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A History of American Law$
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Lawrence M. Friedman

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190070885

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190070885.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 25 October 2021

An American Law of Property

An American Law of Property

Chapter:
(p.213) 5 An American Law of Property
Source:
A History of American Law
Author(s):

Lawrence M. Friedman

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190070885.003.0006

This chapter discusses the history of American property law, covering the law of private land, the law of mortgages, succession, and intellectual property. In America, land was at first the basic form of wealth, in the colonies and also in the new land west of the coastal strip. After 1787, the vast stock of public land was both a problem and a great opportunity. The states transferred millions and millions of acres to the national government. The Louisiana Purchase brought millions more into national ownership. Much of this land did not clearly belong to the government—there were state claims, claims of native tribes, and early land grants. Untangling this mess was a serious, and long-lasting problem. Nonetheless, the federal domain, even taking all these conflicting claims into account, was vast.

Keywords:   property law, private land, mortgages, succession, intellectual property

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