Early Dutch and German Federal Theory: Spinoza, Hugo, and Leibniz

Authored by: Lee Ward

The Ashgate Research Companion to Federalism

Print publication date:  August  2009
Online publication date:  April  2016

Print ISBN: 9780754671312
eBook ISBN: 9781315612966
Adobe ISBN: 9781317043454


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The United Provinces of the Netherlands and the German Empire stood out in the seventeenth century as rare examples of federal forms of government in an age dominated by centralized monarchies and the doctrine of indivisible sovereignty created to legitimize the post-feudal state. In the United Provinces and the post-Westphalian German Empire, Benedict Spinoza, Ludolph Hugo, and Gottfried von Leibniz were important theorists who articulated federal systems that were both challenged by, and simultaneously a challenge to, the prevailing conception of sovereignty.

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