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The whole earth was originally given to man by its Creator with the oommand that he should subdue and replenish it. ïhere was no limitation in this gift to particular individuals or classes of men. It was fiee to all as the vital air we breathe. All attempts by human eustoins or laws to obstruct ita free acquisition and possession by all honest efforts have been ttended by injurious or diaastrous effects upon society. The rea8ons of this exist in the laws of nature and political economy. As a matter of fact, lands are valueless till some portion of human labor has been expended on theru or in reference to them. The government of the United States have usually charged one dollar and twenty five cents per acre for wild lands, aftr they have been surveyed and divided into lots and sections and much other expense laid out in referenoe to them. This can hardly be considered as more than a fair tiou to governnient for such expenses, with the additional ones of protection and rnail facilties, which tha United StateB freely extend to her territorios. As a general rule tbose who have bought large tracts of wild land, for the mere purpose of speoulation, have lost mouey thereby. This is true from the earliest patents from the governments of Europe of extensive tracts of wild land in America to the latest speoulators ii governnient lands in the United States. Exceptions exist in relation to favorable locations and future cities, but these do not vary the general rule. The interest of the money paid for the land with its inevitable taxation have usually more thau balanoed all the profits arising from selling it at an enhanced price. The productive power of all land is subject to the law of diminishing returns. ThÍ8 can be retarded by a rotation of crops. The natural fertility oí the land ruay be greatly increased by the application of fertilizers. The rent of land is the measure of service which the owner renders to the actual cultivator, and does not differ essontially in its nature from the rent of buildings or interest on money. That división of land is best for purposes of production which gives farms approximately equal in size to the cultivators. The best ten ure is the fee simple, that is unconditional ownershipA free laborer on his own land will make it produce more than if it was owned by an extensive land holder and cultivated by those who had no interest in the soil. The effect on the laborer who owns the land he cultivates is highly beneficial to himself and to society. It i,cultivates his intelligence and selfrespect and stimulates his energy. We have only to compare the Northern with the Southern States of this country to erceive the different effects o the two ystems. The one leads to poor cultivation, diminished returns, impoverished soil and sparsely settled communities with prevailing ignorance anc vice ; the other to increased production of the soil, free schools and general in telligence and morality. While in al that pertains to good and stable govern ment, Great Britain has for centurie been in advance of France, the latter i superior in the more equal distribution of wealth and consequently in the in telligence and morality of her peasan try. In England less than one hundrec and fifty persons own one-half of the land, and in Scotland twelve person own one-half of its territory. A strict división of the people into upper, middle, lower and lowest classes is the result. This división is kept up by the law of entails by which lands descend entire to the eldest son through successive generations without the power of sale. The tendency of this systein is to make the rich richer and the poor poorer. In Prance the law of entails and all restriction on the power of the sale of land ia abolished. This has proruoted the more equal distribution of property and thritt and intelligence auiong tbe peasantry.


Old News
Michigan Argus