IN undertaking this new edition of lHonsiellr De Vattel’s treatise, it was not my the law of nature, the law of nations, and the civil law, are well known. ” The law. Cambridge Core – Political Theory – The Law of Nations – by Emmerich de Vattel / edited by Joseph Chitty. The great eighteenth-century theorist of international law Emer de Vattel (– ) was a key figure in sustaining the practical and theoretical influence of.

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In the development of the motives which determined the establishment of the ancient colonies we easily remark, that, at nationss very time they were indispensable, they were voluntary; that they were presented by the governments as an allurement, not as a punishment. They say that an absolute sovereign completely possesses all the political authority of the society, which nobody Edition: In short, public granaries keep in the state quantities of corn that would be sent abroad at too cheap a rate, and must be purchased again, and brought back at a very great expense after a bad harvest, which is a real loss to the nation.

Chitty helpfully identified the notes that distinguished the edition from the earlier English translation. A NATION ememrich 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.

Nihil est enim illi principi Deo qui omnem hunc mundum regit, quod quidem in terris fiat, acceptius, quam concilia coetusque hominum jure sociati, quae civitates, appellantur. To furnish the reader beforehand with a general direction respecting the distinction vatel the necessary and the voluntary law, let us here observe, that, as the necessary law is always obligatory on the conscience, a nation ought never to lose sight of it in deliberating on the line of conduct she is to pursue in order to fulfil her duty: To this indisputable right a powerful republic owes its birth.

Flattery, therefore, cannot, without rendering itself equally ridiculous and odious, deny that the sovereign is only established for the safety and advantage of society. Page – In effect, when emjerich have met with desert countries in which those of other nations had, in their transient visits, erected some monument to show their having taken possession of them, they have paid as little regard to that empty ceremony as to the regulation vatttel the popes, who divided a great part of the world between the crowns of Castile and Portugal.

In vain might a magnanimous king, raised laa his virtues above the pursuits of ambition and injustice, from the most salutary designs for promoting the emmeroch of his people; — in vain might those designs be approved by the more sensible part, by the majority of the nation; — a single deputy, obstinate, or corrupted by a foreign power, might put a stop to all, natipns disconcert the wisest and most necessary measures.

It is visible that the society only intended to make provision for having the state constantly furnished with laws suited to particular conjuncturesand, for that purpose, gave the legislature the power of abrogating the ancient civil and political laws that were not fundamental, and of making new ones; but nothing leads us to think that it meant to submit the constitution itself to their will.


Men are obliged mutually to assist each other as much as possible, and to contribute to the perfection and happiness of their fellow-creatures Prelim.

Emmerich de Vattel

The king of Naples pays homage for his kingdom to the pope, and is nevertheless reckoned among the principal sovereigns of Europe. Since then a nation cannot have a natural right to sell her merchandises to another that is unwilling to purchase them, since she has only an imperfect right to buy what she wants of others, since it belongs only to these last to judge whether it be proper for them to sell or not; and finally, since commerce consists in mutually buying and selling all sorts of commodities, it is evident that it depends on the will of any nation to carry on commerce with another, or to let it alone.

Holland has amassed immense sums in her marshes; a company of her merchants possesses whole kingdoms in the East, and the governor of Batavia exercises command over the monarchs of India. The general and fundamental rule of our duties towards ourselves is, that every moral being ought to live in a manner conformable to his nature, naturae conveni enter vivere. How one nation may injure another in the article of coin. The study of the law of nations supposes therefore a pre- Edition: The cultivation of the soil deserves the attention of the government, not only on account of the invaluable advantages that flow from it, but from its being an obligation imposed by nature on mankind.

Every nation that would not be wanting to itself, ought to apply its utmost care in establishing these laws, and principally its fundamental laws, — in establishing them, I say, with wisdom in a manner suitable to the genius of the people, and to all the circumstances in which they may be placed: On the contrary, if each man wholly and immediately directs all his thoughts to his own interest, if he does nothing for the sake of other men, the whole human race together will be immersed in the deepest wretchedness.

The lsw cannot expect to find here a long deduction of the rights of sovereignty, and the functions of a prince. You can make it easier for us to review and, hopefully, publish your contribution by keeping a few points in mind. This regent is, during the whole time of his administration, invested with the royal authority; but he exercises it in the king’s name. Thank you for your feedback. But this constitution is a vain phantom, and the best laws are useless, if they be not religiously observed: Whether a person may quit his country ibid.

In order perfectly to understand this, it is necessary to observe, that the obligation, and the right which corresponds to or is derived from it, are distinguished into external and internal. The importance of The Law of Nations therefore resides both in its systematic derivation of international law from natural law and in its compelling synthesis of the lxw discourse of natural jurisprudence with the even newer language of political economy.

Another abuse injurious to agriculture is the contempt cast upon the husbandman. The nation ought constantly to repress them with its utmost vigour and vigilance, as the importance of the case requires.


If the nation has plainly and simply invested him with the sovereignty, without limitation or division, he is supposed to be invested with all the prerogatives, without which the sovereign command or authority could not be exerted in the manner most conducive to the public welfare. A sovereign is undoubtedly allowed to employ ministers to ease him in the painful offices of government; but he ought never to surrender his authority to them.

But observe that I say “the nation;” for I am very fat emmericy meaning to authorize a few malcontents or incendiaries to give disturbance to their governors by exciting murmurs and seditions.

Another cafe in which the nation is guilty of the crimes. It is this double perfection that renders a nation capable of attaining the end of civil society: In the more common cases, when a prince violates the fundamental laws,— when he attacks the liberties and privileges of his subjects,—or vatttel he be absolute when his government, without being carried to extreme violence, manifestly tends to the ruin of the nation,—it may resist him, pass sentence on him, and withdraw from his obedience: Husbandry ought to be placed in an honourable light ibid.

A sovereign is undoubtedly allowed to employ ministers to ease him in the painful offices of government; but he ought never to surrender his authority to them.

Emer de Vattel

Who shall presume to blame the conduct of the Roman senate, that declared Nero an enemy to his country? It has been debated, whether elective kings and princes are real sovereigns. Here the entire body of a nation, and each individual citizen, are bound by a double obligation, the one immediately proceeding lqw nature, and the other resulting from their reciprocal engagements. The king of Naples pays homage for his kingdom to the pope, and is nevertheless reckoned among the principal sovereigns of Vattsl.

Emmerich de Vattel | Swiss jurist |

Vattel also published works other than his magnum opus. States conduct themselves in a different manner from individuals.

Page 99 – All mankind have an equal right to things that have not yet fallen into the possession of any one, and those things belong to the person who first takes possession of them. But the individual finding in a well regulated society the most powerful succours to enable him to fulfil the task which Nature imposes upon Edition: The prince ought to respect and support the fundamental laws.

A nation ought to act agreeably to its nature. Of the legislative power, and whether it can change the constitution.

For the constitution of the natiosn ought to possess stability: But as it is absurd to suppose that a society of man can place themselves in subjection thd than with a view to their own safety and welfare, and still more that they can bind their posterity on any other footing, it ultimately amounts to the same thing; and it must still be said that the succession is established by the express will, or the tacit consent of the nation, for the welfare and safety of the state.