The Law of Nations
Le droit des gens; ou Principes de la loi naturelle, appliqués à la conduite et aux affaires des nations et des souverains
The Law of Nations, Or, Principles of the Law of Nature, Applied to the Conduct and Affairs of Nations and Sovereigns, with Three Early Essays on the Origin and Nature of Natural Law and on Luxury
Автор(и) : Emer de Vattel
Издател : Liberty Fund, Inc.
Място на издаване : Indianapolis, USA
Година на издаване : 2008
ISBN : 978-0-86597-450-0
Брой страници : 867
Език : английски
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The great eighteenth-century theorist of international law Emer de Vattel (1714–1767) was a key figure in sustaining the practical and theoretical influence of natural jurisprudence through the Revolutionary and Napoleonic eras. Coming toward the end of the period when the discourse of natural law was dominant in European political theory, Vattel’s contribution is cited as a major source of contemporary wisdom on questions of international law in the American Revolution and even by opponents of revolution, such as Cardinal Consalvi, at the Congress of Vienna of 1815.
Vattel broadly accepted the early-modern natural law theorists from Grotius onward but placed himself in the tradition of Leibniz and Christian Wolff. This becomes particularly clear in two valuable early essays that have never before been translated and are included in the present volume. On this philosophical basis he established what the proper relationship should be between natural law as it is applied to individuals and natural law as it is applied to states.
The significance of The Law of Nations resides in its distillation from natural law of an apt model for international conduct of state affairs that carried conviction in both the Old Regime and the new political order of 1789–1815.
The Liberty Fund edition is based on the anonymous English translation of 1797, which includes Vattel’s notes for the second French edition (posthumous, 1773).
"A nation or a state is, as has been said at the beginning of this work, a body politic, or a society of men united together for the purpose of promoting their mutual safety and advantage by their combined strength.
From the very design that induces a number of men to form a society which has its common interests, and which is to act in concert, it is necessary that there should be established a public authority, to order and direct what is to be done by each in relation to the end of the association. This political authority is the sovereignty; and he or they who are invested with it are the sovereign.
It is evident, that, by the very act of the civil or political association, each citizen subjects himself to the authority of the entire body, in every thing that relates to the common welfare. The authority of all over each member, therefore, essentially belongs to the body politic, or state; but the exercise of that authority may be placed in different hands, according as the society may have ordained.
If the body of the nation keeps in its own hands the empire or the right to command, it is a popular government, a democracy; if it entrusts it to a certain number of citizens, to a senate, it establishes an aristocratic republic; finally, if it confides the government to a single person, the state becomes a monarchy."
Emer de Vattel
Emer (Emerich or Emmerich) de Vattel (1714-1767) was a Swiss philosopher, diplomat, and legal expert whose theories laid the foundation of modern international law and political philosophy. He was largely influenced in his philosophy by Gottfried Leibniz and Christian Wolff and strove to integrate their ideas into the legal and political system. His writings were widely read in the American colonies and had a profound impact on the thinking of the framers of the American constitution.
Emer de Vattel is most famous for his 1758 work Droit des gens; ou, Principes de la loi naturelle appliqués à la conduite et aux affaires des nations et des souverains (in English, The Law of Nations or the Principles of Natural Law Applied to the Conduct and to the Affairs of Nations and of Sovereigns). This work was his claim to fame and won him enough prestige to be appointed as a councilor to the court of King Augustus III of Saxony.