The and the World Wide Web are often seen as part of a new "electronic frontier," with profound implications for the future of communications, the society and the economy. The slogan "the Internet is free" echoes the "free land" mantra of the Turner thesis. Indeed, opposition to pay walls and subscription services resembles the pioneer quest for free land unencumbered by ownership claims. Scholars analyzing the Internet have often cited Frederick Jackson Turner's frontier model. Of special concern is the question whether the electronic frontier will replicate the stages of development of the American land frontier. is a major presence on the electronic frontier, and the Wikipedia editors have been explicitly compared to the pioneers of Turner's American frontier in terms of their youth, aggressiveness, boldness, equalitarianism and rejection of limitations.
Railway agent turned restauranteur Frederick Henry Harvey convinced Santa Fe Railway officials that there was money to be made in providing good restaurants and comfortable hotels to travelers. By the turn of the century, his enterprise had grown to include the luxurious "Harvey Houses," a chain of hotels that would shape the southwestern experience for thousands of visitors. The Harvey House at the Grand Canyon included the Hopi Room, an exhibition and sales venue for Native American crafts such as blankets and pottery. Decorated in southwestern or Mission styles, the Harvey House resorts became destinations in their own right, selling the experience and the products of the Southwest. The Santa Fe Railway and the Harvey Company actively recruited artists to promote southwestern tourism. In 1892, the railway invited painter to depict the Grand Canyon. In exchange for his travel expenses, they received the right to reproduce Morans canvas in advertisements. The success of this publicity campaign led to its expansion. Numerous artists made three-to-four-week excursions with the resulting paintings, drawings, and prints used on promotional literature, dining-car menus, and calendars.
The Turner Thesis: A Problem in Historiography
The Turner thesis was not original, but a recitation of poetry and politics over the course of three centuries of European wandering in the New World. We see these recitations in the works such as that of Crevoceur, who in the late eighteenth century expressed that Americans were those who felt the pull of a vacant continent. To Smith Turner straddled the fault between myth and fact, sometimes to be read as an historian and sometimes to be read as a poet. Turner could not have expressed his thesis if the myth was not already pervasive; thus, Turner was a creature of his time.