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15

A vassal state has sovereignty, whereas a fief does not. This means, as just one example, that the legal code of a fief is subordinate to that of the liege while a vassal state has full authority for its own legal code. Similar for foreign policy, other than the direct requirements of the tribute paid or due. For instance when the Elector of Brandenburg ...


11

Wikipedia has an excellently precise "List of territory purchased by a sovereign nation from another sovereign nation". All the examples given are since 1800, and it's worth noting that a few of them were linked to peace treaties after a war, not straightforward financial transactions. (Since the European expansion in the fifteenth century, there have also ...


8

Satellites and modern technologies are irrelevant here. If you have a map of the country, break it into sufficiently small pieces (so that each piece is approximately flat, and the scale of the map is approximately constant on each piece), then put a sufficiently fine square grid on each piece and count the squares. Or use the simple device called a ...


7

I believe the most recent compensated border change was a January 1, 2018 change to the Dutch/Belgian border to eliminate enclaves they each had on the other's side of the Meuse (probably due to changes in that river's course, but I haven't checked on that). In this case the compensation can be considered the swapped land. I could not in fact find a ...


6

The book Historic Spots in California: Fifth Edition claims the term moro was used to indicate anything black, and that tradition says that a lame black horse gave the name to this particular tract of land The horse story is repeated in the Encyclopedia of California entry on Castroville, which also includes a possible reference to black soil of the ...


6

Presumably this had to do with the Save the Bay movement that started in the early sixties. This movement was a backlash against the filling that had happened up unto that point: While Reber’s plan never broke ground, many others did and by 1961, the Bay was a third smaller than it was a little more than a century before. The particular trigger was a ...


4

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiran_Island Tiran is an island within the maritime borders of Saudi Arabia that was administered by Egypt in the past. However, sovereignty of the two Red Sea islands, Tiran and Sanafir, was ceded officially to Saudi Arabia as part of a maritime borders agreement between Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The agreement ...


4

As Alex answered, the math was well known, and the mapping problem could be solved by surveying techniques. i.e., by repeated measurements of angles and known distances, as you can see the students doing in any modern civil engineering course. It was obviously not as exact as modern mapping. I remember seeing a globe from 1938. The shapes were very close ...


4

1900 presents one dominant challenge, time. 54 years after the last land grants were given. There wouldn't be a lot of original deed holders alive by 1900. The ranchos were intended to be used for farming. Once split up that use might have been lost. This would in some cases invalidate the property thanks to efforts to take the land, or descendents would ...


4

Most of them. I know that's kind of vague but: ...In these five years, 813 cases involving private land claims were heard by the Commission : 604 claim were confirmed; 190 rejected; and the rest were withdrawn. Of these 813 cases, only three were decided by the Board: the rest were appealed to the District court and then a majority of these were ...


3

In 1955 the State Assembly passed AB3806, creating the Hunters Point Reclamation District. According to G.R. Dow's thesis "Bay Fill in San Francisco", the City government was bullish on locating a new wholesale produce terminal at South Basin and the Board of Supervisors passed some measures for this project (Dow cites 1955/1573, 1957/1999, and 1963/1273). ...


2

I learned that in US law the property undergoes partition when a co-owner demands it or a judge orders it. When titles to Rancho Soquel land were being disputed in court in 1863, Third District Court Judge Samuel B. McKee commissioned a referee to ascertain ownership shares, who in turn commissioned a survey. The judge then ordered the ranch to be ...


2

That is an interesting question. Indeed, the story of Dr Peter Smith is an influential one in the history of the city of San Francisco. A whole chapter is devoted to it in The Annals of San Francisco by Frank Soulé et al. In 1850, Dr Smith entered into a contract with the city for the care of its "indigent sick". For this he was to be paid the sum of $4 per ...


2

For an older example (14th century), you might look up on Wikipedia Christopher II of Denmark, who mortgaged huge chunks of Denmark, and his successor Valdemar IV, who redeemed some of those mortgages. (The resolution of some of those mortgages also led in part to the complexities of the Schleswig-Holstein question centuries later.) I rather suspect you ...


2

IMHO opinion a fief is anything that was actually made into a fief. A vassal state is a state that is either in a feudal relationship to a more powerful one, and thus is literally a fief, or else a state that is in a relationship to a larger one that is simular to a feudal vassal status. A fief was anything that was made into a fief by a feudal ...


2

There are plenty of examples, beginning with the Bible (Babylonian Captivity. The Jews were resettled by force and 60 years later they were permitted to return and settled in the same place). More recent example is Crimean Tatars: in 1944 the whole population was deported by force from Crimea to the East of Soviet Union. A generation later they were ...


2

Simplifying greatly, Imperial Russia conquered the Crimean Khanate in the 1780s and settled the peninsula. In 1954 Crimea became part of the Ukranian SSR; it stayed Ukranian after the breakup of the Soviet Union. In 2014, Russia took it back. (This answer deliberately skips over lots of details about Tatar interests, Cossack incursions, national languages, ...


2

People usually do not leave suitable land for another, unless they are forced to, so we should be looking at places that were barely suitable and became worse to begin with. The closest example could probably be Greenland: in the Middle Ages the Nordmen did stablish some colonies there but those could not be maintained due to climate change and had to be ...


1

If there were natives using or claiming the valley that wouldn't be something to brush off as unimportant. If the US government had a treaty or agreement with the natives recognizing that the land was theirs you would have to try to get a new agreement made taking the land out of the hands of the natives, which involved influencing the federal government to ...


1

Judson A. Grenier's "Officialdom": California State Government, 1849-1879 describes the laws passed in California's first Legislature of 1850. Each county would have its own assessor, and property tax was set at "50 cents on each $100 worth of taxable property", or 0.5% per annum.


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