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Reading: Is There an Inter-American International Law? A Case Study of Latin American Juridical History

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Is There an Inter-American International Law? A Case Study of Latin American Juridical History

Author:

Christian J. Maisch

American University
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Abstract

The independence of the United States in the late 1700s and of most of the Latin American states in the early 1800s represented the first steps in a long and slow process of dismantling the international legal system that the European powers had developed in an attempt to justify and facilitate their global colonial expansion. Through ground-breaking pronouncements, such as Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence, Juan Pablo Vizcardo y Guzmán’s Letter to the Spanish Americans, the Calvo, Tejedor, and Drago doctrines; pioneering multilateral treaties, such as the 1933 Inter-American Convention on the Rights and Duties of States and the 1940 Inter-American Convention on Nature Protection and Wild Life Preservation in the Western Hemisphere; and many other remarkable resolutions at regional meetings, the countries of the Western Hemisphere put forward a new theory of international law predicated on the noble premises of mutual respect and collective responsibility among states. This new theory of international law is one of the major historical contributions of the American republics. It not only laid the foundation for the massive process of de-colonization of the twentieth century, but it also launched the continuing effort to decentralize the process of globalization.
How to Cite: Maisch, C.J., (2007). Is There an Inter-American International Law? A Case Study of Latin American Juridical History. Middle Atlantic Review of Latin American Studies. 20(1), pp.32–49. DOI: http://doi.org/10.23870/64
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Published on 01 Jan 2007.
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