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Frontier DevelopmentLand, Labour, and Capital on the Wheatlands of Argentina and Canada 1890-1914$
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Jeremy Adelman

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780198204411

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198204411.001.0001

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Land Use and Distribution on the Prairies

Land Use and Distribution on the Prairies

(p.22) 2 Land Use and Distribution on the Prairies
Frontier Development


Oxford University Press

American homestead legislation was embodied in the Dominion Lands Act of 1872, aimed to foster the settlement of the open lands with ‘family farms’. Since landownership was the goal of the settlers, and legislation allocated exclusive private property rights to homesteaders and not to ranchers, the judicial system favoured enclosure of the public domain for use in small-scale arable agriculture. As the amount of free homestead land dwindled, settlers increasingly staked land within territories reserved for grazing. This chapter discusses the political economy of the settlement, the land market and speculation, land distribution, and land use.

Keywords:   land use, land distribution, prairies, land market, speculation, homestead legislation, Dominion Acts Land of 1872, landownership, settlement, family farms

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