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and national law is of special interest. It was the humanists who had established the history of the two Romanic laws upon secure foundations; and in all the countries of Europe the national jurists followed that example by studying and writing the history of the native laws and customs. England was not exceptional. Here, as in other parts of Europe, these studies in national legal history had their beginnings in the sixteenth century, the great creative age of the legal humanists of the Renaissance; and in the early part of the seventeenth century Selden and other scholars, influenced in large measure by humanistic studies, were placing the new school of English legal history upon a scientific basis.


In tracing the processes of the rise and decline of the Roman and Canonical systems throughout Europe, our studies should not be restricted narrowly to the history of law. Our vision should include all the other aspects of history, and particularly those powerful forces and far-reaching movements which lie at the foundation of Western history in general; for, from the age of antiquity to the present day, these main historical factors have been at work in the shaping of the laws of Europe. They were at work in the early middle age, causing the spread of Germanic Custom to all parts of the West. They influenced legal history when, during the later medieval centuries, the Roman and Canon systems rose to a position of domination in many Western regions, displacing or modifying the native laws and customs. They were not less active in the age of the Renaissance, the age in which the two Romanic laws and the Germanic and other non-Romanic legal elements in Europe entered upon their modern struggle for supremacy.

Although our vision should embrace these broader aspects of development, our studies must also

concern themselves with a comparison of the separate histories of the several legal systems of Europe. Only by studies in comparative legal history can we see in clearness the differences and the similarities between separate courses of legal evolution that are nevertheless closely related through common traditions, common influences, and common elements. Only by comparisons, and the conclusions which we draw from them, can we grasp the main lines of European legal history as a whole.

Studies of this character prove to us that the general progress of legal evolution in the age of the Renaissance is inextricably interwoven with all the other features of the European history of the times. In that momentous epoch the waning forces of the middle age met in conflict those fresher and more vigorous political, social, religious, and intellectual forces that were beginning to stir as early as the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries; and during the struggle of these opposite forces in the sixteenth century the Western world passed, in transition, from the medieval to the modern order. It was the victory of the modern over the medieval forces in that transitional century which caused the beginning of a profound and permanent change in the fortunes of the Roman and Canon laws. An inheritance of the middle ages from antiquity, these two universal and cosmopolitan systems of law had flourished vigorously under the conditions of European civilisation which existed in the later medieval centuries. But in the age when Discovery, Renaissance, Reformation, Nationalism, and other powerful factors were transforming the West, legal as well as political, social, and ecclesiastical institutions suffered changes and modifications to meet the new conditions of the new world. The Roman and Canon laws, part and parcel of the medievalism that was passing, thus entered upon their decline; and it was inevitable,

indeed, that the legal Romanism which they embodied should not survive in all its fulness in a world which was erecting itself more and more upon nonRoman foundations. The age of the Renaissance is memorable, therefore, as marking the main turning-point in the history of the laws of Europe. Only in Germany were the medieval factors in the history of that age strong enough to resist for a time the general progress to modern conditions; and there, and there alone, the "Reception" of the foreign laws took its revolutionary course. Elsewhere in Europe the historical forces of the sixteenth century made for a gradual decline in Romanic and a corresponding renaissance of non-Romanic legal influences; and even in Germany these forces ultimately prevailed.

The Work of Grotius and of the

Modern International Lawyer



A STRIKING feature of the literature of to-day on the subject of International Law is the great emphasis which is laid on the defects, shortcomings, and lacunæ in the rules governing states in their mutual relations. On the third centenary of the publication of the great work of Grotius, the De jure belli ac pacis, we find a demand for a re-examination of the principles of the Law of Nations and a call for another Grotius to co-ordinate divergencies of national practice and lay down principles for international relations which shall accord with the altered conditions which have taken place both in states and in the international society in recent years. On the other hand there. are those who, while admitting that gaps undoubtedly exist in the rules of International Law, would have us get back to the Grotian doctrine, not necessarily in the express form in which it was stated by him in 1625, but in its fundamentals. In much the same way that the argument that Christianity had failed because it did not prevent the outbreak of war in 1914 was countered by the reply that the teaching of Christ had not been practised, so there are to be found those who contend that the weakness of International Law to-day is due to the non-observance of the fundamental teaching of Grotius, whose claim.

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