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International Law And National Existence: The Myth Of Strict Neutrality (1918–?)

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Chapter Summary

The tenacity and universality of the myth is somewhat surprising. The World War I government did not believe it, the foreign ministry did not believe it, the military believed it not at all, and foreign governments during the war believed it least of all. Perhaps it owes as much to the social psychology of the period as to any trends in traditional intellectual history. The result in either case is the same. The avoidance of war was neither celebrated nor studied. There was no methodical study of the military, diplomatic, or economic factors that had produced neutrality. Myths have origins. This chapter suggests some possible explanations for this one, beginning with the Dutch attitude toward things military.

Keywords: International Law; Myth



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