The Struggle for the Falkland Islands: A Study in Legal and Diplomatic History

The Struggle for the Falkland Islands: A Study in Legal and Diplomatic History

The Struggle for the Falkland Islands: A Study in Legal and Diplomatic History

The Struggle for the Falkland Islands: A Study in Legal and Diplomatic History

Excerpt

The discovery of the new world at the end of the fifteenth century marked the beginning of an epoch in the history of international law. The foundations of this system had been laid during the middle ages by the feudal states of the time, but the sphere of its operations was vastly increased during the period of colonial expansion and many new matters were found to be susceptible of legal regulation. In this development of the law Spain from the very first took the lead, and her efforts to submit to international rules the many economic and political problems arising out of colonial competition did not abate until her great empire had fallen into pieces about her.

This view of Spain's rôle in international politics is one not usually advanced; nor is the idea that international law was a force of importance in the relations of European states during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries by any means prevalent. The political historian tells us of an ever-decaying Spain embroiled for over two centuries in endless disputes, in which her policy was restrained not by law but only by expediency. The historian of international law is prone to envisage the development of his subject during this era as wholly guided by the jurist and publicist. But these views are both distortions. The truth of the matter is that modern international law was forged in the fires of the economic and political struggles over colonial possessions and the control of the seas, and due to the initiative of Spain was a real and vital force in European affairs from the beginning of the sixteenth century onward.

The present volume deals primarily with a famous controversy the ghost of which has even to this day not been laid. The account is based upon manuscript material heretofore never used and places the merits of the dispute in a new light. The issues originally involved in the controversy . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.