with his strong focus on a limited period of western development – the expansionist movement of the mid-1800s – Owram must veer away from Turner to accomplish his task of explaining the role of the expansionist campaign. In so doing, his study reveals some of the same tendencies that characterized both American and Canadian approaches to development.

The expansionists’ view of aboriginal peoples clearly paralleled American expansionist thinking. While there were no overt wars of extermination in Canada, as is so gruesomely documented in the White history, the attitude of northwest expansionists toward the Métis (referred to as “half-breeds”) was clearly racist and exclusionist. There may not have been the same dogged pursuit of aboriginals as sanctioned covertly in American policy, but nor did the Canadian expansionists intend to halt progress or adapt it as a result of aboriginal concerns. If the Métis or others got in the way, they would suffer the consequences. As Owram put it, “generally the exponents of expansionism in the 1850s paid relatively little attention to the native population.”[22] Indeed, white immigrant intolerance and “bigotry against the Métis revealed why Riel had felt it necessary to gain some guarantees for his people.”[23] The exclusion of the Métis or their marginalization by the expansionists was proof of their “insistence on uni-racial society.”[24]

In Owram’s work, the 1870 Riel Rebellion substitutes for the various racialized conflicts in the United States and serves to illustrate the tendency to dismiss the aboriginal community and its culture as either part of the natural wilderness and therefore inadaptable to white ways or as fierce rebels. Expansionists would use either image when it furthered their cause. While it does not come close in terms of the death counts that White attributes to American expansion, Canadian bloodshed does reveal the readiness of Canadian expansionists to sacrifice non-white lives and lower-class livelihoods in the interest of further exploiting the fur trade and advancing the future potential of agrarian development. As Owram states,

The image of the Métis, and their role for the future, thus resembled that of peasant as much as it did Indian. Strong but docile, able to cope with European civilization but unlikely to thrive on it, they were expected to accept passively their new lot. It was a convenient image that allowed English protestant expansion to dismiss the Métis as political non-entities while retaining them as a pliable pool of labour.[25]

Owram also explores how the expansionists exploited the Métis situation to further their argument for a takeover of the northwest. The rebellion provided them with fresh arguments to bolster their cause. First, they attributed the rebellion to “American designs on Red River” and urged Canada to “act quickly before Red River was forced into ‘annexation with the United States’.”[26] They also used the rebellion to once again attack the Hudson’s Bay Company and its monopoly. A favourite whipping boy for all that was wrong with the frontier, the company had ruled over the vast northwest territory by favour of the British government land grant of 1670. Expansionists had long challenged that monopoly and had sided with the North West Company. The Nor’Westers, free enterprisers all, were locked in a decades-long economic war with the HBC that only began to subside with the 1821 merger of the two companies. Expansionists were still able to raise the historical spectre of the NWC and paint it as the institution that promised a free enterprise, democratic, rugged individualist future for the nation a la Turner and it would seem that of the American expansionists. Finally, the expansionists turned on the French Catholic Church as a culprit in the rebellion. As Owram states, “The Métis and those behind them symbolized all those enemies that threatened Canada’s efforts to survive and expand in North America. The expansionist and the nationalist grew even more closely together.”[27] Thus the expansionists’ argument was rejoined with the most critical question facing the new nation: how to maintain the ever-teetering balance between French and English societies? Owram again:

French Canadians needed no devious conspiracy theories to explain the Métis position: they were, with good reason, simply seeking guarantees that their religious and language rights would be protected under the new order. A military expedition seemed both unnecessary and oppressive and many French Canadians protested against the decision to send one.[28]

The cause of the Métis, then, was clearly linked by French Canada and politicians like George-Etienne Cartier, with the cause of French Canadian rights. This occurred in spite of apparent attempts to assure such rights through the Manitoba Act of 1870. The Riel Rebellion fanned the flames of difference – religious, ethnic and racial – that would continue to burn long into the next century.

If the Métis and other aboriginals were viewed as a cheap and pliable labour pool, women were also dismissed or overlooked in depictions of the Canadian frontier. Where White continually seeks sources to show the role of women, Owram tends to follow a less gendered approach. The wives of Red River settlers get mentioned as do the aboriginal wives of explorers, voyageurs and other white immigrants. He even provides statistics on how well these inter-racial marriages fared. But there is no clear sense that women played any significant role in the expansion of the northwest. White was also more likely to ask historical questions about non-Anglo-Saxon immigrants and workers and their unions in the development of the West. These omissions might partially be explained by the eleven-year gap between White’s history and Owram’s. Although new social history and labour history advocates had begun to nip at the heels of traditional ‘Whig’ historians, demanding a broader study of people’s lives, this may have had a larger potential influence on White’s work than Owram’s.

As much as the Riel Rebellion helped shape the political landscape, the Red River Settlement shaped the economic future of the region and established Canada’s place in the world of trade through the production of grains and other agricultural products. These would replace furs as the staple that had helped open up the northwest in the first place through the explorations of Peter Pond, Alexander Mackenzie and David Thompson among others. The expansionists’ campaign to have the new Canadian government assume ownership of the Hudson’s Bay territories was possessed by a Turnerian view that the northwest drove the future of all Canada and that the dreams of an expanded nation guided the activities which ultimately shaped the West. But Lord Selkirk’s settlement on the Red River was the living embodiment of what was possible if only expansion was promoted and development of the land was allowed to proceed unfettered by the eastern establishment.

A major difference between the Canadian and U.S. expansionist movements had to do with the concept of private property. In the U.S. the movement was driven by a particularly American philosophy that centered on the individual being able to develop free land in his own interest even if, in some cases, that meant taking it from its previous owner/users. In the Canadian northwest there was no reason to pressure for ownership of free land, never mind that others had occupied it for centuries, because Canada already owned it. This would seem to explain at least in part the less violent expansion into a wilderness that the propagandists touted as a potential ‘fertile garden.’

Another difference came with the Canadian expansionist view that the opening up of the northwest would benefit the British Empire. This was not at all the concern of the American expansionists. They wanted to divorce themselves from that empire and continue to build one of their own; Mother Britain was a future enemy. As Owram says, the expansionist campaign encouraged “the idea of a hinterland to be tapped by old Canada had been replaced by the notion of the West as a potential empire,”[29] even an “Empire within the World.”[30] Canadian expansionists could compare the magnitude of their project with that of the U.S., point to the U.S. as an example of the possible, and yet argue that the Canadian expansion was a substantial improvement over what the Americans had managed.

Owram notes that “If Canada was less patient than the United States, it was also more confident than its neighbour had been through much of its history, of the desirability of rapid expansion.”[31] At the same time, “Annexation also brought a new sense of rivalry with the American frontier. Canada not only wanted to emulate the United States but now had to compete directly with it for immigrants.” As well, “The image of the North West always had to meet the standard set by the image of the American West.”[32] Having said that, Owram noted that Canadians also exercised a certain level of bragging rights:

The North West was not only healthier than the United States but it was, as the Great American Desert proved, capable of reproducing greater wealth for the settler. For once of the few times in Canadian history, Canada was able to claim confidently not only greater virtue and character than its southern neighbour but greater potential wealth as well.[33]

The completion of the national railway in 1885 greatly assisted the success of Canada’s expansionist project. It would allow them to “proclaim to the world, and more particularly to the Americans, the intention of Canadians ‘to work out their own future as an integral and important part of the grandest Empire in the world’.”[34] The British monarchy was secure in the hands of the loyalists who formed the business backbone of the new territory.

White and Owram converge on one aspect of the respective expansionist movements: both created and recreated myths and portraits of an ‘imagined’ West that proved useful tools in efforts to change public perceptions as the political need arose. Whether it was the mythical image of the lone Virginian or a ‘social bandit’ like Jesse James, the portrayal of the heroes and anti-heroes of the Wild West served a purpose in fostering the rapid expansion of the territory. A steadfast image of the white individual winning out against all odds to conquer the West was solidly implanted in the collective American psyche. Similar imagery shifts occurred in Canada as writers transformed an inhospitable and largely uninhabitable wilderness into the image of a beltway of prosperity that could lead the whole country to wealth and influence in the world. There was far less emphasis on the rugged individualism that Turner romanticized in his famous thesis. Instead, the Canadian focus was on corporate citizens like the Hudson’s Bay Company or the Nor’Westers, on groups of individuals like explorers, voyageurs and fur traders, and on whole communities like the Red River settlers. Whenever necessary, the images would be manipulated to fit the popular mythology and, in so doing, expansionists often excluded key groups of westerners due to racial or ethnic differences.


Among other conclusions, both the White and Owram histories reveal that individual greed and ambition were at the source of expansionist goals and that the new territories were developed at a great cost to aboriginal peoples, a cost from which they have never truly recovered. Unequivocally, aboriginal peoples were the first and greatest losers in the quest to settle the Canadian and American West.

We can further conclude that, while both countries had different philosophies about development, their business and political leaders spread the same nationalistic propaganda in moulding the public image of the territories. The greatest winners were the entrepreneurial classes that paid for the exploration of the new land, turned a blind eye as their managers pushed the aboriginal peoples off it, and aided efforts to persuade governments to invest in it.

When Owram says expansionists came together in mid-century because of a shared “belief that the North West was essential to Canada”[35] Surely we can also conclude that it was their quest for personal wealth that spurred them on more than any sense of patriotism, pioneer pride or loyalty to the British Crown. From reading White, the Anglo-Americans who tamed the Wild West were hardly selfless, patriotic individuals. Explorers, Indian fighters, fur traders, mountain men, western politicians and successive American presidents kept their eyes on the money and were willing to sacrifice other more collective goals of progress, like building a tolerant and respectful society. Reading Owram, we can see that in Canada, these same wilderness tamers were equally ruthless profiteers in the pay of their old country benefactors. The Nor’Westers were profit-hungry bandits as were the HBC traders. They cared about Canada so long as the image of a new nation assisted them in achieving their first priority: the economic exploitation of the territories. They cared about the ordinary people they were encouraging to come westward only in that the image of agrarian settlement would continue to foster their free and virtually lawless reign over the northwest. Drawing those conclusions from the two histories, it might be fair to argue that for the expansionists the idea of nation building was an afterthought and a useful trope to dupe the citizenry and especially the naysayers in the eastern establishment.

At the same time, we can also conclude that the expansionist struggle, while it stood to make wealthy individuals even richer, also inspired less financially endowed people who road their horses, wagons, Red River carts and finally transcontinental railways into the history of western North America.

Historian Ray Billington, in his comparative assessment of American history, offers this view of what helped to grow the frontiers of both nations:

Almost for the asking, pioneers could secure virgin fields for farming, lush grasslands for pasturage, and prospective fortunes in mineral and forest wealth. These attainable riches stimulated the urge for progress to a unique degree. With property easily obtainable, and with a fluid social order that placed few barriers before individuals eager to ascend the social pyramid, the ambitious found their ambitions heightened as they could not be in solidified societies where property was already distributed and class lines firmly drawn. The dominating impulse of the frontier social environment was individual self-betterment.”[36]

Clearly, Billington was not considering the damage that the ambitious would do as they claimed their free private property.

Finally, what a reading of the White and Owram histories allows us to do is compare the myths that have shaped the actions and policies of both countries. By making comparisons we can challenge the myths and in so doing “be a rebel force within the study of history.”[37]As Turner put it in an 1891 essay, “Each age writes the history of the past anew with reference to the conditions uppermost in its own time…The goal of the antiquarian is the dead past; the goal of the historian is the living present.”[38] Both White and Owram make honourable attempts to accomplish this task.


Billington, Ray Allen. Westward Expansion: A History of the American Frontier (New York: Macmillan, 1960).

Billington, Ray Allen. “Frontiers,” The Comparative Approach to American History (New York: Basic Books, 1968). 


Brown, Richard Maxwell. Book review (Bloomington, IN: The Journal of American History 80-2, September 1993).  


Careless, J.M.S. “Frontierism, Metropolitanism, and Canadian History” (Toronto: Canadian Historical Review 35, March 1954). 


Frederickson, George M. “Comparative History,” The Past Before Us: Contemporary Historical Writing in the United States (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1980).


Peck, Gunther. Reinventing Free Labor: Padrones and Immigrant Workers in the North American West, 1880-1930 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000).

Higham, C.L. and Thacker, Robert (eds.). One West, Two Myths: A Comparative Reader (Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2006).


Limerick, Patricia Nelson. The Legacy of Conquest: The Unbroken Past of the American West (New York: W.W. Norton, 1987).


Lipsett, Martin Seymour. Continental Divide: The Values and Institutions of the United States and Canada (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1955).


Owram, Doug. Promise of Eden: The Canadian Expansionist Movement and the Idea of the West, 1856-1900 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1992).


Smith, Allan. Book review (Toronto: Canadian Historical Review 62-4, 1981).

Smith, Henry Nash. Virgin Land: The American West as Symbol and Myth (New York: Vintage Books, c1950).

Sharp, Paul. Whoop-Up Country: The Canadian and American West, 1865-1885 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1955).

Turner, Frederick Jackson. “The Significance of the Frontier in American History,” The Frontier in American History (New York: H. Holt, 1920).

White, Richard. “It’s your misfortune and none of my own”: A History of the American West (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991).

[1] Richard White. “It’s your misfortune and none of my own”: A History of the American West (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991) 4.

[2] Richard Maxwell Brown. Book review (Bloomington, IN: The Journal of American History 80-2, September 1993) 625.

[3] Frederick Jackson Turner. “The Significance of the Frontier in American History,” The Frontier in American History (New York: H. Holt, 1920) 186.

[4] Henry Nash Smith. Virgin Land: The American West as Symbol and Myth (New York: Vintage Books, c1950) 292.

[5] Patricia Nelson Limerick. The Legacy of Conquest: The Unbroken Past of the American West (New York: W.W. Norton, 1987) 322.

[6] Limerick, 21.

[7] White, 3.

[8] White, 87.

[9] White, 89.

[10] White, 91.

[11] White, 93.

[12] White, 46.

[13] White, 58.

[14] White, 81.

[15] White, 121.

[16] White, 126.

[17] White, 619.

[18] White, 622.

[19] J.M.S. Careless. “Frontierism, Metropolitanism, and Canadian History,” (Toronto: Canadian Historical Review 35, March 1954) 12.

[20] Allan Smith. Book review (Toronto: Canadian Historical Review 62-4, 1981).

[21] Doug Owram. Promise of Eden: The Canadian Expansionist Movement and the Idea of the West, 1856-1900 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1992) 101.

[22] Owram, 51.

[23] Owram, 99.

[24] Owram, 100.

[25] Owram, 87.

[26] Owram, 89.

[27] Owram, 93.

[28] Owram, 95.

[29] Owram, 101.

[30] Owram, 126

[31] Owram, 103

[32] Owram, 107.

[33] Owram, 118.

[34] Owram, 122.

[35] Owram, 4.

[36] Ray Allen Billington. “Frontiers,” The Comparative Approach to American History (New York: Basic Books, 1968) 77.

[37] C.L. Higham and Robert Thacker (eds.). One West, Two Myths: A Comparative Reader (Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2006) x.

[38] Limerick,17, quoting a 1891 essay by Turner.

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