Abstract: The presence of a westward-moving frontier of settlement shaped early U.S. history. In 1893, the his- torian Frederick Jackson Turner famously argued that the American frontier fostered individualism. We investigate the Frontier Thesis and identify its long-run implications for culture and politics. We track the frontier throughout the 1790-1890 period and construct a novel, county-level measure of to- tal frontier experience (TFE). Historically, frontier locations had distinctive demographics and greater individualism. Long after the closing of the frontier, counties with greater TFE exhibit more perva- sive individualism and opposition to redistribution. This pattern cuts across known divides in the U.S., including urban{\^a}€rural and north{\^a}€south. We provide suggestive evidence on the roots of fron- tier culture: selective migration, an adaptive advantage of self-reliance, and perceived opportunities for upward mobility through effort. Overall, our findings shed new light on the frontier{\^a}€{\texttrademark}s persistent legacy of rugged individualism.