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International Law and EmpireHistorical Explorations$
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Martti Koskenniemi, Walter Rech, and Manuel Jiménez Fonseca

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198795575

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198795575.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 05 July 2022

Towards the Empire of a ‘Civilizing Nation’

Towards the Empire of a ‘Civilizing Nation’

The French Revolution and Its Impact on Relations with the Ottoman Regencies in the Maghreb

(p.201) 9 Towards the Empire of a ‘Civilizing Nation’
International Law and Empire

Christian Windler

Oxford University Press

Both the American and the French Revolution promoted the ideal of a new international order directed towards the pursuit of prosperity and peace. This chapter focuses on the effects of this new model for foreign relations on intercultural diplomacy by examining the relations between France and the Ottoman regencies in the Maghreb. It shows how, in the eighteenth century, the regencies were regarded and acknowledged by the European powers as able to act in an autonomous fashion, by following a specific set of contractual and customary laws. A number of shifts, beginning with the American and French Revolutions, fundamentally altered this model of relations with the regencies. The effect of the characterization of Maghrebi corsairs activity as piracy is discussed in detail. The Ottoman regencies were required to submit to the norms of the ‘civilized’, but this did not turn them into fully fledged subjects of the community of the law of nations as defined by Western states. Instead, the unequal treaty became a symbol of the relations with non-Western powers.

Keywords:   Diplomacy, foreign relations, civilized, French Revolution, Maghreb, corsairs

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