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2022

Race

Property Law and Real Estate

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

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The History Wars And Property Law: Conquest And Slavery As Foundational To The Field, K-Sue Park Feb 2022

The History Wars And Property Law: Conquest And Slavery As Foundational To The Field, K-Sue Park

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This Article addresses the stakes of the ongoing fight over competing versions of U.S. history for our understanding of law, with a special focus on property law. Insofar as legal scholarship has examined U.S. law within the historical context in which it arose, it has largely overlooked the role that laws and legal institutions played in facilitating the production of the two preeminent market commodities in the colonial and early Republic periods: expropriated lands and enslaved people. Though conquest and enslavement were key to producing property for centuries, property-law scholars have constructed the field of property law to be largely …