Vattel’s Law of Nations (1758)

Semiquincentennial of the Publication of Emer de Vattel's The Law of Nations (1758)

The Swiss juirist Emer de Vattel (1714-1767) was one of the foremost theorists of natural law in the 18th century. His writings were widely read in the American colonies and had a profound impact on the thinking of the framers of the American constitution. The Law of Nations (1758) is a 2 volume work in which Vattel explores the application of natural law to the conduct of states and sovereigns. He discusses the rights of obligation of the state itself, those of the sovereign power, the nature of good government, the right of the people to secession or rebellion, and the proper relations between sovereign states. The latter includes international commerce, international legal agreements, and treaties.

[For further reading see the Laws of War]