Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
Many histories have been writen about Illinois, both by early inhabitants and modern scholars. The histories are quite inclusive, yet none specifically address the topic that I am examining. Scarce material exists regarding the Americanism of the early settlers in Illinois. But, in fashioning my argument on the subject, I have taken from a variety of these cources bits and pieces of information about geography, demographics, economics, politics, and social life. My hope is that these facts and arguments will help to substantiate my suggestions regarding the mindsets of territorial Illinoisians. The work coming closest to my focus is an article written by Earl W. Hayter, "Sources of Early Illinois Culture," published in 1936 by th eIllinois State Historical Library in the Transactions of the Illinois State Historical Society. Through examples involving agriculture, economics, politics, and fashion, among other things, Hayter argues against the once dominant Turner thesis that considered the American West isolated and a catalyst for the creation of a new American lifestyle. Hayter contends, instead, that older cultural forms prominent in Europe and America slowly moved westward, and were only slightly modified by the "primitve environment."
Finucane, Daniel Northrup, "American identity in the Illinois Territory, 1809-1818" (2003). Honors Theses. 317.