The American Frontier

The West lives on in American imagination as a place where rugged individuals triumphed over adversity to conquer an inhospitable land. However, historians often disagree with that view. In this assignment, you will be looking at the common myths about the American Frontier and the historical realities.

Write a paper that contrasts the common myths of the American Frontier from the historical realities. Choose one group who had a significant presence in the West (e.g., Native Americans, White settlers, Black Americans, women, etc.), and maintain focus on your chosen group throughout the paper. In addition, explain all of the following points:

Explain what two opportunities and/or challenges this group faced during the last half of the 1800s. You can choose two opportunities, two challenges, or one opportunity and one challenge.

Explain the impact of the “closing of the frontier” during the last half of the 1800s on this group.

Explain how the myths relevant to this group contrasted with reality.

In order to gain a better understanding of the Closing of the Frontier, watch the following film:

Ghost dance: The West, a Film by Stephen Ives from the Films on Demand database in the Ashford University Library.

To further research this assignment, review the following online exhibition, and read the following scholarly source:

Keeping History: Plains Indian Ledger Drawings

Making and Unmaking Myths of the American Frontier

Be two to three pages in length, not including title and references pages.

Be formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.

Contain at least one quote from the article “Making and Unmaking Myths of the American Frontier.” For information on how to do this, visit the Ashford Writing Center.

Discuss at least one of the images from the online exhibition on Indian Ledger Drawings.

Cite sources in text and on the reference page.

Movie link:

Keeping History Article: