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Translating PropertyThe Maxwell Land Grant and the Conflict over Land in the American West, 1840-1900$
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Maria Montoya

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780520227446

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520227446.001.0001

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The Law of the Land

The Law of the Land

U.S. v. Maxwell Land Grant Company

Chapter:
(p.157) 5 The Law of the Land
Source:
Translating Property
Author(s):

MaríA E. Montoya

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520227446.003.0006

This chapter breaks away from the story of the day-to-day strains to control the Maxwell grant and its resources. This narrative shift is necessary in order to understand the legal background against which all of this violence, resistance, and removal took place. The company's agents and resistant settlers would have been locked in a protracted and relatively equal battle without the power and authority of the law. However, the Supreme Court decision gave the company the necessary tools and power finally to oust the settlers. Moreover, it is not sufficient to look at the Maxwell decision as an isolated case as it pertains to advancing the narrative of this story. Instead, this chapter contextualizes the Maxwell decision within American legal history and jurisprudence about property in much the same way that it has attempted to contextualize the colonization and violence of the Maxwell Land Grant within larger historical trends at the end of the nineteenth century.

Keywords:   Maxwell grant, jurisprudence, colonization, Supreme Court, history

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