Property and Dispossession is an ambitious volume that examines interactions between land, property, empire, and European colonization across North America during the postcontact era's first three centuries. In particular, Allan Greer investigates the dynamics of what he calls the “empire effect” and “property formation” (pp. 8, 19). The former refers to how European imperialism's effects “ran far beyond the zones of conquest and settlement,” citing the rapid spread of European diseases, livestock, and trade goods as examples (p. 8). He holds that property, like empire, was contingent and constantly “in movement and flux,” “relational,” and subject to continual negotiation (p. 19). Greer debunks whatever notions remain of a stark divide between European private property and Amerindian communal property in the early modern era, arguing that a wide range of property-holding customs coexisted and overlapped among both Europeans and Amerindians throughout this period....
Book Review|May 01 2019
Property and Dispossession: Natives, Empires, and Land in Early Modern North America
Hispanic American Historical Review (2019) 99 (2): 351-352.
James L. Hill; Property and Dispossession: Natives, Empires, and Land in Early Modern North America. Hispanic American Historical Review 1 May 2019; 99 (2): 351–352. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00182168-7370335
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