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From Contract to Treaty. The Legal Transformation of the Spanish Succession 1659–1713

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image of Journal of the History of International Law / Revue d'histoire du droit international

The problem of the Spanish Succession kept the European diplomatic system in suspense from 1659 until 1713. Statesmen and diplomats tackled the question. Their practical vision of the law was a necessary complement to legal doctrine. Louis XIV and Emperor Leopold I used incompatible and absolute claims, which originated in private law and Spanish succession law. At the Peace of Utrecht, these arguments completely dissolved. The War of the Spanish Succession thus not only redesigned the political map of Europe: It altered the norm hierarchy in public law, strengthening international law as the framework of the 'Société des Princes'.

Affiliations: 1: Research Foundation Flanders, Legal History Institute, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium


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