Hugo Grotius, 1583-1645.

Portrait of Hugo Grotius

Hugo Grotius (Huigh De Groot) was a Dutch legal scholar, playwright and poet.  As a natural law philosopher, he is generally credited as the originator of "natural morality" and the "social contract" theory of the State.   His 1609 book promoted idea that seas should be free for the innocent use and mutual benefit of all -- an idea disputed subsequently disputed by some Mercantilists.  Grotius's 1625 treatise is acknowledged as the first in international law.     More famously, Grotius argued that "property" was only the outcome of social consent, and thus had nothing "inalienable" in it.  This conclusion was disputed by Pufendorf.

Major Works of Hugo Grotius

Resources on Hugo Grotius

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