preemption


preemption
/pree emp"sheuhn/, n.
the act or right of claiming or purchasing before or in preference to others.
Also, pre-emption.
[1595-1605; < ML praeëmpt(us) bought beforehand (ptp. of praeëmere) + -ION. See PRE-, EMPTOR]

* * *

U.S. policy that allowed the first settlers, or squatters, on public land to buy the land they had improved.

Since improved land, coveted by speculators, was often priced too high for squatters to buy at auction, temporary preemptive laws allowed them to acquire it without bidding. The Pre-Emption Act (1841) gave squatters the right to buy 160 acres at $1.25 per acre before the land was auctioned. The Homestead Act (1862) made preemption an accepted part of U.S. land policy. See also Homestead Movement.

* * *

▪ United States history
also called  Squatter's Rights,  

      in U.S. history, policy by which first settlers, or “squatters,” on public lands could purchase the property they had improved. Squatters who settled on and improved unsurveyed land were at risk that when the land was surveyed and put up for auction speculators would capture it. Frontier settlers seldom had much cash, and, because they held no title to their land, they even risked losing their homes and farms to claim jumpers prior to the government auction.

      Squatters pressured Congress to allow them to acquire permanent title to their land without bidding at auction. Congress responded by passing a series of temporary preemption laws in the 1830s. Bitterly opposed by Eastern business interests who feared that easy access to land would drain their labour supply, the preemption laws also failed to satisfy the settlers seeking a permanent solution to their problems.

      In 1841 Henry Clay (Clay, Henry) devised a compromise by providing squatters the right to buy 160 acres of surveyed public land at a minimum price of $1.25 per acre before the land was sold at auction. Revenues from the preemption sales were to be distributed among the states to finance internal improvements.

      The Pre-Emption Act of 1841 remained in effect for 50 years, although its revenue-distribution provision was scrapped in 1842. The law led to a great deal of corruption—nonsettlers acquired great tracts of land illegally—but it also led to the passage of the Homestead Act of 1862 by making preemption an accepted part of U.S. land policy.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • PRÉEMPTION — Faculté conférée à une personne, par la loi ou par un contrat, d’acquérir un bien par préférence à une autre. Les codes de certains pays étrangers ont des dispositions générales sur la préemption (Allemagne fédérale, Autriche). En France, cette… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • preemption — pre·emp·tion /prē emp shən/ n [Medieval Latin praeemption praeemptio previous purchase, from praeemere to buy before] 1 a: the right of purchasing before others: preemptive right b: a right to purchase a tract of public land before others that… …   Law dictionary

  • Preemption — or pre emption may refer to: Legal Federal preemption, displacement of U.S. state law by U.S. Federal law Preemption is also sometimes used in the United States to refer to the displacing effect state laws might have on ordinances enacted by… …   Wikipedia

  • Preemption — Pre*[ e]mp tion (?; 215), n. [Pref. pre + emption: cf. F. pr[ e]emption. See {Redeem}.] The act or right of purchasing before others. Specifically: (a) The privilege or prerogative formerly enjoyed by the king of buying provisions for his… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • preemption — ☆ preemption or pre emption [prē emp′shən ] n. [< ML preemptus, pp. of preemere, to buy beforehand < L prae , before (see PRE ) + emere, to buy (see REDEEM)] 1. the act or right of buying land, etc. before, or in preference to, others; esp …   English World dictionary

  • preemption — /priyem(p)shan/ Doctrine adopted by U.S. Supreme Court holding that certain matters are of such a national, as opposed to local, character that federal laws preempt or take precedence over state laws. As such, a state may not pass a law… …   Black's law dictionary

  • Préemption — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom.  Ne doit pas être confondu avec péremption. La préemption peut désigner: En informatique, la préemption est la capacité d un système d exploitation… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • préemption — (pré an psion) s. f. Action d acheter d avance.    Droit de préemption, droit qui consiste à pouvoir prendre ou revendiquer parfois un objet avant toutes autres personnes. •   Il y a des cas où certains propriétaires ont le droit de préemption… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • PRÉEMPTION — n. f. Action d’acheter d’avance. Droit de préemption, Droit de prendre ou de revendiquer en payant un objet avant toute autre personne. Il se dit, en termes d’Administration, du Droit que la douane revendique, d’acheter, au prix déclaré, une… …   Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 8eme edition (1935)

  • preemption — preempt pre‧empt [priːˈempt] also pre empt verb [transitive] to make what someone else has planned to do or say unnecessary, impossible, or ineffective by doing or saying something first: • The salesperson may try to pre empt the customer s… …   Financial and business terms