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C O U R S E 
A History of the World since 1300
Jeremy Adelman, Princeton University
C O U R S E   L E C T U R E 
18th Century Land Grabbing
Notes taken on February 21, 2015 by Edward Tanguay
in 1767 a man named George Washington wrote a letter to William Crawford
"any person who neglects the present opportunity of hunting out good lands and in some measure marking them for his own, in order to keep others from settling them, will never regain it"
capturing the mood of an era we might call The First Great Land Rush
people from around the world were turning frontiers into assets
could be compared to the spread of the mulberry and rice frontier in China
land which had belonged to Indians was turned into sugar plantations
there were land rushes before, but from the middle of the 18th century, this land rush became global
effect frontier lands all around the world
it's boundaries were unclear as you pushed westward
it is now only about 40% of its original size
Virginia was an incubus for land hunters
this is how George Washington imagined himself
very important for global enterprise
Fairfax Proprietary company
hired George Washington and Daniel Boone (explored Kentucky)
George Washington made his fortune by speculating in frontier lands
a process that would gather in earnest in the 1750s
sparked wars with the Shawnee people's
1748 The Ohio Company
1750 map of America
New France
New Spain
the English colonies
important shift
difference between colonialism and corporations
from empires of trade to empires of settlement
turning lands that belonged to villagers of incumbent populations into land that could be bought and sold
British North America was not the only place this was happening
South Africa
a destination for land hunters
1652 Dutch East Indian Company created its own colonies
first trading with the Southern African native populations, e.g. the Khoikhoi
as Dutch settlers moved into South Africa, they began to press up into the lands of the native peoples
began creating their own armies and defense units
protection units ended up not only protecting settlers but actively created property
not only defended pastoral lands
took the Khoikhoi people and enslaved them
in seizing lands and dispossessing peoples
raids into the hinterlands were called treks
culminating in the creation of an apartheid state after the Second World War
New Zealand
Northern Mexico
now more than the mixing patterns that we saw in early empire endeavors
now we have land-grabbing and
a slow change from negotiating and diplomacy inside to outright seizure and dispossession of incumbent property
treaties and laws began to favor this process of land-grabbing
Europe had turned the wheel from plunder to possession