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Sketches for a Hamiltonian Vernacular as a Social Function of Property

19 Pages Posted: 17 Dec 2011  

Nestor M. Davidson

Fordham University School of Law

Date Written: December 16, 2011


'This symposium article examines the intersection between Léon Duguit’s concept of the social function of property, predicated on an affirmative duty on owners to put their property to productive use for the sake of social solidarity, and a tradition in the property law of the United States that similarly reflected this kind of pro-development norm. The article associates the impulse to associate ownership with a productivity oriented social function with certain Hamiltonian themes at the founding and in the early nineteenth-century salus populi tradition, and argues that the imperative remains a background norm in the United States that contrasts with classical liberal absolutism and certain strains of civic republican property norms.'

Keywords: property, social function

Suggested Citation

Davidson, Nestor M., Sketches for a Hamiltonian Vernacular as a Social Function of Property (December 16, 2011). Fordham Law Review, Vol. 80, No. 101, 2011; Fordham Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1973667. Available at SSRN:

Nestor M. Davidson (Contact Author)

Fordham University School of Law ( email )

140 West 62nd Street
New York, NY 10023
United States

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