The eighteenth-century Scottish philosopher David Hume responded to the fiction that an ideal social contract assured the normative foundations of government by pointing to the violent and fraudulent origins of all political communities.1 For Hume and many others, the historical record appears to undermine the suggestion that reasonable men (for it was only men who counted as full citizens) ever have or would voluntarily come together to agree on the terms of their political association. The historical record and the objections of Hume notwithstanding, the idea of an agreement, contract, or other form of consensus on the fundamental principles of political government continues to play an important role in contemporary accounts of the normative foundations of government.
|Title of host publication||Empire by Treaty|
|Subtitle of host publication||Negotiating European Expansion, 1600-1900|
|Place of Publication||Oxford and New York|
|Publisher||Oxford University Press|
|Number of pages||27|
|ISBN (Print)||9780199391783, 0199391785|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|
- Colonies -- law and legislation
- Europe -- colonies
- Europe -- foreign relations -- treaties
- Europe -- territorial expansion
- Indigenous peoples -- claims -- history
- Treaty-making power -- Europe -- history
Patton, P. (2015). The "Lessons of History": The Ideal of Treaty in Settler Colonial Societies. In S. Belmessous (Ed.), Empire by Treaty: Negotiating European Expansion, 1600-1900 (pp. 243-269). Oxford University Press.