The views herein set forth were in the main brieﬂy stated in a pamphlet entitled Our Land and Land Policy, published in San Francisco in 1871. I then intended, as soon as I could, to present them more fully, but the opportunity did not for a long time occur. In the meanwhile I became even more firmly convinced of their truth, and saw more completely and clearly their relations; and I also saw how many false ideas and erroneous habits of thought stood in the way of their recognition, and how necessary it was to go over the whole ground. This I have here tried to do, as thoroughly as space would permit. It has been necessary for me to clear away before I could build up, and to write at once for those who have made no previous study of such subjects, and for those who are familiar with economic reason ings; and, so great is the scope of the argument that it has been impossible to treat with the fullness they deserve many of the ques tions raised. What I have most endeavored to do is to establish general principles, trusting to my readers to carry further their applications where this is needed. In certain respects this book will be best appreciated by those who have some knowledge of economic literature; but no previous read ing is necessary to the understanding of the argument or the passing of judgment upon its conclusions. The facts upon which I have relied are not facts which can be verified only by a search through libraries. They are facts of common observation and common knowledge, which every reader can verify for himself, just as he can decide whether the reasoning from them is or is not valid.