Delenda est haec Carthago: The Ostend Company As A Problem Of European Great Power Politics (1722-1727)

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Abstract

The Ostend Company (1722-1731) is a symbol of present-day Belgium’s strangling by European Great Power politics in the Ancien Régime, and more specifically of the limitations imposed on the Southern Netherlands by the Dutch Republic in 1648. The present contribution analyses the right of Emperor Charles VI to send out ships to the East Indies. Pamphlets by Abraham Westerveen and Jean Barbeyrac, argued for the exclusion of the Southern Netherlands based on the Treaty of Munster. Against this, Patrice de Neny and Jean du Mont invoked the peremptory character of the natural law-rules governing free trade. However, the Treaty of Commerce concluded between Charles VI and Philip V, King of Spain, on 1 May 1725, constituted a strong basis to refute the Dutch attacks. Yet, norm hierarchy between the balance of power inscribed in the Peace of Utrecht and secondary bilateral treaties between sovereigns dominated multilateral diplomacy after 1713 and prejudiced the “Belgian” East India trade.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-437
Number of pages41
JournalRevue Belge de Philologie et d'Histoire
VolumeXCLIII
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2016

Keywords

  • legal history
  • 18th century history
  • early modern history
  • history of international law
  • law of nations

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