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Studies in Law, Politics, and Society

ISBN: 978-1-78052-080-3, eISBN: 978-1-78052-081-0

Publication date: 30 June 2011


Keal argues that Europeans began formulating their modern system of international laws in conjunction with their colonial projects in the early 1500s. The colonial projects gave rise to several key legal debates regarding: (1) European claims on territories in what we now know as the Americas, and (2) proper conduct of relationships of conquest between indigenous peoples and Europeans (Keal, 2003, pp. 84–87). Initially, competing territorial claims between Spanish and Portuguese interests were settled through a series of Papal Bulls that gave Spain a larger share of Central and South America. The Dutch, English, and French pursued their interests through military and mercantilist means, reconfiguring Spain's initial hold on the majority of the Central and South America (Burkholder & Johnson, 2010).


Sullivan, K.M. and Brunnegger, S. (2011), "Introduction", Sarat, A. (Ed.) Studies in Law, Politics, and Society (Studies in Law, Politics, and Society, Vol. 55), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 3-17.



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