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Alberico Gentili and the Hanse: The Early Reception of De iure belli (1598)

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Chapter Summary

Alberico Gentili expresses his notion of assistance to the enemy in fairly broad terms. By the end of the 16th century, it must have been clear that no amount of legal arguments would reverse that balance of power in favour of the Hanse. In the Hanseatic tract, Chapter 12 aims to rebut the argument that, originally, the Hanseatic privileges caused little harm to the realm, but that in more recent times, the Kingdom was suffering much greater damage from those privileges; the argument is presented as part of one of the grounds of the 1552 revocation decree. Gentili's remarks about the Hanse in De iure belli reveal that he was acquainted with some of the essential legal features of the long-standing controversies between the Hanse and England, but also with some of their more recent developments, even though he mentions very few details.

Keywords: 1552 revocation decree; Alberico Gentili; De iure belli; England; Hanseatic tract



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