The frontier myth in presidential rhetoric: Theodore Roosevelt's campaign for conservation Academic Article uri icon


  • The Frontier Myth has been a much used story by rhetorical presidents to inspire audiences and to energize policies. This essay investigates Theodore Roosevelt's use of it. Rather than employ it in a traditional sense to promote a martial or economic policy, he linked it to the notion of conservation. He altered the traditional Myth by recasting its conqueror-hero with a farmer-hero, replacing its unlimited frontier with a finite frontier, and by redefining its key values. As a rhetorical leader Roosevelt took his case to the public and promoted conservation not only as a legislative initiative but also as a moral imperative. © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

author list (cited authors)

  • Dorsey, L. G.

citation count

  • 21

publication date

  • March 1995