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Federal Union, Modern World

The Law of Nations in an Age of Revolutions, 1776-1814

Peter Onuf and Nicholas Onuf

In this thought-provoking analysis of international relations, the Onufs deepen our understanding of the law of nations in a world of profound change. Federal Union, Modern World relates the emergence of the modern concept of state-societies to the remarkable experiments in constitution-making in the United States and shows how efforts to model a federal union in America influenced the broader relations of European nation-states.

Relying on ancient and early modern sources prominent in the minds of the Founders, the authors show how the idea of a federal union was applied to the nations of the world. This profound conceptual change in international relations sundered the law of nations from naturalism and grafted it into modern ideas of liberalism.

The formation of the United States as federation, argue the Onufs, "expressed Enlightenment impulses . . . more fully than any contemporaneous developments in Europe." Furthermore, as the Founders attempted to secure a tenable position for their creation, they inspired a shift in international relations theory from natural legal doctrine to the positive law of states.

This timely study of international union and disunion informs us as much about the decades of revolution as it does about the context of international relations in our own time.
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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 232Size: 6 x 9
978-0-945612-34-6 • Hardback • January 1994 • $39.00 • (£24.95)
Peter Onuf is the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation Professor of History at the University of Virginia. He has written widely in the field of early American history including The Origins of the Federal Republic, Statehood and the Union, The Midwest and the Nation (with Andrew R.L. Clayton), A Union of Interests (with Cathy D. Matson), and Jeffersonian Legacies.
Nicholas Onuf is professor of international politics and foreign policy at Florida International University.
Chapter 1 Acknowledgments
Chapter 2 Introduction: The World of Vattel
Chapter 3 Years of Revolution
Chapter 4 The European Republic
Chapter 5 Nature's Design
Part 6 Part One: Federal Union
Chapter 7 Chapter One: "A More Perfect Union"
Chapter 8 Polis and Politeia
Chapter 9 After Aristotle
Chapter 10 Changes in Kind
Chapter 11 Chapter Two: "The Compount Republic of America"
Chapter 12 Whole and Parts
Chapter 13 The Theory of Corporations
Chapter 14 After Althusius
Chapter 15 Association, Consociation
Chapter 16 Chapter Three: "Extent and Proper Structure"
Chapter 17 Reading Madison
Chapter 18 Size of the Union
Chapter 19 Limits and Levels
Part 20 Part Two: A New World Order
Chapter 21 Chapter Four: The American State System
Chapter 22 Revolutionary Hopes
Chapter 23 Commerce
Chapter 24 Treaties
Chapter 25 Confederation
Chapter 26 Diplomatic Frustrations
Chapter 27 Chapter Five: Foreign Affairs and Federal Union
Chapter 28 Crisis of Union
Chapter 29 Union Transformed
Chapter 30 The Expanding Union
Chapter 31 Apotheosis
Part 32 Part Three: Changing World
Chapter 33 Chapter Six: The Balance of Power
Chapter 34 Worlds Apart
Chapter 35 Republican Foreign Policy
Chapter 36 End of the Old World
Chapter 37 Union and Independence
Chapter 38 Chapter Seven: The New Law of Nations
Chapter 39 Lawlessness
Chapter 40 Neutral Rights
Chapter 41 The Examination
Chapter 42 Neutrality and the War of 1812
Chapter 43 Federal Union, Modern World
Chapter 44 Index
This is a fascinating and timely study that deepens our understanding of the law of nations and the international context that informed the thinking of the Founders as they created a federal union. . . . It's an excellent volume and an evident collaborative success.
James Farr, Professor of Political Science, University of Minnesota