This improvement was projected to include the damming of the Charles river, and the creation of a great freshwater basin, with drive-ways of reclaimed land along the shores, and other adornments, somewhat after the model of the Alster basins at Hamburg.
Glacial action determined the direction and character of the rivers, made numerous swamps, and, by scouring out rock basins, damming rivers and leaving morainal hollows, determined the character and formation of the lakes, of which Minnesota has upwards of io,000, a number probably exceeding that of any other state in the Union.
The islands of Schouwen and Duiveland are united owing to the damming of the Dykwater; St Filipsland, or Philipsland, and South Beveland are connected with the mainland of North Brabant by naturally formed mud banks.
Some are contained in alluvial depressions in the river valleys; others have been formed by volcanic eruptions, the ejecta damming the rivers until exits were found over cliffs or through gorges.
The idea was even mooted of damming up the river near Hauconcourt, and thus, flooding out the whole of the civil population of Metz; but expert civil engineers, who were sent for from Germany, reported against the proposal.