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Studies in the History of Law and Justice

Liberty, Slavery and the Law in Early Modern Western Europe

Omnes Homines aut Liberi Sunt aut Servi

Authors: Batselé, Filip

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  • Addresses the further development of the free soil principle during the period 1650–1800
     
    Synthesizes the existing literature on the origins and evolution of the principle
     
    Discusses the legal repercussions of slaves coming to England, France, and the Low Countries from other countries

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eBook $109.00
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-36855-5
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Hardcover $139.99
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-36854-8
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  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This book investigates the legal evolution of the “free soil principle” in England, France and the Low Countries during the Early Modern period (ca. 1500–1800), which essentially stated that, as soon as slaves entered a certain country, they would immediately gain their freedom. This book synthesizes the existing literature on the origins and evolution of the principle, adds new insights by drawing on previously undiscussed primary sources on the development of free soil in the Low Countries and employs a pan-Western, European and comparative approach to identify and explain the differences and similarities in the application of this principle in France, England and the Low Countries. Divided into four sections, the book begins with a brief introduction to the subject matter, putting it in its historical context. Slavery is legally defined, using the established international law definition, and both the status of slavery in Europe before the Early Modern Period and the Atlantic slave trade are discussed. Secondly, the book assesses the legal origins of the free soil principle in England, France and the Low Countries during the period 1500–1650 and discusses the legal repercussions of slaves coming to England, France and the Low Countries from other countries, where the institution was legally recognized. Thirdly, it addresses the further development of the free soil principle during the period 1650–1800. In the fourth and last section, the book uses the insights gained to provide a pan-Western, European and comparative perspective on the origins and application of the free soil principle in Western Europe. In this regard, it compares the origins of free soil for the respective countries discussed, as well as its application during the heyday of the Atlantic slave trade. This perspective makes it possible to explain some of the divergences in approaches between the countries examined and represents the first-ever full-scale country comparison on this subject in a book.

About the authors

Filip Batselé is a law graduate with degrees from Ghent University (LL.B., LL.M.) and The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University (LL.M.). He currently works at Ghent University’s Institute for Legal History, where he is conducting PhD research on the history of international law. He is also affiliated with the research group “Contextual Research in Law” (CORE) at the Free University of Brussels.

Table of contents (8 chapters)

Table of contents (8 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $109.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-36855-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $139.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-030-36854-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Liberty, Slavery and the Law in Early Modern Western Europe
Book Subtitle
Omnes Homines aut Liberi Sunt aut Servi
Authors
Series Title
Studies in the History of Law and Justice
Series Volume
17
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-36855-5
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-36855-5
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-36854-8
Series ISSN
2198-9842
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIV, 223
Topics