Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Freedom of the seas
(996 words)

Freedom of the seas is an international legal concept, first formulated in the 18th century, according to which the seas are not the property of anyone - whether a natural person or a state. After the “dualistic system,” that is, the distinction between territorial (coastal) waters and high seas evolved over the course of the early modern period, the associated idea of the “freedom of the high seas” arose in the 18th century. According to this concept, no State may claim sovereignty over the “high seas” without respect to its geographic situation or exercise jurisdiction o…

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Akashi, Kinji, “Freedom of the seas”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 29 November 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_019412>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180126

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