mR > bOLOS & mICAH tHE silc (pERIODS 5 & 6)

American Visions: the Wilderness and the West

How do historical and artistic depictions of the American landscape connect to the idea of an American empire? Pay special attention to "manifest destiny" and the Turner Thesis.

Miss the video? See it HERE.

To help you better understand what the Turner Thesis is, the video below provides a novel approach at explanation:

An Introduction to Frederick Jackson Turner's The Significance Of The Frontier In American History from Macat on Vimeo.

And a more critical interpretation provided below from Prof. Naoko Shibusawa of Brown University:


The Beginning of the End


Here is a link to a journalistic example (using a very similar method).

RECENT CONTEMPORARY ISSUE: In his State of the Union address...President Obama celebrated the fact 'that for the first time in 40 years, the crime rate and the incarceration rate have come down together.'"

WHY QUESTION: Why does the USA incarcerate such a high percentage of its population, despite falling crime rates?


  1. Crime surged during an era of social upheaval (historical look-back)
  2. The federal government got more involved in local law enforcement.
  3. A War on Drugs was launched.
  4. Politicians changed sentencing laws.
  5. More?? Others? Consider the role of race.

Need more help understanding proximate versus ultimate factors (causes)? Perhaps this will trigger your memory: