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In Defense of Property focuses on the importance of private property and its protection throughout history. Emphasizing the connection between property and propriety, Gottfried Dietze shows how the universal appreciation of property functions as an ethical institution, securing happiness under law and order. Dietze examines property rights within the general, civil rights complex and concludes that property rights, as the oldest officially recognized human right, must be considered on par with rights that came later. Following comments on the strong position of property rights in antiquity and the Enlightenment, In Defense of Property concentrates on developments in France, Germany, and the United States since the eighteenth century. Dietze describes the high degree of protection given to private property during the nineteenth century and the decline of that protection later. Dietze points out the risks of the decline of property rights and suggests ways to stop it. Originally published in 1963 by Henry Regnery Co.