From the OpinionJournal.com.
Behind the Pilgrims' bad harvest in 1621: a lack of property rights.
Friday, November 25, 2005 12:01 a.m. EST
The textbooks don't explain why the Pilgrims had only a meager harvest in 1621, so we will. For their first two years in Plymouth, the settlers conducted an experiment in communalism. It wasn't until 1623 that they divided the land into private plots and could look forward to the kind of bounty that many of us enjoyed yesterday. In his "History of Plimoth Plantation," the colony's governor, William Bradford, wrote about how the settlers studied human nature and laid the foundation for true Thanksgiving: [read more].