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Feudal System

Under the feudal system of land ownership common in English law almost a thousand years ago, only the king could hold title to real property. The king granted feuds to loyal subjects. These feuds did not provide ownership in land but simply a right to use and process the land as long as the holder of the feud provided certain services to the king.

The feuds approximated the modern concept of leasing. Under the feudal system, outright ownership would never be obtained.


Allodial System

One of the basic reasons for the American Revolution was the Colonists' insistence on outright and absolute ownership of land, called allodial ownership. Allodial, or private ownership of land, did not begin in the United States until 1785. The free and full ownership of rights in land by individuals is the basis of real property law in the United States.
The conveyance of lands from the government to individuals allowed after passage of the Ordinance of 1785 was by patent or land grant. As a result, the present system of land ownership in the United States is the allodial system, not the feudal system. Individuals can hold title to real property outright