Vattel and the American Dream: An Inquiry into the Reception of the Law of Nations in the United States

The Roots of International Law. Liber Amicorum Peter Haggenmacher, pp. 251-300, V. Chetail & P.-M. Dupuy, eds, Martinus Nijhoff, 2013.

50 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2013  

Vincent Chetail

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (HEI)

Date Written: December 6, 2013

Abstract

No other book on international law has been more widely read and cited than The Law of Nations by Vattel. The present article identifies and analyses the various reasons that explain Vattel’s authority in the United States. It first retraces his influence on the Founding Fathers, on the subsequent diplomatic and judicial practice, and on the legal doctrine in the United States. The article then examines his conception of national sovereignty as the most decisive reason explaining Vattel’s influence in the United States and the overall impact of his work.

Keywords: Vattel, history of international law, law of nations, founding fathers, sovereignty, state equality, independence, right of resistance, legal philosophy, natural law, positive law

Suggested Citation

Chetail, Vincent, Vattel and the American Dream: An Inquiry into the Reception of the Law of Nations in the United States (December 6, 2013). The Roots of International Law. Liber Amicorum Peter Haggenmacher, pp. 251-300, V. Chetail & P.-M. Dupuy, eds, Martinus Nijhoff, 2013.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2364449

Vincent Chetail (Contact Author)

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (HEI) ( email )

PO Box 136
Geneva, CH-1211
Switzerland

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