Carol Rose argues that for possession to become legal ownership of property, the possessor must use the resource in a socially beneficial way and must communicate the claim of ownership in a manner clearly understood by others. Native Americans in North America and the Maoris in New Zealand held their land in a type of common ownership that did not maximize the use of the land and they failed to indicate clearly to Europeans their claim to the land. Therefore, British treaties and British land courts in New Zealand and John Marshall’s opinion in Johnson v. McIntosh and later the Dawes Act were justifiable means of dispossessing the aborigines from their land.
To what extent do you agree with the statement above? Were the British and Americans justified in imposing their property structure on the native inhabitants? Answer this question by discussing Rose and AT LEAST TWO additional authors whom we have discussed in class, as well as discussing BOTH the historical examples of the Native Americans in North America and Maoris.