The Indian barrier state or buffer state was a British proposal to establish a Native American state in the portion of the Great Lakes region of North America west of the Appalachian Mountains, and bounded by the Ohio and Mississippi rivers and the Great Lakes. The concept of establishing such a state was first conceived in the late 1750s as part of a long-term plan to reconcile the Indian tribes to British rule and diminish hostilities between the tribes and the British Army. After the region was assigned to the United States in the 1783 treaty ending the American Revolutionary War, British officials pursued efforts to organize the various tribes within it into a sort of Confederation that would form the basis of an Indian state, independent of the United States and under their tutelage, as a way to protect their fur trade ventures in the region and to block anticipated American attacks upon their remaining north American possessions.
The idea of establishing an Indian barrier state in the Great Lakes region was conceived and developed solely by British officials; Indian tribal leaders had no role in it. Among the plan's most ardent proponents was John Graves Simcoe, Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada (now Ontario) from 1791 until 1796. In 1814 the British government abandoned efforts to bring such a state into being.
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