Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name




Degree Program

History, MA


Kentucky--History--To 1792; Southwest, Old--History; Mississippi River Valley--History--To 1803


The history of new state movements in America is always an absorbing study; the character of the settlers and the compelling factors that motivate them are revealed with startling clarity as the reader turns the pages back into the annals of the period. The history of America has been, in a large degree, says Frederick J. Turner, "the history of the colonization of the Great West. The existence of an area of free land, its continuous recession, and the advance of American settlement westward, explain American development." In no state was the influence of the frontier advance upon political development shown more clearly than in Kentucky, the first settlement on the "western waters." It is a significant feature of this statehood struggle that it did not concern itself with purely local considerations but found its greatest impetus in a problem of national importance, the free navigation of the Mississippi. It is the purpose here to consider the interrelation of these two questions and Kentucky's role in their solution.