Chapter

Taney and his Court: Slavery, International Law, and American Exceptionalism

Mark Weston Janis

in America and the Law of Nations 1776-1939

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780199579341
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722653 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199579341.003.0005
 Taney and his Court: Slavery, International Law, and American Exceptionalism

Show Summary Details

Preview

By the middle of the 19th century, international law had become a distinctive discipline in America. It had a philosophy, a political and judicial purpose, a literature, and apparently, a bright future. As with any sort of law at any time, the law of nations did not always set out neat answers to important questions, but it often provided an accepted mode of discourse. Political, legal, and moral issues were discussed and sometimes settled in its terms. This chapter demonstrates the centrality of the law of nations to mid-19th century American discourse by considering international legal arguments to address the issue of slavery — that most troubling example of American exceptionalism.

Keywords: International law; American exceptionalism; slavery; Dred Scott

Chapter.  12374 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.