<i>Lux</i> v. <i>Haggin</i>

David Igler

in Industrial Cowboys

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 2001 | ISBN: 9780520226586
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520938939 | DOI:
Lux v. Haggin

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This chapter discusses the importance of land reclamation practices in bringing order and productivity to the land, explaining that land reclamation rapidly accelerated in California under the direction of capitalized enterprises such as Miller and Lux. It narrates that between 1875 and 1890, the Tulare Basin became a locus of controversy not over reclamation itself, but over legal, social, and environmental fallout from reclaiming the landscape. Lux v. Haggin (1881–1886), California's landmark water battle between Miller and Lux and James Haggin, served as a public forum for the conflict. The chapter explains that this battle raised attention to California's mounting conflict between riparian water rights and appropriative water rights; in short, between landowners whose property bordered a river, and those who appropriated a river's flow for irrigation. It also revealed tensions regarding agriculturalists who lacked capital and the power to reclaim their own land, and who struggled against the urban capitalists that controlled property and production.

Keywords: land-reclamation practices; California; Miller and Lux; Tulare Basin; James Haggin; riparian water rights; appropriative water rights; landowners; flow of irrigation; urban capitalists

Chapter.  10441 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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