Abstract: The freedom of the seas - meaning both the oceans of the world and coastal waters - has been among the most contentious issues in international law for the past four hundred years. The most influential argument in favor of freedom of navigation, trade, and fishing was that put forth by the Dutch theorist Hugo Grotius in his 1609 "Mare Liberum" ("The Free Sea"). "The Free Sea" was originally published in order to buttress Dutch claims of access to the lucrative markets of the East Indies. It had been composed as the twelfth chapter of a larger work, "De Jure Praedae (On the Law of Prize and Booty)", which Grotius had written to defend the Dutch East India Company's capture in 1603 of a rich Portuguese merchant ship in the Straits of Singapore. The wider applicability of Grotius's arguments regarding individual and collective rights to appropriate natural resources and to trade freely would ensure that his work transcended its immediate legal and diplomatic contexts. Liberty Fund publishes for the first time the only translation of Grotius's masterpiece undertaken in his own lifetime - a work left in manuscript by the English historian and promoter of overseas exploration Richard Hakluyt (1552-1616). Also included are William Welwod's critique of Grotius (printed for the first time since the seventeenth century) and Grotius's reply to Welwod. Taken together, these documents provide an indispensable introduction to modern ideas of sovereignty and property as they emerged form the early-modern tradition of natural law.
Title and contributions: The free sea / Hugo Grotius ; translated by Richard Hakluyt with William Welwod's critique and Grotius' reply ; edited and with an introduction by David Armitage.
Publication: Indianapolis, Ind. : Liberty Fund, c2004.
Physical description: xxv, 145 p. : ill., map ; 24 cm.
Series: Natural law and enlightenment classics
ISBN: 0865974314 (pbk. : alk. paper)
Language: English (language of the text, soundtrack, etc..)
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