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America and the Law of Nations 1776-1939$
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Mark Weston Janis

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199579341

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199579341.001.0001

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Lieber, Field, and Wharton: The Science of International Law

Lieber, Field, and Wharton: The Science of International Law

(p.116) 6 Lieber, Field, and Wharton: The Science of International Law
America and the Law of Nations 1776-1939

Mark Weston Janis

Oxford University Press

The era between the American Civil War and World War I, 1865-1914, was the most optimistic period of all for the American tradition of international law. This chapter explores the late 19th-century penchant for the science and codification of the law of nations, an aspiration inspired in part by Jeremy Bentham. After a brief word about Bentham, it introduces two great American codifiers of the time — Francis Lieber and David Dudley Field — and then the important digester of American international law, Francis Wharton. Finally, looking at the German/English scholar, Lassa Oppenheim, it considers the fate of the ‘science of international law’ and asks whether science or codification has significantly improved the efficacy of international law.

Keywords:   Francies Lieber, David Dudley Field, international law, Francis Wharton, Lass Oppenheim

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