Oregon’s Three Usual Stages of Frontier Development


The American settlement of Oregon is a perfect example that shows the stages of frontier development. The three stages of frontier development are namely trade, settlement and statehood.


The first contacts between the native Indians and the Europeans were commercial. This type of contact and the other initial contacts were seen as the “frontier inclusion.” This Oregon experience took place during the 1824 consolidation of the British fur trade at Vancouver. The effect of this fur trade on the native people was disastrous, as they were decimated by diseases brought about by the Europeans.

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This was the second stage of development otherwise known as the “frontier inclusion.” This occurred during the settlement of Oregon as white settlers continued to grow, and thus outnumbering the natives. This occurrence signaled the start of the frontier exclusion. The British and the Americans continued to occupy Oregon till 1846. In June 1846, America and Canada signed a treaty that placed the border of the two countries at the 49th parallel, and thus white settlement of the area persisted unimpeded.


A territorial status came in 1848 and was mainly delayed because the US was involved in the Mexican War. Oregon itself was ambiguous about statehood and although the territorial government gave Oregon a measure of local control, it was without any responsibilities. It was assumed that creating an Oregon territory would make it a non-slave state according to the Missouri Compromise. Thus it meant that about three-quarters of the statehood was up for grabs and many white Oregonians wanted to approve the Dred Scott since the goal was to create a white only society. But in the 1850s, Oregonians defeated proposals for statehood conventions. But later in 1857, they called a constitutional convention and met in Salem in September 1857 to write a constitution that contained approval for a statehood status (From the Oregon Country to the State of Oregon, n.d.).

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