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The Colorado Doctrine - Yale Scholarship Online
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The Colorado Doctrine

David Schorr


Making extensive use of archival and other primary sources, this book demonstrates that the development of the “appropriation doctrine,” a system of private rights in water, was part of a radical attack on monopoly and corporate power in the arid West. It describes how Colorado miners, irrigators, lawmakers, and judges forged a system of private property in water based on a desire to spread property and its benefits as widely as possible among independent citizens. The book demonstrates that ownership was not dictated by concerns for economic efficiency, but by a regard for social justice.

Keywords: appropriation doctrine, private rights, rights in water, monopoly, corporate power, arid West, Colorado miners, irrigators, lawmakers, independent citizens

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780300134476
Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013 DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300134476.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

David Schorr, author