European jurist and political philosopher Hugo Grotius is born in Holland. Hugo Grotius will be largely responsible for formulating many basic legal doctrines which are taken for granted today.
One of the founders of the very idea of international law, he will create the principle of Mare Liberum, the idea that the seas are international territory which all nations are free to use for seafaring and trade.
Grotius will also be an important defender and theorist for the principles of Natural Law. Grotius will argue that Natural Law can serve as a bulwark against rampant moral skepticism and provide a means for the rational resolution of both personal and national disputes. According to Grotius, every person possesses certain natural rights, some of which they voluntarily give up as part of the process of creating a legitimate government.