By Saliha Belmessous
Such a lot histories of eu appropriation of indigenous territories have, till lately, serious about conquest and profession, whereas particularly little awareness has been paid to the historical past of treaty-making. but treaties have been additionally a method of extending empire. to understand the level of ecu felony engagement with indigenous peoples, Empire through Treaty: Negotiating ecu enlargement, 1600-1900 seems on the background of treaty-making in eu empires (Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, French and British) from the early seventeenth to the past due nineteenth century, that's, in the course of either levels of ecu imperialism. whereas students have usually brushed off treaties assuming that they'd were fraudulent or unequal, this booklet argues that there has been extra to the perform of treaty-making than mere advertisement and political opportunism. certainly, treaty-making used to be additionally promoted via Europeans as a extra valid technique of appropriating indigenous sovereignties and buying land than have been conquest or career, and accordingly which will reconcile enlargement with ethical and juridical legitimacy. As for indigenous peoples, they engaged in treaty-making with the intention to extra their pursuits no matter if, quite often, they won a long way below the Europeans from these agreements and sometimes lower than they bargained for. The vexed background of treaty-making provides specific demanding situations for the nice expectancies put in treaties for the answer of conflicts over indigenous rights in post-colonial societies. those hopes are held via either indigenous peoples and representatives of the post-colonial nation and but, either needs to come to phrases with the advanced and stricken historical past of treaty-making over three hundred years of empire. Empire by way of Treaty appears to be like at treaty-making in Dutch colonial growth, the Spanish-Portuguese border within the Americas, aboriginal land in Canada, French colonial West Africa, and British India.
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Extra info for Empire by Treaty: Negotiating European Expansion, 1600-1900
15 For Machiavelli, then, treaties proved to be useful devices to expand republican territory and to take the lead in international competition. At first sight, this view seems to be the direct opposite of the Erasmian perspective, yet in spite of their fundamental differences, the two Renaissance theorists in fact shared a common hypothesis: the claim that treaties should not be seen as tokens of peaceful recognition but rather as cunning means for territorial aggrandizement. Both Machiavelli and Erasmus characterized treaty making primarily as a cover-up for imperial self-interest.
18 From his early twenties onward, Grotius sought to reach a universally valid conception of international justice, a project that eventually culminated in the epoch-making De jure belli ac pacis, first published in 1625. Significantly this intellectual endeavor was from the start intrinsically linked to Dutch colonial politics in Southeast Asia. In 1604 the recently founded VOC sought Grotius’s assistance in writing a defense for the Dutch seizure of a Portuguese merchant ship in the Straits of Singapore one year before.
63 Somers, “De VOC als volkenrechtelijke actor,” 117, n97. For a contextualization from the Javanese point of view, see Bertrand, L’Histoire à parts égales, 386–402. Andaya, “ ‘A Very Good-Natured but Awe-Inspiring Government’: The Reign of a Successful Queen in Seventeenth-Century Aceh,” in Locher-Scholten and Rietbergen, Hof en handel, 73. 65 Quoted in Koster, “Of Treaties and Unbelievers,” 67. 60 38 EMPIRE BY TREATY Clearly the treaty was considered a very valuable document, which reveals to what extent Dutch interests could be presented as being parallel to those of local rulers.
Empire by Treaty: Negotiating European Expansion, 1600-1900 by Saliha Belmessous