Property Essay

According to David Hume, the primary purpose of real property law is to create a stable social order that minimizes conflict over land. However, laws limiting the use or ownership of real property often impose second class status on some groups. Property rules limited the life choices of white women in early 19th century England and America as illustrated by the fictional works of Jane Austen and Valerie Martin. American law converted white squatters’ possession into ownership and excluded Native Americans from the lands they had possessed.  Property law also allowed racially restrictive covenants that determined where African Americans could live in the early 20th century and allowed private discrimination in the market. These property laws that limited the liberty of these groups were justified because they created a stable social order.

Analyze this statement. Discuss whether the infringements on liberty in ALL THREE of these historical examples is justified by the need for a stable social order. Your analysis must include a discussion of AT LEAST TWO property theorists whom we have studied.


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