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Property Rights: From Magna Carta to the Fourteenth Amendment breaks new ground in our understanding of the genesis of property rights in the United States. According to the standard interpretation, echoed by as lofty an authority as Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun, the courts did little in the way of protecting property rights in the early years of our nation. Not only does Siegan find this accepted teaching erroneous, but he finds post-Colonial jurisprudence to be firmly rooted in English common law and the writings of its most revered interpreters. Siegan conducts an exhaustive examination of property rights cases decided by state courts between the time of the ratification of the U.S. Constitution in 1788 and the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868. This inventory, which in its sweep captures scores of cases overlooked by previous commentators on the history of property rights, reveals that the protection of these rights is neither a relatively new phenomenon nor a heritage with precarious pedigree. These court cases, as well as early state constitutions, consistently and repeatedly embraced key elements of a property rights jurisprudence, such as protection of th