Friday, April 22, 2016

Oosterveld's "Law of Nations in Early American Foreign Policy"

Willem Theo Oosterveld, a strategic analyst with The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies, has published The Law of Nations in Early American Foreign Policy: Theory and Practice from the Revolution to the Monroe Doctrine (Brill, 2016).  According to the publisher, it
provides the first general study of international law as interpreted and applied by the generation of the Founding Fathers. A mostly neglected aspect in the historiography of the early republic, this study argues that international law was in fact an integral part of the Revolutionary creed.  Taking the reader from colonial debates about the law of nations to the discussions about slavery in the early 19th century, this study shows the zest of the Founders to conduct foreign policy on the basis of treatises such as Vattel’s The Law of Nations. But it also highlights the deep ambiguities and sometimes personal struggles that arose when applying international law.
TOC after the jump
1 Antecedents of International Law in America
1.1 The Continental Tradition
1.2 The Common Law Tradition

2 The Move Towards Independence
2.1 The Colonies and the British Imperial Constitution
2.2 Independence, Union, and the Law of Nations

3 The Struggle to Consolidate the Republic
3.1 The French Alliance and the Balance-of-Power
3.2 Foreign Relations under the Articles of Confederation

4 The Federal Constitution and the Law of Nations
4.1 The Law of Nations and the Framing of the Constitution
4.2 The Constitution from an International Legal Perspective

5 Law and Foreign Policy in the Federalist Era (1789–1801)
5.1 Towards the Neutrality Proclamation: Hamilton vs. Jefferson
5.2 Balancing Neutral Rights and Treaty Obligations

6 Law and Foreign Policy under Thomas Jefferson
6.1 The Mississippi and Beyond: The Law of Nations and Territorial
6.2 Freedom of the Seas and Maritime Commerce

7 From the War of 1812 to the Monroe Doctrine
7.1 The War of 1812: Fighting Over the Law