Page:Frontiers.djvu/32

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30
Frontiers

Alleghanies for the Indians, and forbidding settlers to enter them. At the same time an effort was made to construct a buffer along the Indian border by the purchase of Indian lands and the settlement of European colonists upon them. But the Alleghanies were crossed almost before the ink on the Proclamation was dry; and, these once passed, no other physical barrier intervened until the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains, which retarded, but did not finally impede, the American advance to the Pacific.[1] The Americans inherited the British policy, and as they pushed forward kept steadily thrusting the Indian Frontier backwards by a series of removals or deportations, the object being in each case to separate them from contact with the white man. But the progress of the latter was so rapid that these artificial Frontiers were continually being caught up and overlapped, the Indian territories finding themselves enveloped in the advancing tide. This led to the 'reservation' system, which continues to this day, and under which the national existence of the Indians is only, and that with difficulty, preserved by the creation of 'enclaves' with arbitrary Frontiers.

Much more is to be said for the buffer State as commonly understood, i.e. the country possessing a

  1. A curious analogy to the experience of Great Britain in the East Indies may be observed in the nomenclature of the Frontier. The old American North West or Frontier of a century ago (Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin) is now the middle region and heart of the United States. Just so in British India, what were the North-West Provinces seventy years ago have been swallowed up in the interior, and the title has passed, with the geographical fact which it represents, to the new North-West Frontier Province, beyond the Indus, which I was responsible for creating in 1901.