Great Land Rush and the Making of the Modern World, 1650-1900

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McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP, 2003 - History - 497 pages
The Great Land Rush and the Making of the Modern World, 1650-1900 describes European appropriation and distribution of land in the new world. 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 underscores the tragic history of the indigenous peoples of these regions and shows how they lost "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 the period was marked by a complete disregard for previous notions of restraint on dreams of unlimited material prosperity.
 

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Contents

Arranging New Worlds
3
Empires and Perspectives on Land II
11
Origins Organization and Rationales
46
Places Shapes Scale and Velocity
88
Uprooting Native Title
133
Landed Estates and Citizen Speculators
178
The Geometry and Ledgers of Assurance
216
Landhunters Squatters Grazers
264
Breaking Up Big Estates and Squeezing Margins
311
The Modern World Surveyed
348
Notes
361
Index
469
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About the author (2003)

John C. Weaver is professor of history, McMaster University.

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