Grotius on the Freedom of the Seas


GROTIUS, H. Mare Liberum. 1609.

Title page of the first edition of a foundational text in modern international law, Hugo Grotius’ Mare liberum, a defense of the freedom of the seas and the right of all nations to trade throughout the world.  The position Grotius took on open international trading rights was very much in line with Dutch interests, as the Dutch from the 1590s onward were trying to take part in the maritime trade of the Indies, previously claimed by the Portuguese as their exclusive right.

[EHC 08.1609.Gro.00]
[Willems 56]

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