The New Student's Reference Work/International Law

International Law, is the name given to the rules which govern either the actions of states in their relation to each other or the relations of citizens of different countries. It is a system created by civilized countries during the last three centuries, and its rules are now in use only among civilized peoples. The increasing intercourse between individuals of different nations by commerce and travel gives a growing importance to the interests affected by this branch of law. Each state may establish, alter or abolish its own constitution; discover and settle new countries; extend its navigation or fisheries; improve its revenues, arts, agriculture and commerce; and develop its national resources by all beneficial and lawful means. In order to do this, the attitude of states to one another must be one of mutual confidence. See International Law by Woolsey.