Population expansion during the nineteenth century, which was greatly swelled by large numbers of immigrants, helped push permanent settlement father and farther into North America. Following the 1890 census, the U.S. government declared that it could no longer discern a meaningful "frontier," or line of demarcation, between settled areas and unpopulated or indigenous areas. In a process that took roughly three hundred years, people from elsewhere (principally from Europe) had gained control over virtually all of the land claimed by the United States. Permanent settlements, interlinked by roads, canals, railroads, and telegraphs spread from ocean to ocean. Dwindling numbers of Native Americans were located on scattered patches of land reserved for their use, the so-called reservations, or dispersed thinly among the overwhelming numbers of Euro-Americans and smaller numbers of Asian-Americans.

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