Download e-book for iPad: Ancient Law: Its Connection to the History of Early Society by Henry Sumner, Sir Maine

By Henry Sumner, Sir Maine

ISBN-10: 0554092530

ISBN-13: 9780554092539

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Extra resources for Ancient Law: Its Connection to the History of Early Society

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The inference constancy suggested is, that laws are the creatures of climate, local situation, accident, or imposture -- the fruit of any causes except those which appear to operate with tolerable constancy. Montesquieu seems, in fact, to have looked on the nature of man as entirely plastic, as passively reproducing the impressions, and submitting implicitly to the impulses, which it receives from without. And here no doubt lies the error which vitiates his system as a system. He greatly underrates the stability of human nature.

If the society of nations is governed by Natural Law, the atoms which compose it must be absolutely equal. Men under the sceptre of Nature are all equal, and accordingly commonwealths are equal if the international state be one of nature. The proposition that independent communities, however different in size and power, are all equal in the view of the law of nations, has largely contributed to the happiness of mankind, though it is constantly threatened by the political tendencies of each successive age.

They intend to affirm that, under the hypothetical Law of Nature, and in so far as positive law approximates to it, the arbitrary distinctions which the Roman Civil Law maintained between classes of persons cease to have a legal existence. The rule was one of considerable importance to the Roman practitioner, who required to be reminded that, wherever Roman jurisprudence was assumed to conform itself exactly to the code of Nature, there was no difference in the contemplation of the Roman tribunals between citizen and foreigner, between freeman and slave, between Agnate and Cognate.

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Ancient Law: Its Connection to the History of Early Society by Henry Sumner, Sir Maine


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