How do radical miners, foreign-born laborers and “outside” female “others” fit in with Turner’s thesis of the American frontier transforming its residents into a new kind of individualistic American?

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Turner’s thesis that the American frontier transformed its residents into individualistic people who would introduce a new variety of democracy to the world held true for many people. However, eventually, the nation became established in its ways and stopped admitting immigrants with the same enthusiasm as before. People such as miners, foreign laborers, and women could not develop individualistic tendencies due to their reliance on others for well-being and sustenance. Many of these controlling entities, such as corporations, were immune to the efforts of a single individual and required the gathering of significant resources if someone wanted to change. Thus, these outsider groups chose to unite and rely on collective strength instead of promoting personal goals.

Miners and foreign workers had to contend with the emergence of corporations that controlled most aspects of their work and were usually free to set harsh working conditions. Individual protests would only lead to the individual being fired and becoming unable to find another job, and so any opposition to the situation had to be massed and organized. Accordingly, miners began to form unions, initially expanding into the international society, but later leaving it due to tactics disagreements. As shown by Chang, the trend held true for labor in general, and workers around the world began uniting. The approach was not perfect, but the workers did not have much choice in the matter.

Women of Mexican and other minority ethnicities were forced to abandon individualism for a different reason. According to Escobedo, American society promoted an “us against them” mentality with regards to Hispanic immigrants, forcing them to conform to the idea. Thus, Mexican women presented a united front and refused to submit to American stereotypes, though they did not do so in an organized fashion. This trend became known as the pachuco subculture, named after a label that implied gang allegiance and played an essential role in the vilification of Hispanics at the time. The movement was vital to the change of the Mexican American identity, particularly that of the group’s women.

As American society settled down and urbanized, many of Turner’s ideas about the power of the frontier became less relevant. The change can be seen in the behaviors of laborers, both native and foreign, and that of Mexican American women, all of whom chose to abandon individualism to benefit from the power of the collective. The laborers decided to form unions with international reach to oppose the growing influence of corporations, which had taken over some production sectors and were free to set unreasonable rules. The women chose to answer the “us against them” mentality that attacked them for not conforming by creating a subculture of aggressively challenging the norms and establishing a new identity.

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Academic.Tips. 2021. "How do radical miners, foreign-born laborers and “outside” female “others” fit in with Turner’s thesis of the American frontier transforming its residents into a new kind of individualistic American?" September 14, 2021. https://academic.tips/question/how-do-radical-miners-foreign-born-laborers-and-outside-female-others-fit-in-with-turners-thesis-of-the-american-frontier-transforming-its-residents-into/.

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Academic.Tips. "How do radical miners, foreign-born laborers and “outside” female “others” fit in with Turner’s thesis of the American frontier transforming its residents into a new kind of individualistic American?" September 14, 2021. https://academic.tips/question/how-do-radical-miners-foreign-born-laborers-and-outside-female-others-fit-in-with-turners-thesis-of-the-american-frontier-transforming-its-residents-into/.

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"How do radical miners, foreign-born laborers and “outside” female “others” fit in with Turner’s thesis of the American frontier transforming its residents into a new kind of individualistic American?" Academic.Tips, 14 Sept. 2021, academic.tips/question/how-do-radical-miners-foreign-born-laborers-and-outside-female-others-fit-in-with-turners-thesis-of-the-american-frontier-transforming-its-residents-into/.

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