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Journal of Early American History


By the end of the seventeenth century, Anglo-Americans on both sides of the Atlantic accepted the importance of surveying to any system of land ownership. Most historians of colonial British have similarly taken colonial surveying practices as a given. This article complicates these assumptions through an examination of Pennsylvania in a wider context. In fact, land policy in colonial Anglo-America differed significantly from practices elsewhere in the early modern world. English colonizers embraced a model of settler colonialism that created a market for land, thus encouraging the proliferation of modern surveying practices.

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