The United States came into being through mass movements of populations. The movements came in waves from all over the world and, depending upon the historical moment, they served differing purposes, but there were two constants. First, each wave served an indispensable economic, political, military or social function. The United States -- as a nation and regime -- would not have evolved as it did without them. Second, each wave of immigrants was viewed ambiguously by those who were already in-country. Depending upon the time or place, some saw the new immigrants as an indispensable boon; others saw them as a...
I remember reading an article that describe borders, especially borders along rivers, as going through an almost expected transformation. The Rhine River was originally a border between the Romans and the Germanic tribes. Eventually the Rhine River became a highway central to the German culture and industry of modern times. If the Rio Grande was once a highway, it is now a river where a Tex-Mex culture is growing, where on the differing sides of the border people speak both languages and given time may find themselves having more in common with one another than either D.C. or Mexico City. Rivers may begin as boundaries but always become cultural highways.
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