Is ANY land in this world unstolen? Yes!

I am not a North American Indian but I am living on land that was taken from them.

The Israelis took Israel from the Palestinians who took it when the original Jews were dispersed in 70 C.E. But the Jews took it from the Caananites (and quite proudly list their massacres in the Old Testament if you read the story of Joshua). We can only guess whom the Caananites took it from.

Most Arab countries were not peopled by Arabs (who come from what is today Saudi Arabia) until the “spead” (READ: CONQUEST) by Islam.

Tony Blair and George W. Bush are both leaders of countries that were stolen from their previous inhabitants by brute force within recorded history.

There is a quote by Mark Twain that goes something like this (not his exact words) : Man is such a thief that there is not a square yard of land on Earth still in the hands of its original owner.

But wait a second. I know one place! Bermuda! It was discovered by the Brits (and I mean really discovered, not the racist version of the term. There were no humans there at the time. )

And it still belongs to the Brits.

So Mark Twain was just a bit off. Does anyone know any other example or is Bermuda the only one?



Iceland and Pitcairn Island easily come to mind.

For a less flippant answer, you need to clarify if you mean the original inhabitants still own their land, or merely reside there. If the latter, then I’d say a goodly part of the Earth still qualifies. The indigenous peoples of Siberia and the Arctic, most of South America (where people are by and large still descended at least partly from the original inhabitants), Finland (probably), the Basque lands (I like to think), plenty of Pacific islands, the lands inhabited by the Khoisan and Pygmies of Africa, maybe (parts of) the Dravidian parts of India…

If you count Neanderthals as “human”, though, I suppose the European examples wouldn’t count.

Oh yeah, and what John Mace said, too.

Also, if you count people genetically (if not culturally) descended from the original inhabitants, then most of the rest of Europe qualifies, too.

There are a number of other remote islands that had no native inhabitants when discovered by Europeans- the Azores (discovered and colonized by the Portuguese), Madeira (evidently known to the Phoenicians, but first colonized by the Portuguese) and Tristan da Cunha and Ascension (discovered by the Portuguese, but never claimed, and colonized by Britain).

The Galapagos were visited by South American peoples, but there was no one there when the Spanish discovered them, and they were first claimed by Ecuador, which still owns them.

Maybe not Iceland. Allegedly Irish monks were living there when the Norse arrived, though there is apparently no archeological evidence for this

All the land in the New World had been divided between Spain and Portugal under the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494. So when the British claimed Bermuda they were stealing it from Spain.

Well, that gets into tricky things. Did the Spanish really have any justification for calling it their island aside from bravado? I’m reminded of a line from ‘the outward urge.’ (paraphrased because I can’t be bothered going to find the book.)

“We consider the Brazillian claim to all of space, and Venus in particular, to be completely without merit. You didn’t discover it in any meaningful sense, you didn’t get here first, you didn’t build anything here. Plus - we’re outside your ship and we’ve got a gun trained on your airlock and a bale of TNT right under your rocket exhaust port. So - do you REALLY want to try and arrest us for trespassing?”


Well, when we find hard proof of there having been there and that the Norse stole the land from them, then we can take Iceland off the list. :slight_smile:

Other islands that were uninhabited when discovered, and still owned by the first claimant or colonizing country:

Réunion in the Indian Ocean, first discovered by the Portuguese (as usual) but first colonized by France, which still owns it.

The Komandorski (Commander) Islands in the Bering Sea, discovered by Russia, and still owned by it.

The Juan Fernandez Islands off Chile, discovered by Spain, now owned by Chile (unless you consider that Chile “stole” them from Spain along with the rest of its territory).

South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, discovered by Britain and still owned by it (though it has no permanent inhabitants).

The Kerguelen Islands, discovered and owned by France (also lacking permanent inhabitants).

Fair enough.

Re Pitcairn, maybe the British government stole Pitcairn from the Bounty mutineers, too. :wink:

Another Portuguese island group for the list: the Cape Verde Islands, directly off the westernmost curve of Africa (which is where the cape is located). Was populated with slaves to grow provisions for ships traveling to-and-from Brazil.

A couple more: Sao Tome and Principe, discovered by Portugal, and held by it until the islands gained independence,

Another: Christmas Island (the one in the Indian Ocean), discovered by Britain, eventually turned over to Australia.

Montgomery County, MD. Archaeological evidence suggests that Indians hunted there, but never lived there. Sparsely inhabited until the 1820s. Any thefts and foreclosures are within the shared culture of the United States.

Wow, that would really pain the archaeolgists that I worked with on a site along the Potomac rive a couple of years ago. I don’t remember the site number off the top of my head, but according to the Maryland Archaeology site it’s the Winslow site (18MO9). There were a couple of places that were found that suggested people living there.

Yet, strangely enough, a place at which a significant number of ships are registered. No doubt the local seal population keep the register up to date.

What about Holland? A lot of land there was reclaimed from being underwater. I’m not well versed in Dutch history - did anyone drive off the original inhabitants?

You mean besides the sea creatures? :smiley: Anyway, I imagine they left on their own accord.