In 1812, a very young United States of America had its sights set on expansion to the north and the west. But the British wanted to keep its former colony tightly contained. In the balance were the lands of the Northwestern Frontier. England's Canadian provinces wanted a buffer zone between their lands and what they perceived as a hostile United States. The native peoples who called this land their home, wanted it declared a self-governing Indian territory; an independent nation. The United States wanted to settle the frontier, as they felt they had been promised at the end of the Revolutionary War. The frontier was a gateway to further western expansion; a Great Lakes highway to natural resources; and a military challenge to the combatants. The War of 1812 would decide who controlled the lands of the Northwestern Frontier, and the future of a continent.