The text “The Frontier Heritage” by Edward N. Kearny is a non-fiction historical essay. Divided into two parts — ‘The Impact of the American Frontier’ and ‘Equality of Opportunity’— the text follows the typical structure of stand-alone non-fiction texts: introduction, main body, and conclusion.

‘The Impact of the American Frontier’ comprises the introduction and part of the main body, while ‘Equality of Opportunity’ comprises part of the main body and the conclusion. ‘The Impact of the American Frontier’ discusses the overall effects of the concept of the frontier on American values, while ‘Equality of Opportunity’ focuses on one particular outcome of the influence of the American frontier.

In what follows, we will offer you an overview of the title and these structural parts.


The title “The Frontier Heritage” introduces readers to the topic of the essay: the legacy of the idea of the frontier in American society. The text also includes a motto, a quotation attributed to Fredrick Jackson Turner: “This ever retreating frontier of free land is the key to American development.”  



The introduction of the essay presents the topic to be discussed and the author’s thesis, or argument. Kearny argues that the concept of the frontier has played and continues to play an important role in shaping American identity:


Main Body

The main body presents and details the arguments that support the author’s main thesis: that the concept of the frontier influenced the development of American values and identity.

First, the author explores the way the frontier influenced American mentality and behavior, giving specific examples: “Americans have tended to see the frontier, its life, and its people as the purest examples of their basic values.” (p. 104, ll. 18-19); “The rush for gold in California, for silver in Montana, and for fertile land in all the western territories provided endless stories of high adventure.” (p. 104, ll. 23-26)

Secondly, the author explores the way living on the frontier influenced individual ideals of success: 



The conclusion of the essay resumes the author’s main argument: that the frontier played an important role in defining traditional American values:


Teksten herover er et uddrag fra webbogen. Kun medlemmer kan læse hele indholdet.

Få adgang til hele Webbogen.

Som medlem på får du adgang til alt indhold.

Køb medlemskab nu

Allerede medlem? Log ind