The due west movement has been accompa nied thus far by a very slight return movement, except beyond the Rocky Mountains, where the entire migration is the reverse of that to the east of the continental divide. Thus Virginia has given to Missouri 35 citizens for one re ceived in return. But with the exhaustion of the western public lands the growth of cities and increased means of communication, the westward movement will gradually wane. As evidence of this, it may be noted that in 1880 Illinois had given to Iowa six persons for one received, but in 1900 the ratio had fallen to three to one. During the same period, the ratio of exchange between New York and Colo rado had fallen from 75 to 1 to 22 to 1.
This return movement will be increased by the improved methods of applying steam and electricity to means of transportation. Mention has been made of the increased rate of motion owing to these and similar improvements. The waterways were the ready-made highways for the pioneers. Supplemented by carrying or portage paths from stream to stream or across watersheds, they formed a network of routes of travel, not only in a drainage basin but from basin to basin. No small amount of the pro verbial American °initiative," the capacity for doing things, must be attributed to the manner in which obstacles were overcome in this prim itive travel and transportation.
The American frontier has passed forever. Fully equipped civilization stands at the edge of the arid region. It is met in the mining cities of the Rockies. The American pioneer lives only in the gratitude of the people. The influence which the frontier and frontiersman have wrought on American life have been sug gested frequently in preceding pages of this article. A supplemental summary finds that the frontier has produced (1) a constant re naissance of the principles of free government upon which the republic was founded. Western State constitutions have been notedly more li beral than those of the Eastern States. Eastern statesman have been rejuvenated by contact with the crude sons of the West. A jealousy of their republican institutions, amounting al most to a madness, permeates the Western peo ple, sometimes making them liable to harbor political and economic vagaries. (2) The fron tier has helped keep alive the principles of democracy in America, notwithstanding the enormous accumulations of riches which tend naturally toward begetting social distinctions. Among the frontiersmen personal strength and personal merit outweigh descent and social rank, (3) The needs of the people in the remote re gions, met by Congress unr the general name of "public have tended con stantly to widen the scope of the national gov ernment. The scruples of "strict construction" must give way before the clamor of the people, as Clay easily demonstrated. (4) The public
domain, by the easy arrangement of purchase, has furnished farms and homes for millions of immigrants, who would otherwise have crowded into the cities to become consumers of food, but who, as agriculturalists, have become pro ducers of food. (5) The missionary spirit has been kept alive by the needs of both savage and civilized man along the border. Frequently colonies were transplanted to the wilds, carry ing churches, schools and even colleges with them. Galesburg, Ill., and Granville, Ohio, are examples. (6) The vacant land in the West has offered an asylum for theorists and philan thropists. The Mormons, the Icarians, the Har monists and the community at Greeley, Colo, are instances of this kind. (7) Guarding the frontier has furnished a raison d'ętre for main taining a small force of national troops until such time as the growth of cities furnishes a new task. The deeds of daring performed by both rangers and regulars along the border will be handed down among American traditions. (8) Free education has been fostered through the provision for granting a certain portion of the public lands for public schools and for col leges. (9) The tillable land of the West has made us independent of other nations and has largely turned their dependence for food supply on America. In a similar manner, the western mountains have furnished a mineral supply for the manufacturing demands of the older por tion. Cities and villages have cut down mate rially the food-producing area in the older States, but, the West is still unhampered. Ex cluding Alaska and the other outlying posses sions, the centre of area of the United States is in northern Kansas, but the centre of popu lation is in central Indiana, more than 700 miles behind.
°The West" has always been a purely rel ative term and so remains. To the New Eng lander, it means New York or Ohio. To the people of those States it means the trans-Mis sissippi region. In Utah, it means California. In 1832 Chicago was in the Far West. About that date, a man conceived the idea of killing hogs, packing them in barrels with salt, and shipping the pork by lake to Detroit and Buf falo, instead of driving the animals on foot or shipping them by boat, as was the practice. By the end of the century, Chicago was "packing" 2,000,000 cattle annually and 7,000,000 hogs, sending the meat in refrigerator cars to supply the hungry Eastern States and Europe. As early as 1830 a long, thin projection of people ran up the Missouri River to the mouth of the Kansas, following the route of Lewis and Clark a few years before. It was prophetic of the future collecting and distributing point of Kan sas City, 1.500 miles from the starting points along the Atlantic.