Agrarian Trust

Playing by a Different Set of Rules

The game played for hours by families across the US, and the subject of countless spin offs, Monopoly, was once known by a different name, and had a different set of rules. A woman named Elizabeth Magie filed a legal claim for her Landlord’s Game in 1903, over thirty years before Monopoly was manufactured by Parker Brothers. The game was influenced by the politics of economist Henry George, whose ideas often involved the politics of the land, and the plight of the poor.

From a New York Times article about Magie:

She created two sets of rules for her game: an anti-monopolist set in which all were rewarded when wealth was created, and a monopolist set in which the goal was to create monopolies and crush opponents. Her dualistic approach was a teaching tool meant to demonstrate that the first set of rules was morally superior.

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