Under what conditions do the distributional legacies of settler colonialism persist? Much of past research has operated under the assumption that differing colonial experiences constituted critical junctures whose effects have more often than not endured. Analysts have pointed to settler colonialism as a crucial determinant of present levels of income inequality in former settler colonies. However, a closer look at historical data suggests that while legacies of settler colonialism do predict higher levels of inequality at independence, they do not preclude the possibility of subsequent critical junctures that can alter present-day outcomes. In this paper, I argue that former colonies that achieved independence through non-settler led independence wars enjoy substantially lower levels of inequality. The implied mechanism is destruction of settler-established property rights. In countries where indigenous elites defeated settler interests on the battlefield, liberation wars often precipitated transformative social revolutions.