Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Land Tenure

I've become quite aware of land tenure issues since my cousin got me more interested in Irish history. So while my great grandfather's family were tenants in County Down, with little or no chance to buy land because it was all owned by the large English landowners, once he got to the US and was ready to settle in frontier Illinois, he could assemble 300+ acres, a figure that would have put him in the top 1 percent in Ireland.

There's variations in the U.S.;in the East and South, land was sold often by the warrant system, meaning the survey came after settlement, rather than before, so you don't have the township/range system, the Southwest still bears the marks of Spanish/Mexican land system; the Native American tribes have different land tenures depending on how the Dawes Act affected them. And in the nation of Palau you see the ultimate in land tenure entanglements.

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