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- The man who is possessed of wealth, who lolls on his sofa or rolls in his carriage, cannot judge the wants or feelings of the day-laborer. The government we mean to erect is intended to last for ages. The landed interest, at present, is prevalent; but in process of time, when we approximate to the states and kingdoms of Europe, — when the number of landholders shall be comparatively small, through the various means of trade and manufactures, will not the landed interest be overbalanced in future elections, and unless wisely provided against, what will become of your government? In England, at this day, if elections were open to all classes of people, the property of landed proprietors would be insecure. An agrarian law would soon take place. If these observations be just, our government ought to secure the permanent interests of the country against innovation. Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests, and to balance and check the other. They ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority. The senate, therefore, ought to be this body; and to answer these purposes, they ought to have permanency and stability.
- James Madison, Statement (1787-06-26) as quoted in Notes of the Secret Debates of the Federal Convention of 1787 by Robert Yates.
- Association, applied to land, shares the economic advantage of large-scale landed property, and first brings to realization the original tendency inherent in land-division, namely, equality. In the same way association re-establishes, now on a rational basis, no longer mediated by serfdom, overlordship and the silly mysticism of property [alberne Eigentumsmystik], the intimate ties of man with the earth, for the earth ceases to be an object of huckstering, and through free labor and free enjoyment becomes once more a true personal property of man.
- As for large landed property, its defenders have always sophistically identified the economic advantages offered by large-scale agriculture with large-scale landed property, as if it were not precisely as a result of the abolition of property that this advantage, for one thing, received its greatest possible extension, and, for another, only then would be of social benefit.
- It is the value of the improvements only, and not the earth itself, that is individual property. ... Every proprietor owes to the community a ground rent for the land which he holds.
- Thomas Paine, Agrarian Justice (1795), in Complete Works, vol. 2, p. 403
- Capital can seldom be made productive, without undergoing several changes both of form and of place, the risk of which is always more or less alarming to persons unaccustomed to the operations of industry; whereas, on the contrary, landed property produces without any change of either quality or position.
- Jean-Baptiste Say, A Treatise On Political Economy (Fourth Edition) (1832), Book II, On Distribution, Chapter IX, Section I, p. 363
- The term esquire has no relation whatever to landed property.
- Willes, J., Jones v. Smart (1785), 1 T. R. 50.