Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login

Log In

A valid email is required.
Password is required.
Site Notices
Posted: 5/25/2001 9:59:19 PM EDT
I am just a poor ignorant immigrant, but I have been politically involved, read the Constitution etc. So please explain to me how, if the states were all sovereign, that the Federal Government winds up with most of the land, especially out west. Nevada is some 90% owned by the Feds, and California is too. I mean, who gave them the land? When California wanted to join the Union, the Feds said "Give us 70% of all the land and we'll talk"? I know the Union was worried about California going with the South, so couldn't the state have written their own ticket? Where does it say in the Constitution that the Federal Government should own all the land anyway? What am I missing? Where can I find more information about it? Thanks, Madkiwi
Link Posted: 5/25/2001 10:11:04 PM EDT
The slow erosion of states rights came soon after the Union was formed. The Civil War was the ultimate end to states rights. That is what it was about. The federal govt. came up with the idea of manifest destiny.(the theroy that the US should own land from ocean to ocean.) There is also the idea of eminent domain(the government can take land if it pay a "fair price") These are both land grab schemes. It seems the govt. always has an excuse. National security, game management etc. They took the land from the natives and now they are taking it from us, it never changes.
Link Posted: 5/25/2001 10:14:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/25/2001 10:14:38 PM EDT by libertyof76]
Well, its probably unconstitutional for them to own land. The idea is that the federals can buy the land like any business, and be seen like that in the eyes of the state, so the state can take back that land through eminent domain, unless that state's legislature gives permission to allow the federals to have exclusive jurisdiction. But when you are dealing with the federals, they tend to usurp power. They now act like they can exercise exclusive jurisdiction over it, but in most cases they can't. The only way to get it back is to have the state seize it, but that might state a war(which would be good anyway). check out this link on jurisdiction and constitutional issues: [url]http://www.constitution.org/cs_duepr.htm[/url] and here as a real good article there [url]http://www.constitution.org/juris/fedjur1.txt[/url] there is a lot of great articles there.
Link Posted: 5/25/2001 10:28:34 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/25/2001 11:02:20 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/25/2001 11:05:33 PM EDT by prk]
Originally Posted By madkiwi: .... So please explain to me how, if the states were all sovereign, that the Federal Government winds up with most of the land, especially out west. Nevada is some 90% owned by the Feds, and California is too. I mean, who gave them the land? When California wanted to join the Union, the Feds said "Give us 70% of all the land and we'll talk"? I know the Union was worried about California going with the South, so couldn't the state have written their own ticket? Where does it say in the Constitution that the Federal Government should own all the land anyway?.....
View Quote
Here's what I think happened. The original 13 states were established as colonies by the time the Constitution was signed, so they became states naturally. Then at some point came the Louisiana purchase and a few others, where the U.S. bought entire territories from the French & others. Texas was a nation in its own right, but the rest of the acquired land was originally owned by the U.S. government. Then in order to encourage settlement, they had land grants and homesteading, whereby you could lay claim to some of this land. (After it was stolen from the Indians, that is) Before they became states, the Mid-west & Western states were U.S. territories. These territories were not all originally independent like Texas was. Puerto Rico is still a U.S. territory, agitating for statehood recently. In order to become a state, they had to meet conditions to be admitted to the Union, which meant among other things, Utah had to give up the ability of a man to have 5 wives if he wanted (a step backwards, if you ask me.) Texas supposedly was able to retain the right to secede from the union, by virtue of being totally independent before becoming a state (broke off from Mexico, I believe). I think those conditions were pretty much politically determined, though some were set by the Constitution. So it wsn't like the states owned all the land and gave it to the feds, it was the other way around, the feds gave a lot to the people & probably to the territorial governments, too, then they became states. [red]PRK
Link Posted: 5/26/2001 4:23:59 AM EDT
Link Posted: 5/26/2001 1:03:30 PM EDT
The feds acquired the land as prk described, either through purchase or conquest. The intention was to sell or homestead all of it eventually. The good people in our government understood, as Adam Smith points out, that government owned land is used inefficiently. It says in the constitution that Congress has power:
To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;
View Quote
Now I am not sure what exactly that means, but it appears to say that the feds can only purchase land in a State when allowed to do so by the State legistlature. I believe every new state was made to forever waive that right to object before it was allowed to join the US. But this kind of moot in regards to what you are talking about, because the feds owned the land in most cases even before there was a State. The US can own land, and regulate its use:
The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.
View Quote
The decision to keep the western lands was made by a Republican, of course - Teddy Roosevelt. It seems to me that the feds should only be allowed to own 10% or 20% of the land in a state. Anything else reverts to State government.
Top Top