Journal of Libertarian Studies

Sovereignty, International Law, and the Triumph of Anglo-American Cunning

The Journal of Libertarian Studies

The Peace of Westphalia (1648), which closed out the era of wars “of”—or allegedly “about”—religion, established what might be called a rule-bound cartel of sovereign, territorial states, conceived as externally equal to one another and internally hierarchical. At that moment, we see an end to any effective claim by the Papacy and the Holy Roman (German) Emperor to universal jurisdiction. The state system that displaced those competitors thereby created a rule-following international “society” of civilized, Christian European monarchies and states. International law grew within this framework, and, in time, came to be seen as applicable to all outwardly independent political societies in the world.

Volume 18, Number 4 (2004)


Stromberg, Joseph R. “Sovereignty, International Law, and the Triumph of Anglo-American Cunning.” Journal of Libertarian Studies 18, No. 4 (2004): 29–93.

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