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
Date Written: December 6, 2013
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
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