This work describes the appropriation and distribution of land by Europeans in the new world. By integrating the often violent history of colonization of this period and the ensuing emergence of property rights with an examination of the decline of an aristocratic ruling class and the growth of democracy and the market economy, John Weaver describes how the landscapes of North America, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa were transformed by the pursuit of resources. He also underscores the tragic history of the indigenous peoples of these regions and shows how they came to lose possession of their land to newly formed governments made up of Europeans with European interests at heart. Weaver shows that the enormous efforts involved in defining and registering large numbers of newly carved-out parcels of property for reallocation during the Great Land Rush were instrumental in the emergence of much stronger concepts of property rights and argues that this period was marked by a complete disregard for previous notions of restraint on dreams of unlimited material possibility.
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