First Advisor

John Hall

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Political Science and University Honors


Political Science




Land tenure -- Political aspects, Landlord and tenant -- History




This inquiry considers the social phenomena of landlordship and traces its evolutionary tendencies. Furthermore, this effort argues that since the 18th century through the present, landlordship can be viewed as an institution that is caught in a Teufelskreis, a vicious cycle that is related to ever-increasing emphases upon pecuniary values, that comes with a related tendency for ever increasing impersonal relations between tenant and landlord. This inquiry relies upon an evolutionary approach, considering the institution of landlordship since the emergence of capitalist landlords in 18th century England--that runs up through the present. Using an evolutionary-institutional approach drawing from thinkers such as Thorstein Veblen, Gunnar Myrdal, and William Dugger, as well as grounding the analysis in Marxist political economy, this inquiry emphasizes that a process of cumulative causation has driven the evolution of landlordship from its appearances and manifestations under feudalism to an alienated, corporatized institution under contemporary capitalism.


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