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That Trade With The Indians Does Not Belong To The Portuguese By Title Of Occupation

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Chapter Summary

This chapter contains the English translation of chapter IX of Hugo Grotius' Mare Liberum. The Portuguese position is strengthened even if the Portuguese people had been the first to engage in trade with the (East) Indians, although such a claim on their part could be regarded only as an absolute falsehood. In the beginning different peoples proceeded in different directions, there must be some who were the first traders; yet it is certain beyond all possibility of doubt that those earliest traders did not thereby acquire any right. If the Portuguese do possess any right that gives them an exclusive privilege of trade with the (East) Indians, that right must have arisen, after the fashion of other servitudes, from an express grant, or from a tacit concession; for under no other circumstances could it exist.

Keywords: East India; Portuguese; trade



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