Who owns America?: social conflict over property rights

Front Cover
Harvey Martin Jacobs
University of Wisconsin Press, Nov 13, 1998 - Business & Economics - 268 pages
Land ownership by individual citizens is a cornerstone of American heritage and a centerpiece of the American dream. Thomas Jefferson called it the key to our success as a democracy. Yet the question of who owns America not only remains unanswered but is central to a fundamental conflict that can pit private property rights advocates against government policymakers and environmentalists. Land use authority Harvey M. Jacobs has gathered a provocative collection of perspectives from eighteen contributors in the fields of law, history, anthropology, economics, sociology, forestry, and environmental studies. Who Owns America?begins with the popular view of land ownership as seen though the television show Bonanza!It examines public regulation of private land; public land management; the roles culture and ethnic values play in land use; and concludes with Jacobs' title essay. Who Owns America?is a powerful and illuminating exploration of the very terrain that makes us Americans. Its broad set of theoretical and historical perspectives will fascinate historians, environmental activists, policy makers, and all who care deeply about the land we share.

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Contents

The Demise of the Freehold Estate
19
The Wisdom but Uncertain Future of the Wise
29
What Would
45
Assessments That Advance
54
Land Tenure Land Policy and the Property Rights Debate
79
Markets and Ethics in U S Property Law
94
Struggles for Land Reform
114
Cultural Dimensions of Land Tenure in the United States
159
Environmental
182
Land Tenure and Ecosystem Management in Indian Country
208
Appalachia
227
Who Owns America?
245
Contributors
253
Copyright

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About the author (1998)

Harvey M. Jacobs is professor and chair in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning and professor in the Institute of Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He is widely published in scholarly and popular journals in the United States and Europe.

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