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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Civilized Nations

James Sloan

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 18 May 2024

Subject(s):
History of international law — Foreign relations law — Statehood, jurisdiction of states, organs of states — Colonization / Decolonization

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law under the direction of Professor Anne Peters (2021–) and Professor Rüdiger Wolfrum (2004–2020). 

1 The phrase ‘civilized nations’ (also known as ‘civilized peoples’, ‘civilized countries’, or, collectively, as the ‘civilized world’) has long served to distinguish European Christian States from States not thought to possess similar legal systems or values. Those States which were not considered to possess the attributes of ‘civilized nations’ have been variously described as ‘uncivilized nations’, ‘semi-civilized nations’, ‘rude nations’, or ‘enslaved nations’ and their inhabitants as ‘barbarians’ or ‘savages’. Some took the view that certain States, while not...
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