K-Sue Park, ‘Conquest and Slavery as Foundational to Property Law’

This article demonstrates that the histories of conquest and slavement are foundational to US property law. Over centuries, laws and legal institutions facilitated the production of the two commodities, or forms of property, upon which the colonial economy and the United States came to depend above all others: enclosures of Native nations’ land and enslaved people. By describing the role of property law in creating markets for lands and people, this article addresses the gap between the marginal place of these histories in the contemporary property law canon and the growing scholarly and popular recognition that conquest and enslavement were primary modes of property formation in American history. First, this article describes how the field of property law has come to omit these histories from its common understanding of what is basic to its subject by examining property law casebooks published over 130 years …

Park, K-Sue, Conquest and Slavery as Foundational to Property Law (February 22, 2021). 2021. Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works, 2361.

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