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Various scholars and historians have expressed different point of views in regard to the old and new frontier in United States. Each scholar tends to express a different idea concerning the events leading to adoption of new frontier from the old. Majority argue that the new frontier is more beneficial. On the contrary, the old frontier is associated with the conquest from the west while the new frontier is referred to as the conquest of the technology. In addition, in the new frontier, various developments have been achieved. Moreover, the pioneer of the new frontier, John F. Kennedy introduced new measures and legislations to facilitate developments in all the sectors of the economy.

The two frontiers differ in a great way. For instance, the old frontier is associated with some of evils committed in the United States such as violation of individual’s rights on the basis of races, contradiction and ignorance of the spirit of the Americans such as liberty, equality, and respect for individual’s rights among others. In addition, the old frontier was not civilized as it is the case in the new frontier, where everyone is aware of his or her rights. On the other hand, the new frontier is democratic. It is acted as a catalyst for the spirit of United States defining equality, respect for other races as well as defending the rights of other people. Therefore, this paper presents various anthologies from various scholars who express their point of view in regard to the comparison between the new and old frontier.

  1. Richard White, “Frederick Jackson Turner and Buffalo Bill,” in The Frontier in American Culture.

In the old frontier, America as a nation was experiencing various problems. According to Turner, Americans were mainly concerned with the conquest of the savages in the old frontier. Thus, the conquest of land occurred incidentally. This resulted in the conquest of land and people expanding American territory. In the conquest of land and people, hostility and force was used. The new conquest also influenced American culture due to interaction of people in their habitats.

  1. Bruce Cumings, Dominion from Sea to Sea

American history has been characterized by its dominion from sea to sea. It extended its sea dominion in order to extend its power and secure its operations in the sea. It was essential to be connected from the sea to sea in order to maintain a network in the archipelago empire. Military structure especially the naval bases were secured through this dominion. Moreover, it was a way of sustaining the territory of its allies as well as counters the competition of other super powers of the time. The network also facilitated the growth of trade as it had absolute control over the pacific. As a result, the pacific was treated as a commodity of the United States as its control had been doubled far from other states.

  1. Theodore Roosevelt, from The Winning of the West

It was necessary for the American’s conquest of the West. Notably, Americans did not care whether they won the land through a treaty or through an armed struggle. What mattered to them was that they eventually gained control of the land in the West. The West played a major role in facilitating civilization. Indeed, the major reason for the desire to win the west was civilization. Civilization was at the heart of human interest in the conquests. From the West, civilization spread to other continents where some states have rose above others in terms of economic prosperity. However, the desire to introduce civilization in the West did not put into consideration human rights and liberty.

  1. Great Speeches by Native Americans, ed. Blaisdell—“We are poor in spirit because we are not free”

Poverty in America was caused by the fact that people were not free. The Native Americans were denied freedom to make their choices and decisions concerning their life. Essentially, freedom is the most basic commodity in the world. Freedom enables one to make personal decisions about his or her life. Thus, by the virtue that Native Americans were not free, they were not able to make the appropriate decisions for the best of their communities. Moreover, freedom leads to maturity where people are able to use their freewill to device projects for their economic wellbeing.

  1.  Jr., Luther Standing Bear, “From Land of the Spotted Eagle”

In the old frontier, there were two main driving forces, the conquest of people and land. However, land was given priority. As a result, they disregarded the dignity of the people in the new land. They also violated their rights especially in terms of their races. They assumed an attitude of superiority towards the conquests, yet they were not welcomed in those lands.  As a result, they started spreading false and negative ideas towards other races. Surprisingly, those ideas still exist up to today. They viewed their race as more superior towards others and did not have room for other people rights as they had a negative attitude towards them. They were from an inferior race that did not deserve to be accorded respect.

  1.  Patricia Limerick, "The Adventures of the Frontier in the Twentieth Century," in The Frontier in American Culture

In the new frontier, there have been unlimited opportunities in both technology and commercial enterprises. More importantly, people have been able to recognize their rights. Violence and racism have become a thing of the past. This has been possible due to the spirit of emotional understanding that has been introduced among people of different nations. People have been able to stand for their rights and for the good of others. People from wide range of ethnicities have come together and endorsed the spirit of the new frontier. Despite the inherited image of the old, logic and history has helped people to shape their attitude and perception.

  1. John F. Kennedy, “A New Frontier”

The new frontier is better that the old frontier. However, there are several uncharted areas, which posses major threat to its success. Some of the challenges in the new frontier include poverty, ignorance and prejudice as well as science and space inventions. Indeed, achievement and developments in the new frontier have not been achieved easily. Various government agencies have played significant role in fulfilling the visions in the new frontier. Some of the evidential changes include passage of legislations to improve economic and social sectors, construction of highways, and control of air and water pollution, improving agricultural sector as well as enactment of anti-poverty legislations. Thus, the new frontier is far much beneficial to the Americans than the old one.

  1. Essay by Barry Stephenson, John Brown, Jonathan Raban, Paul Rosier, or John Tirman

In the old frontier, America was characterized by an endless of expansion of free land and resources. It had conquered land from its native inhabitants. As a result, people have expansively created their character and values in these vast land and resources. However, today, Turner argues that America is in a closed frontier. Thus, the expansive life of the Americans has to stop as the movement has become impossible in terms of acquiring new lands. Therefore, Americans need to change in order to fit in the limited field, as there is no possibility of expanding its territories.

  1. How They See Us: Meditations on America. James Atlas

America has been criticized for its actions in Vietnam, Caribbean, and Middle East as well as in the South Asia. Moreover, America for years has been criticized for what she did not do in Rwanda, Hungary, and Bosnia as well as in Czechoslovakia. Therefore, it is true to state that the world sees America as an omnipotent state with power that is used for evil intentions or not used at all. Moreover, the outside world views ordinary Americans as being self-absorbed to an extent that they are not aware of what happens beyond their shores. Thus, even in the new frontier, the perception of the world towards America has not changed. This is simply because America is doing the same things, as it was the case in the old frontier. They are in hostility with other countries especially in the Islamic world.

  1. Bruce Cumings, Dominion from Sea to Sea

American has been internationalized. Thus, the spirit that was prevalent in the old frontier of isolationism had been broken. American lifestyles have become international through Jazz music, Hollywood movies as well through various products. American products have become common in various parts of the world from Zanzibar to Hamburg.

  1. Ronald Takaki, “A History of Multicultural America: A different Mirror”

Throughout the history of America, there has been an integration of different cultures globally. Takaki traces the political and economical development of America in relation to other races such as Indians, Japanese, and Mexicans among other people in America and their state in the new frontier. He argues that throughout the historical development, there have been various instances of racism, which had resulted into dreadful consequences to the people affected. Despite the fact that America is moving from the old to the new frontier, people still perceive the old frontier as more popular. As a result, events that used to take place during that time are still evident in the new frontier. Takaki argues that this has led into contradiction of the spirit of liberty, which is the major factor in the new frontier.

  1. Patricia Nelson Limerick, “The Legacy of Conquest, The Unbroken Past of the American West”. 

The history of America is grounded on its economy. As a result of transition from the old to the new frontier, America has gained a vintage position to compete effectively with other developing nations in the world. Moreover, Lamerick views the old frontier as a nation, which was coquetted as it was acquired through fraud thus portraying Americans as victims of the old nation. She argues that the conquest of the West did not imply that the nation was deprived of its right and sovereignty as a nation. She expresses a different point of view in that when the winning of the West took place, historians have developed a misinterpretation and a notion that those forces of conquest are responsible for shaping the economic, social as well as political occurrences in the west.


As evident from analysis above, the old and new frontier differs in various ways. Notably, the new frontier emphasis on technological advancement while old frontier emphasis on conquest of people and land. Moreover, the perception of the whites towards other races is different in the two frontiers. The new frontier is marked with wide acceptance and understanding of each other hence facilitating developments.

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