Republics abound in young civilians who believe that the laws make the city, that grave modifications of the policy and modes of living and employments of the population, that commerce, education and religion may be voted in or out; and that any measure, though it were absurd, may be imposed on a people if only you can get sufficient voices to make it a law. But the wise know that foolish legislation is a rope of sand which perishes in the twisting; that the State must follow and not lead the character and progress of the citizen; that the form of government which prevails is the expression of what cultivation exists in the population which permits it. The law is only a memorandum. - Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82)
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Obs. possession of land in fief from another LORD, who held of another, and so on directly to the King. Simple ownership of land merely made one free, but not always noble.
The manner in which lands or tenements are holden.
According to the English law, all lands are held mediately or immediately from the king, as lord paramount and supreme proprietor of all the lands in the kingdom.
The idea of tenure; pervades, to a considerable degree, the law of real property in the several states; the title to land is essentially allodial, and every tenant in fee simple has an absolute and perfect title, yet in technical language, his estate is called an estate in fee simple, and the tenure free and common socage. In the states formed out of the North Western Territory, it seems that the doctrine of tenures is not in force, and that real estate is owned by an absolute and allodial title. This is owing to the wise provisions on this subject contained in the celebrated ordinance of 1787. In New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Michigan feudal tenures have been abolished, and lands are held by allodial titles. South Carolina has adopted the statute which established in England the tenure of free and common socage.