The Ambivalent Shadow of the Pre-Wilsonian Rise of International Law

18 Pages Posted: 7 Nov 2014

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 21, 2014


The generation of American international lawyers who founded the American Society of International Law in 1906 and nurtured the soil for what has been retrospectively called a 'moralistic-legalistic approach to international relations' remains little studied. A survey of the rise of international legal literature in the United States from the midnineteenth century to the eve of the Great War serves as a backdrop to the examination of the boosting effect on international law of the Spanish American War in 1898. An examination of the Insular Cases before the US Supreme Court is then accompanied by the analysis of a number of influential factors behind the pre-war rise of international law in the United States. The work concludes with an examination of the rise of natural law doctrines in international law during the interwar period and the critiques addressed by the realist founders of the field of 'international relations' to the 'moralistic-legalistic approach to international relations'.

Keywords: American Society of International Law, Peace-Through-Law Movement, Harvard Law Library: League of Nations, President Woodrow Wilson, Pre-Wilsonianism

Suggested Citation

de la Rasilla del Moral, Ignacio, The Ambivalent Shadow of the Pre-Wilsonian Rise of International Law (October 21, 2014). Erasmus Law Review, Vol. 7, No. 2, 2014, Available at SSRN:

Ignacio de la Rasilla del Moral (Contact Author)

Wuhan University - Institute of International Law ( email )


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