A Squatter's Republic: The Opposition to Land Monopoly in California and the Nation, 1850-1900
Written by: Tamara Venit Shelton
Category: Western History
Format: cloth, 240 pages, 6 x 9 inches, 12 b/w illustrations
Release Date: 2013-12-01
About this Book
Who should have the right to own land, and how much of it? A Squatter’s Republic follows the rise and fall of the land question in the Gilded Age—and the rise and fall of a particularly nineteenth-century vision of landed independence. More specifically, the author considers the land question through the anti-monopolist reform movements it inspired in late nineteenth-century California. The Golden State was a squatter’s republic—a society of white men who claimed no more land than they could use, and who promised to uphold agrarian republican ideals and resist monopoly, the nemesis of democracy. Their opposition to land monopoly became entwined with public discourse on Mexican land rights, industrial labor relations, immigration from China, and the rise of railroad and other corporate monopolies.
About the Author
Tamara Venit Shelton is an assistant professor of history at Claremont McKenna College. She is a fourth-generation Californian, born and raised in Pasadena. She holds an M.A. and Ph.D. from Stanford University, where she studied the history of the American West with Richard White. Her research has been supported by grants from the Mellon Foundation, the Huntington Library, Stanford University, Amherst College, and Reed College. She currently teaches courses on the nineteenth-century United States, the American West, and the environment.