The Road to Prosperity
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Grade Level: 9-12+
Are concepts of ownership and a desire for order part of societal norms?
From modern-day Africa, to medieval Europe, to America's Wild West, humanity's common road to prosperity begins with the rise of individual property rights and the rule of law. All societies have a concept of ownership and a desire for order.
On the Serengeti Plain, we learn how the tribal Maasai solve property disputes through spoken law. In Tanzania, we witness the genesis of written law in the creation of a property deed. A legal framework for property and business is evolving today across the developing world.
A few centuries ago in Europe, the old feudal order began to break down, and power shifted from the nobles in castles on hills to the people below. For the first time, the common man began to gain the right to own property. What followed was the greatest period of economic growth in world history.
Millions of migrants made their way to America in search of their fortunes and freedom. On the frontier, settlers initially staked their claims to land by means of tomahawk rights, corn rights, and cabin rights.
In the West, the establishment of property rights laid the foundation for order and prosperity. Is the rest of the world ready...for the property revolution?