• David Ress


The rights any person has to occupy and use land are fundamental to securing a place to live and work—a physical, concrete fact—as well as more intangible status of a place in a community’s political, economic and social life. The history of the Half Breed Tracts shows that the people of the American frontier, the politicians who represented them and the political economists who aimed to explain the production and distribution of goods in a society initially had no simple, single answer to the land question. The consensus that seemed to emerge, that individual ownership with an absolute right to deny access to others and to use however the owner wished would remain an uncomfortable one for those Americans who felt an emotional connection to the places where they lived.


Severalty Commons Fee simple Land tenure Landowning 


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Ress
    • 1
  1. 1.Newport NewsUSA

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