By Lauren Benton
A look for Sovereignty maps a brand new method of international heritage by means of reading the relation of legislation and geography in ecu empires among 1400 and 1900. Lauren Benton argues that Europeans imagined imperial house as networks of corridors and enclaves, and they developed sovereignty in ways in which merged principles approximately geography and legislation. Conflicts over treason, piracy, convict transportation, martial legislations, and crime created abnormal areas of legislation, whereas additionally attaching felony meanings to time-honored geographic different types akin to rivers, oceans, islands, and mountains. The ensuing criminal and spatial anomalies prompted debates approximately imperial constitutions and foreign legislation either within the colonies and at domestic. This unique learn alterations our knowing of empire and its legacies and opens new views at the international background of legislation.
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Extra info for A Search for Sovereignty: Law and Geography in European Empires, 1400-1900
And see also Geoffrey Samuel, Epistemology and Method in Law (Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2003), chap. 1. Anomalies of Empire 29 the extra-European world as legally different from realms closer to the seats of sovereign power. 85 In the Spanish Empire, efforts by the crown to limit ecclesiastical authority and to create new institutions for Indian subjects can be viewed as marking foundational moments for divergence between metropolitan and colonial law. 86 The discourse and politics about subjecthood (and, later, citizenship) and divided sovereignty provided part of the framework for describing legally uneven imperial territories.
Scholars in Europe, including Alberico Gentili, Hugo Grotius, Jeremy Bentham, and Henry Sumner Maine, took up this challenge in responding 85 86 Recent analyses of Calvin’s Case caution that it should not be read as a blueprint for subsequent imperial legal policy. Christopher Tomlins notes that although Coke offered a distinction between the legal status of colonies of conquest and inherited realms, this difference did not solidify into a contrast between conquered and settled territories until later, and it was a formula that even then left most questions about legal administration open to interpretation.
Michel de Certeau discusses the contrast of maps and tours, drawing on research reported in the 1970s on New York City with respondents who were asked to describe their apartments. The research shows that while some people in describing a particular space tend to draw maps, a larger group of people convey geographic knowledge in the form of a tour. Asked about the layout of an apartment, for example, they describe the sights encountered in moving from one room to another. The Practice of Everyday Life, trans.