Friday, August 15, 2014

Opening paragraphs..............................

It had been a "complete revolution," one lawyer recalled in 1829, a transformation producing "a substantial improvement" in the lives of Americans.  "What abundant reason have we to be satisfied with our condition," another exclaimed the following year, now that Americans had been "disencumbered from most of the burthensome and intricate legal regulations" that had fettered them in the past.  This was the language of July 4 speeches in the early republic, but these lawyers were not celebrating the Declaration of Independence or the successful outcome of the war.  They were talking about the law of property.
-Stuart Banner,  American Property:  A History of How, Why and What We Own

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