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Legal History

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

2020

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Conquest And Slavery In The Property Law Course: Notes For Teachers, K-Sue Park Jan 2020

Conquest And Slavery In The Property Law Course: Notes For Teachers, K-Sue Park

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This piece contains ideas for teaching about the foundational place of the histories of conquest and slavery to American property law and the property law course. I begin by briefly reviewing how these topics have been erased and marginalized from the study of American property law, as mentioned by casebooks in the field published from the late nineteenth century to the present. I then show how the history of conquest constituted the context in which the singular American land system and traditional theories of acquisition developed, before turning to the history of the American slave trade and the long history …