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That Trade With The Indians Does Not Belong To The Portuguese By Right Of Prescription Or Custom

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Chapter Summary

This chapter contains the English translation of chapter XI of Hugo Grotius' Mare Liberum, and screenshots of each page of the original text written in Latin. In agreement with Vasquius, that neither custom nor prescription has any force in the relations between free nations or between the rulers of different peoples; these two factors are likewise without force when opposed to the principles introduced by the earliest form of law. The concept of quasi-possession of trade is based upon a common right which pertains to all men alike; conversely, it should not be supposed, merely because non-Portuguese peoples may have neglected to engage in commerce with the (East) Indians, that they refrained from so doing out of deference to the Portuguese, since one ought rather to assume that they considered the omission expedient for themselves. The Arabs and the Chinese trade continuously with the (East) Indians throughout several centuries.

Keywords: custom; East India; law; Portuguese; prescription; trade



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