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Smailholm Tower is one of many surviving peel towers.

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Like bastle houses, they were very strongly constructed for defence. If necessary, they could be temporarily abandoned and stuffed full of smouldering turf to prevent an enemy such as a government army destroying them with gunpowder.

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Peel towers and bastle houses were often surrounded by a stone wall known as a barmkin, inside which cattle and other livestock were kept overnight. During periods of nominal peace, a special body of customary law , known as March law or Border law, grew up to deal with the situation. Under border law, a person who had been raided had the right to mount a counter-raid within six days, even across the border, to recover his goods.

This "hot trod" had to proceed with "hound and horne, hew and cry", [7] making a racket and carrying a piece of burning turf on a spear point to openly announce their purpose, to distinguish themselves from unlawful raiders proceeding covertly. They might use a sleuth hound also known as a "slew dogge" to follow raiders' tracks. These dogs were valuable, and part of the established forces on the English side of the border, at least. The "cold trod" mounted after six days required official sanction.

Officers such as the Deputy Warden of the English West March had the specific duty of "following the trod". Both sides of the border were divided into Marches , each under a march warden. The march wardens' various duties included the maintenance of patrols, watches and garrisons to deter raiding from the other kingdom. On occasion, march wardens could make warden roades to recover loot, and to make a point to raiders and officials. The march wardens also had the duty of maintaining such justice and equity as was possible. The respective kingdoms' march wardens would meet at appointed times along the border itself to settle claims against people on their side of the border by people from the other kingdom.

These occasions, known as "Days of Truce", were much like fairs, with entertainment and much socialising. For reivers it was an opportunity to meet lawfully with relatives or friends normally separated by the border. It was not unknown for violence to break out even at such truce days. March wardens and the lesser officers such as keepers of fortified places were rarely effective at maintaining the law. The Scottish wardens were usually borderers themselves, and were complicit in raiding.

They almost invariably showed favour to their own kindred, which caused jealousy and even hatred among other Scottish border families. Many English officers were from southern counties in England and often could not command the loyalty or respect of their locally recruited subordinates or the local population. Local officers such as Sir John Forster , who was Warden of the Middle March for almost 35 years, became quite as well known for venality as his most notorious Scottish counterparts. By the death of Elizabeth I of England , things had come to such a pitch along the border that the English government considered re-fortifying and rebuilding Hadrian's Wall.

In an act 4 Jas.

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The act repealed nine English laws enacted over the previous centuries and considered hostile to Scotland; the repeal became effective when 13 Scottish laws considered hostile to England had been repealed. To deal with cross-border flight, the act allowed the trial of an Englishman in Scotland if the felony was committed there, and he was later arrested in England; it became effective after a similar act had been passed in Scotland.

Section seven of the act revives both previous acts passed under James I. Under section two of the act, the benefit of clergy was taken away from those convicted generally meaning a death sentence , or otherwise, the notorious thieves and spoil-takers in Northumberland or Cumberland were to be transported to America, "there to remaine and not to returne". Generally associated with several historic events of the period, as well as continuing lawlessness, or the consideration of insufficient government control to prevent "theft and rapine upon the northern borders of England", these acts were repeatedly continued over the next 80 years.

The Border families can be referred to as clans, as the Scots themselves appear to have used both terms interchangeably until the 19th century. In an Act of the Scottish Parliament of there is the description of the "Chiftanis and chieffis of all clannis The act goes on to list the various Border clans. Later, Sir George MacKenzie of Rosehaugh, the Lord Advocate Attorney General writing in said "By the term 'chief' we call the representative of the family from the word chef or head and in the Irish Gaelic with us the chief of the family is called the head of the clan".

Thus, the words chief or head, and clan or family, are interchangeable. It is therefore possible to talk of the MacDonald family or the Maxwell clan.

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The idea that Highlanders should be listed as clans while the Lowlanders are listed as families originated as a 19th-century convention. Other terms were also used to describe the Border families, such as the "Riding Surnames" and the "Graynes" thereof.


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This can be equated to the system of the Highland Clans and their septs. Both Border Graynes and Highland septs however, had the essential feature of patriarchal leadership by the chief of the name, and had territories in which most of their kindred lived. Border families did practice customs similar to those of the Gaels , such as tutorship when an heir who was a minor succeeded to the chiefship, and giving bonds of manrent. Although feudalism existed, loyalty to kin was much more important and this is what distinguished the Borderers from other lowland Scots.

Separately, McAleenan addressed questions about U.

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and dismissive references to the deaths of migrants in U. The existence of that group was reported Monday by ProPublica. Prior to that, few people outside the group had ever heard of it. He said an allegation about such activity was investigated in With Muslim refugees flooding into the European Union from the Middle East, and with terrorism on the rise, a popular revolt is taking shape against the so-called Schengen Area agreements, which give free rights of movement within Europe.

The European masses are not racists, but they now apparently wish to accept Middle Eastern immigrants only to the degree that these newcomers arrive legally and promise to become European in values and outlook—protocols that the EU essentially discarded decades ago as intolerant. Europeans are relearning that the continent's external borders mark off very different approaches to culture and society from what prevails in North Africa or the Middle East.

A similar crisis plays out in the United States, where President Obama has renounced his former opposition to amnesty by executive order. The populist pushback against unchecked immigration from Mexico, Central and South America gave rise to the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump—predicated on the candidate's promise to build an impenetrable border wall—much as the cascade of asylum-seekers into Germany has fueled opposition to Chancellor Angela Merkel. The truth is that formal borders do not create difference — they reflect it. Driving the growing outrage in Europe and North America is the ongoing elite push for a borderless world.

Among elites, borderlessness has taken its place among the politically correct positions of our age — and, as with other such ideas, it has shaped the language we use. The descriptive term "illegal alien" gave way to the nebulous "unlawful immigrant," then "undocumented immigrant," "immigrant," or the entirely neutral "migrant" — a noun that obscures whether the individual in question is entering or leaving. Today's open-borders agenda has its roots not only in economic and political factors — the need for low-wage workers who will do the work that native-born Americans or Europeans supposedly will not, and the desire to flee failed states — but also in several decades of intellectual ferment, in which Western academics have created a trendy field of "borders discourse.


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This view assumes that where borders are not drawn, power is not exercised — as if the Middle Eastern immigrants pouring into Germany do not wield considerable power by their sheer numbers and adroit manipulation of Western grievance politics. Dreams of a borderless world are not new, however. Plutarch claimed in his essay "On Exile" that Socrates considered himself not just an Athenian but instead "a citizen of the cosmos.

Wars broke out, in this thinking, only because of needless quarreling over obsolete state boundaries. The solution to endless war, some argued, was to eliminate borders in favor of transnational governance. Wells' prewar science-fiction novel "The Shape of Things to Come" envisioned borders eventually disappearing as transnational polymaths enforced enlightened world governance.

Such fictions prompt fads in the real world, though attempts to render borders unimportant — as, in Wells' time, the League of Nations sought to do — have always failed. Undaunted, the Left continues to cherish the vision of a borderless world as morally superior, a triumph over artificially imposed difference.

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Yet the truth is that formal borders do not create difference — they reflect it. Elites' continued attempts to erase borders are both futile and destructive.