Finding Possession: Labor, Waste, and the Evolution of Property

35 Pages Posted: 26 Feb 2014  

Jill Fraley

Washington and Lee University - School of Law

Date Written: February 19, 2014

Abstract

Although possession has long been intimately linked to labor, recent historical work on land claims during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries suggests that the clash of divergent legal cultures of possession drove the two apart. This clash yielded an American concept of possession much more deeply connected to industrialization than the traditional understanding of labor. By providing evidence of how our concept of labor was industrialized, this article questions the outcomes in modem possession cases, particularly as they impact development and environmental preservation in rural areas.

Keywords: Property, “Legal History,” Possession, Waste, Locke, “Theories of Property,” “Environmental Law”

JEL Classification: K10, K11, K32

Suggested Citation

Fraley, Jill, Finding Possession: Labor, Waste, and the Evolution of Property (February 19, 2014). 39 Cap.U.L.Rev. 51 2011 ; Washington & Lee Legal Studies Paper No. 2014-3. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2398509

Jill Fraley (Contact Author)

Washington and Lee University - School of Law ( email )

Lexington, VA 24450
United States

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