United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. It is the largest and most capable navy in the world and it has been estimated that in terms of tonnage of its active battle fleet alone, it is larger than the next 13 navies combined, which includes 11 U. S. allies or partner nations. With the highest combined battle fleet tonnage and the world's largest aircraft carrier fleet, with eleven in service, two new carriers under construction. With 319,421 personnel on active duty and 99,616 in the Ready Reserve, the Navy is the third largest of the service branches, it has 282 deployable combat vessels and more than 3,700 operational aircraft as of March 2018, making it the second-largest air force in the world, after the United States Air Force. The U. S. Navy traces its origins to the Continental Navy, established during the American Revolutionary War and was disbanded as a separate entity shortly thereafter.
The U. S. Navy played a major role in the American Civil War by blockading the Confederacy and seizing control of its rivers, it played the central role in the World War II defeat of Imperial Japan. The US Navy emerged from World War II as the most powerful navy in the world; the 21st century U. S. Navy maintains a sizable global presence, deploying in strength in such areas as the Western Pacific, the Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean, it is a blue-water navy with the ability to project force onto the littoral regions of the world, engage in forward deployments during peacetime and respond to regional crises, making it a frequent actor in U. S. foreign and military policy. The Navy is administratively managed by the Department of the Navy, headed by the civilian Secretary of the Navy; the Department of the Navy is itself a division of the Department of Defense, headed by the Secretary of Defense. The Chief of Naval Operations is the most senior naval officer serving in the Department of the Navy.
The mission of the Navy is to maintain and equip combat-ready Naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression and maintaining freedom of the seas. The U. S. Navy is a seaborne branch of the military of the United States; the Navy's three primary areas of responsibility: The preparation of naval forces necessary for the effective prosecution of war. The maintenance of naval aviation, including land-based naval aviation, air transport essential for naval operations, all air weapons and air techniques involved in the operations and activities of the Navy; the development of aircraft, tactics, technique and equipment of naval combat and service elements. U. S. Navy training manuals state that the mission of the U. S. Armed Forces is "to be prepared to conduct prompt and sustained combat operations in support of the national interest." As part of that establishment, the U. S. Navy's functions comprise sea control, power projection and nuclear deterrence, in addition to "sealift" duties, it follows as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, with it, everything honorable and glorious.
Naval power... is the natural defense of the United States The Navy was rooted in the colonial seafaring tradition, which produced a large community of sailors and shipbuilders. In the early stages of the American Revolutionary War, Massachusetts had its own Massachusetts Naval Militia; the rationale for establishing a national navy was debated in the Second Continental Congress. Supporters argued that a navy would protect shipping, defend the coast, make it easier to seek out support from foreign countries. Detractors countered that challenging the British Royal Navy the world's preeminent naval power, was a foolish undertaking. Commander in Chief George Washington resolved the debate when he commissioned the ocean-going schooner USS Hannah to interdict British merchant ships and reported the captures to the Congress. On 13 October 1775, the Continental Congress authorized the purchase of two vessels to be armed for a cruise against British merchant ships. S. Navy; the Continental Navy achieved mixed results.
In August 1785, after the Revolutionary War had drawn to a close, Congress had sold Alliance, the last ship remaining in the Continental Navy due to a lack of funds to maintain the ship or support a navy. In 1972, the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, authorized the Navy to celebrate its birthday on 13 October to honor the establishment of the Continental Navy in 1775; the United States was without a navy for nearly a decade, a state of affairs that exposed U. S. maritime merchant ships to a series of attacks by the Barbary pirates. The sole armed maritime presence between 1790 and the launching of the U. S. Navy's first warships in 1797 was the U. S. Revenue-Marine, the primary predecessor of the U. S. Coast Guard. Although the USRCS conducted operations against the pirates, their depredations far outstripped its abilities and Congress passed the Naval Act of 1794 that established a permanent standing navy on 27 March 1794; the Naval Act ordered the construction and manning of six frigates and, by October 1797, the first three were brought into service: USS United States, USS Constellation, USS Constitution.
Due to his strong posture on having a strong standing Navy during this period, John Adams is "often called the father of the American Navy". In 1798–99 the Navy was involved in an undeclared Quasi-War with France. From 18
The National Archives (United Kingdom)
The National Archives is a non-ministerial government department. Its parent department is the Department for Culture and Sport of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, it is the official archive for England and Wales. There are separate national archives for Northern Ireland. TNA was four separate organisations: the Public Record Office, the Historical Manuscripts Commission, the Office of Public Sector Information and Her Majesty's Stationery Office; the Public Record Office still exists as a legal entity, as the enabling legislation has not been modified, documents held by the institution thus continue to be cited by many scholars as part of the PRO. Since 2008, TNA has hosted the former UK Statute Law Database, now known as legislation.gov.uk. It is institutional policy to include the definite article, with an initial capital letter, in its name but this practice is not always followed in the non-specialist media; the National Archives is based in Kew in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames in south-west London.
The building was opened in 1977 as an additional home for the public records, which were held in a building on Chancery Lane. The site was a World War I hospital, used by several government departments, it is near to Kew Gardens Underground station. Until its closure in March 2008, the Family Records Centre in Islington was run jointly by The National Archives and the General Register Office; the National Archives has an additional office in Norwich, for former OPSI staff. There is an additional record storage facility in the worked-out parts of Winsford Rock Salt Mine, Cheshire. For earlier history, see Public Record Office; the National Archives was created in 2003 by combining the Public Record Office and the Historical Manuscripts Commission and is a non-ministerial department reporting to the Minister of State for digital policy. On 31 October 2006, The National Archives merged with the Office of Public Sector Information, which itself contained Her Majesty's Stationery Office, a part of the Cabinet Office.
The name remained The National Archives. 1991–2005: Sarah Tyacke 2005–2010: Natalie Ceeney 2010–2013: Oliver Morley 2013–2014: Clem Brohier 2014–present: Jeff James TNA claims it is "at the heart of information policy—setting standards and supporting innovation in information and records management across the UK, providing a practical framework of best practice for opening up and encouraging the re-use of public sector information. This work helps inform today's decisions and ensure that they become tomorrow's permanent record." It has a number of key roles in information policy: Policy – advising government on information practice and policy, on issues from record creation through to its reuse Selection – selecting which documents to store Preservation – ensuring the documents remain in as good a condition as possible Access – providing the public with the opportunity to view the documents Advice – advising the public and other archives and archivists around the world on how to care for documents Intellectual property management – TNA manages crown copyright for the UK Regulation – ensuring that other public sector organisations adhere to both the public records act and the PSI reuse regulations.
The National Archives has long had a role of oversight and leadership for the entire archives sector and archives profession in the UK, including local government and non-governmental archives. Under the Public Records Act 1958 it is responsible for overseeing the appropriate custody of certain non-governmental public records in England and Wales. Under the 2003 Historical Manuscripts Commission Warrant it has responsibility for investigating and reporting on non-governmental records and archives of all kinds throughout the United Kingdom. In October 2011, when the Museums and Archives Council was wound up, TNA took over its responsibilities in respect of archives in England, including providing information and advice to ministers on archives policy; the National Archives now sees this part of its role as being "to enhance the'archival health of the nation'". The National Archives is the UK government's official archive, "containing 1000 years of history from Domesday Book to the present", with records from parchment and paper scrolls through to digital files and archived websites.
The material held at Kew includes the following: Documents from the central courts of law from the twelfth century onwards, including the Court of King's Bench, the Court of Common Pleas, the Court of Chancery, the Court of Exchequer, the Supreme Court of Judicature, the Central Criminal Court and many other courts Medieval, early modern and modern records of central government A large and disparate collection of maps and architectural drawings Records for family historians including wills, naturalisation certificates and criminal records Service and operational records of the armed forces War Office, Admiralty etc. Foreign Office and Colonial Office correspondence and files Cabinet papers and Home Office records Statistics of the Board of Trade The surviving records of the English railway companies, transferred from the British Railways Record OfficeThere is a museum, which displays key documents such as Domesday Book and has exhibitions on various topics using material from the collections.
The collections held by the National A
A navy or maritime force is the branch of a nation's armed forces principally designated for naval and amphibious warfare. It includes anything conducted by surface ships, amphibious ships and seaborne aviation, as well as ancillary support, communications and other fields; the strategic offensive role of a navy is projection of force into areas beyond a country's shores. The strategic defensive purpose of a navy is to frustrate seaborne projection-of-force by enemies; the strategic task of the navy may incorporate nuclear deterrence by use of submarine-launched ballistic missiles. Naval operations can be broadly divided between riverine and littoral applications, open-ocean applications, something in between, although these distinctions are more about strategic scope than tactical or operational division. In most nations, the term "naval", as opposed to "navy", is interpreted as encompassing all maritime military forces, e.g. navy, naval infantry/marine corps, coast guard forces. First attested in English in the early 14th century, the word "navy" came via Old French navie, "fleet of ships", from the Latin navigium, "a vessel, a ship, boat", from navis, "ship".
The word "naval" came from Latin navalis, "pertaining to ship". The earliest attested form of the word is in the Mycenaean Greek compound word, na-u-do-mo, "shipbuilders", written in Linear B syllabic script; the word denoted fleets of both commercial and military nature. In modern usage "navy" used alone always denotes a military fleet, although the term "merchant navy" for a commercial fleet still incorporates the non-military word sense; this overlap in word senses between commercial and military fleets grew out of the inherently dual-use nature of fleets. Although nationality of commercial vessels has little importance in peacetime trade other than for tax avoidance, it can have greater meaning during wartime, when supply chains become matters of patriotic attack and defense, when in some cases private vessels are temporarily converted to military vessels; the latter was important, common, before 20th-century military technology existed, when adding artillery and naval infantry to any sailing vessel could render it as martial as any military-owned vessel.
Such privateering has been rendered obsolete in blue-water strategy since modern missile and aircraft systems grew to leapfrog over artillery and infantry in many respects. Naval warfare developed. Prior to the introduction of the cannon and ships with sufficient capacity to carry the large guns, navy warfare involved ramming and boarding actions. In the time of ancient Greece and the Roman Empire, naval warfare centered on long, narrow vessels powered by banks of oarsmen designed to ram and sink enemy vessels or come alongside the enemy vessel so its occupants could be attacked hand-to-hand. Naval warfare continued in this vein through the Middle Ages until the cannon became commonplace and capable of being reloaded enough to be reused in the same battle; the Chola Dynasty of medieval India was known as one of the greatest naval powers of its time from 300 BC to 1279 AD. The Chola Navy, Chola kadarpadai comprised the naval forces of the Chola Empire along with several other Naval-arms of the country.
The Chola navy played a vital role in the expansion of the Chola Tamil kingdom, including the conquest of the Sri Lanka islands, Sri Vijaya, the spread of Hinduism, Tamil architecture and Tamil culture to Southeast Asia and in curbing the piracy in Southeast Asia in 900 CE. In ancient China, large naval battles were known since the Qin dynasty, employing the war junk during the Han dynasty. However, China's first official standing navy was not established until the Southern Song dynasty in the 12th century, a time when gunpowder was a revolutionary new application to warfare. Nusantaran thalassocracies made extensive use of naval power and technologies; this enabled the seafaring Malay people to attack as far as the coast of Tanganyika and Mozambique with 1000 boats and attempted to take the citadel of Qanbaloh, about 7,000 km to their West, in 945-946 AD. In 1350 AD Majapahit launched its largest military expedition, the invasion of Pasai, with 400 large jong and innumerable smaller vessels.
The second largest military expedition, invasion of Singapura in 1398, Majapahit deployed 300 jong with no less than 200,000 men. The mass and deck space required to carry a large number of cannon made oar-based propulsion impossible, ships came to rely on sails. Warships were designed to carry increasing numbers of cannon and naval tactics evolved to bring a ship's firepower to bear in a broadside, with ships-of-the-line arranged in a line of battle; the development of large capacity, sail-powered ships carrying cannon led to a rapid expansion of European navies the Spanish and Portuguese navies which dominated in the 16th and early 17th centuries, helped propel the age of exploration and colonialism. The repulsion of the Spanish Armada by the English fleet revolutionized naval warfare by the succe
Officer (armed forces)
An officer is a member of an armed forces or uniformed service who holds a position of authority. In its broadest sense, the term "officer" refers to commissioned officers, non-commissioned officers, warrant officers. However, when used without further detail, the term always refers to only commissioned officers, the more senior portion of a force who derive their authority from a commission from the head of state; the proportion of officers varies greatly. Commissioned officers make up between an eighth and a fifth of modern armed forces personnel. In 2013, officers were the senior 17% of the British armed forces, the senior 13.7% of the French armed forces. In 2012, officers made up about 18% of the German armed forces, about 17.2% of the United States armed forces. However, armed forces have had much lower proportions of officers. During the First World War, fewer than 5% of British soldiers were officers. In the early twentieth century, the Spanish army had the highest proportion of officers of any European army, at 12.5%, at that time considered unreasonably high by many Spanish and foreign observers.
Within a nation's armed forces, armies tend to have a lower proportion of officers, but a higher total number of officers, while navies and air forces have higher proportions of officers since military aircraft are flown by officers. For example, 13.9% of British army personnel and 22.2% of the RAF personnel were officers in 2013, but the army had a larger total number of officers. Having a command authority is one requirement for combatant status under the laws of war, though this authority need not have obtained an official commission or warrant. In such case, those persons holding offices of responsibility within the organization are deemed to be the officers, the presence of these officers connotes a level of organization sufficient to designate a group as being combatant. Commissioned officers receive training as leadership and management generalists, in addition to training relating to their specific military occupational specialty or function in the military. Many advanced militaries require university degrees as a prerequisite for commissioning from the enlisted ranks.
Others, including the Australian Defence Force, the British Armed Forces, Nepal Army, the Pakistani Armed Forces, the Swiss Armed Forces, the Singapore Armed Forces, the Israel Defense Forces, the Swedish Armed Forces, the New Zealand Defence Force, are different in not requiring a university degree for commissioning—although a significant number of officers in these countries are graduates. In the Israel Defense Forces, a university degree is a requirement for an officer to advance to the rank of lieutenant colonel; the IDF sponsors the studies for its majors, while aircrew and naval officers obtain academic degrees as a part of their training programmes. In the United Kingdom, there are three routes of entry for British Armed Forces officers; the first, primary route are those who receive their commission directly into the officer grades following completion at their relevant military academy. In the second method, an individual may gain their commission after first enlisting and serving in the junior ranks, reaching one of the senior non-commissioned officer ranks, as what are known as'direct entry' or DE officers.
The third route is similar to the second. LE officers, whilst holding the same Queen's commission work in different roles from the DE officers. In the infantry, a number of warrant officer class 1s are commissioned as LE officers. In the British Army, commissioning for DE officers occurs after a 44-week course at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst for regular officers or the Army Reserve Commissioning Course, which consists of four two-week modules for Army Reserve officers; the first two modules may be undertaken over a year for each module at an Officers' Training Corps, the last two must be undertaken at Sandhurst. For Royal Navy and Royal Air Force officer candidates, a 30-week period at Britannia Royal Naval College or a 24-week period at RAF College Cranwell, respectively. Royal Marines officers receive their training in the Command Wing of the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines during a gruelling 15-month course; the courses consist of not only tactical and combat training, but leadership, management and international affairs training.
Until the Cardwell Reforms of 1871, commissions in the British Army were purchased by officers. The Royal Navy, operated on a more meritocratic, or at least mobile, basis. Commissioned officers are the only persons, in an armed forces environment, able to act as the commanding officer of a military unit. A superior officer is an officer with a higher rank than another officer, a subordinate officer relative to the superior. Non-commissioned officers, to include naval and coast guard petty officers and chief petty officers, in positions of authority can be said to have control or charge rather than command per se. Most officers in the Armed Forces of the United States are commissioned through one of three major commissioning programs: United States Military Academy Unit
The Royal Navy is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by the English kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were fought in the Hundred Years War against the Kingdom of France; the modern Royal Navy traces its origins to the early 16th century. From the middle decades of the 17th century, through the 18th century, the Royal Navy vied with the Dutch Navy and with the French Navy for maritime supremacy. From the mid 18th century, it was the world's most powerful navy until surpassed by the United States Navy during the Second World War; the Royal Navy played a key part in establishing the British Empire as the unmatched world power during the 19th and first part of the 20th centuries. Due to this historical prominence, it is common among non-Britons, to refer to it as "the Royal Navy" without qualification. Following World War I, the Royal Navy was reduced in size, although at the onset of World War II it was still the world's largest.
By the end of the war, the United States Navy had emerged as the world's largest. During the Cold War, the Royal Navy transformed into a anti-submarine force, hunting for Soviet submarines and active in the GIUK gap. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, its focus has returned to expeditionary operations around the world and remains one of the world's foremost blue-water navies. However, 21st century reductions in naval spending have led to a personnel shortage and a reduction in the number of warships; the Royal Navy maintains a fleet of technologically sophisticated ships and submarines including two aircraft carriers, two amphibious transport docks, four ballistic missile submarines, six nuclear fleet submarines, six guided missile destroyers, 13 frigates, 13 mine-countermeasure vessels and 22 patrol vessels. As of November 2018, there are 74 commissioned ships in the Royal Navy, plus 12 ships of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary; the RFA replenishes Royal Navy warships at sea, augments the Royal Navy's amphibious warfare capabilities through its three Bay-class landing ship vessels.
It works as a force multiplier for the Royal Navy doing patrols that frigates used to do. The total displacement of the Royal Navy is 408,750 tonnes; the Royal Navy is part of Her Majesty's Naval Service, which includes the Royal Marines. The professional head of the Naval Service is the First Sea Lord, an admiral and member of the Defence Council of the United Kingdom; the Defence Council delegates management of the Naval Service to the Admiralty Board, chaired by the Secretary of State for Defence. The Royal Navy operates three bases in the United Kingdom; as the seaborne branch of HM Armed Forces, the RN has various roles. As it stands today, the RN has stated its 6 major roles as detailed below in umbrella terms. Preventing Conflict – On a global and regional level Providing Security At Sea – To ensure the stability of international trade at sea International Partnerships – To help cement the relationship with the United Kingdom's allies Maintaining a Readiness To Fight – To protect the United Kingdom's interests across the globe Protecting the Economy – To safe guard vital trade routes to guarantee the United Kingdom's and its allies' economic prosperity at sea Providing Humanitarian Aid – To deliver a fast and effective response to global catastrophes The strength of the fleet of the Kingdom of England was an important element in the kingdom's power in the 10th century.
At one point Aethelred II had an large fleet built by a national levy of one ship for every 310 hides of land, but it is uncertain whether this was a standard or exceptional model for raising fleets. During the period of Danish rule in the 11th century, the authorities maintained a standing fleet by taxation, this continued for a time under the restored English regime of Edward the Confessor, who commanded fleets in person. English naval power declined as a result of the Norman conquest. Following the Battle of Hastings, the Norman navy that brought over William the Conqueror disappeared from records due to William receiving all of those ships from feudal obligations or because of some sort of leasing agreement which lasted only for the duration of the enterprise. More troubling, is the fact that there is no evidence that William adopted or kept the Anglo-Saxon ship mustering system, known as the scipfryd. Hardly noted after 1066, it appears that the Normans let the scipfryd languish so that by 1086, when the Doomsday Book was completed, it had ceased to exist.
According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, in 1068, Harold Godwinson's sons Godwine and Edmund conducted a ‘raiding-ship army’ which came from Ireland, raiding across the region and to the townships of Bristol and Somerset. In the following year of 1069, they returned with a bigger fleet which they sailed up the River Taw before being beaten back by a local earl near Devon. However, this made explicitly clear that the newly conquered England under Norman rule, in effect, ceded the Irish Sea to the Irish, the Vikings of Dublin, other Norwegians. Besides ceding away the Irish Sea, the Normans ceded the North Sea, a major area where Nordic peoples traveled. In 1069, this lack of naval presence in the North Sea allowed for the invasion an
National Maritime Museum
The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London, is a maritime museum in London. The historic buildings form part of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site, it incorporates the Royal Observatory and 17th-century Queen's House. In 2012, Her Majesty the Queen formally approved Royal Museums Greenwich as the new overall title for the National Maritime Museum, Queen’s House, the Royal Observatory and the Cutty Sark; the museum is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Culture and Sport. Like other publicly funded national museums in the United Kingdom, the National Maritime Museum does not levy an admission charge, although most temporary exhibitions do incur admission charges; the museum was created by the National Maritime Act of 1934 Chapter 43, under a Board of Trustees, appointed by H. M. Treasury, it is based on the generous donations of Sir James Caird. King George VI formally opened the museum on 27 April 1937 when his daughter Princess Elizabeth accompanied him for the journey along the Thames from London.
The first Director was Sir Geoffrey Callender. Since earliest times Greenwich has had associations with the navigation, it was a landing place for the Romans. The home of Greenwich Mean Time and the Prime Meridian since 1884, Greenwich has long been a centre for astronomical study, while navigators across the world have set their clocks according to its time of day; the Museum has the most important holdings in the world on the history of Britain at sea comprising more than two million items, including maritime art, manuscripts including official public records, ship models and plans and navigational instruments, instruments for time-keeping and astronomy. Its holdings including paintings relating to Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson and Captain James Cook. An active loans programme ensures; the museum aims to achieve a greater understanding of British economic, social and maritime history and its consequences in the world today. The museum plays host to various exhibitions, including Ships Clocks & Stars in 2014, Samuel Pepys: Plague, Revolution in 2015 and Emma Hamilton: Seduction and Celebrity in 2016.
The collection of the National Maritime Museum includes items taken from the German Naval Academy Mürwik after World War II, including several ship models and flags. The museum has been criticized for possessing what has been described as "looted art"; the museum regards these cultural objects as "war trophies", removed under the provisions of the Potsdam Conference. The museum awards the Caird Medal annually in honour of Sir James Caird. In late August 2018, several groups were vying for the right to purchase the 5,500 RMS Titanic relics that were an asset of the bankrupt Premier Exhibitions; the National Maritime Museum, Titanic Belfast and Titanic Foundation Limited, as well as the National Museums Northern Ireland, joined together as a consortium, raising money to purchase the 5,500 artifacts. The group intended to keep all of the items together as a single exhibit. Oceanographer Robert Ballard said he favored this bid since it would ensure that the memorabilia would be permanently displayed in Belfast and in Greenwich.
The museums were critical of the bid process set by the Bankruptcy Court in Florida. The minimum bid for the 11 October 2018 auction was set at US$21.5 million and the consortium did not have enough funding to meet that amount. The museum was established in 1934 within the 200 acres of Greenwich Royal Park in the buildings occupied by the Royal Hospital School, before it moved to Holbrook in Suffolk, it includes the Queen's House, an early classical building designed by Inigo Jones, the keystone of the historic "park and palace" landscape of maritime Greenwich. It includes the Royal Observatory, an active scientific institution until the 1950s, when it was removed to Herstmonceux Castle in East Sussex; the gardens to the north of the museum were reinstated in the late 1870s following construction of the cut-and-cover tunnel between Greenwich and Maze Hill stations. The tunnel comprised part of the final section of the London and Greenwich Railway and opened in 1878. Flamsteed House, the original part of the Royal Observatory, was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and Robert Hooke and was the first purpose-built scientific institution in Britain.
All the museum buildings have been subsequently upgraded. A full redevelopment of the main galleries, centring on what is now the Neptune Court, designed by Rick Mather Architects and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, was completed in 1999. In May 2007 a major capital project, "Time and Space", opened up the entire Royal Observatory site for the benefit of visitors; the £16 million transformation features three new modern astronomy galleries, four new time galleries, facilities for collections conservation and research, a learning centre and the 120-seat Peter Harrison Planetarium designed to introduce the world beyond the night sky. In 2008, the museum announced that Israeli shipping magnate Sammy Ofer had donated £20m for a new gallery. 1937 to 1946 – Geoffrey Callender 1947 to 1966 – Frank George Griffith Carr 1967 to 1983 – Basil Jack Greenhill 1983 to 1986 – Neil Cossons 1986 to 2000 – Richard Louis Ormond CBE 2000 to 2007 – Rear Admiral Roy Clare 200
International law is the set of rules regarded and accepted in relations between nations. It serves as a framework for the practice of stable and organized international relations. International law differs from state-based legal systems in that it is applicable to countries rather than to individual citizens. National law may become international law when treaties permit national jurisdiction to supranational tribunals such as the European Court of Human Rights or the International Criminal Court. Treaties such as the Geneva Conventions may require national law to conform to respective parts. National laws or constitutions may provide for the implementation or integration of international legal obligations. International law is consent-based governance, as there is no means of enforcement in a world dominated by sovereign states; this means that a state may choose to not abide by international law, to break its treaty. However, violations of customary international law and peremptory norms can lead to military action or other forms of coercion, such as diplomatic pressure or economic sanctions.
The current order of international law, the equality of sovereignty between nations, was formed through the conclusion of the "Peace of Westphalia" in 1648. Prior to 1648, on the basis of the purpose of war or the legitimacy of war, it sought to distinguish whether the war was a "just war" or not; this theory of power interruptions can be found in the writings of the Roman Cicero and the writings of St. Augustine. According to the theory of armistice, the nation that caused unwarranted war could not enjoy the right to obtain or conquer trophies that were legitimate at the time The 17th, 18th and 19th centuries saw the growth of the concept of the sovereign "nation-state", which consisted of a nation controlled by a centralised system of government; the concept of nationalism became important as people began to see themselves as citizens of a particular nation with a distinct national identity. Until the mid-19th century, relations between nation-states were dictated by treaty, agreements to behave in a certain way towards another state, unenforceable except by force, not binding except as matters of honor and faithfulness.
But treaties alone became toothless and wars became destructive, most markedly towards civilians, who decried their horrors, leading to calls for regulation of the acts of states in times of war. The modern study of international law starts in the early 19th century, but its origins go back at least to the 16th century, Alberico Gentili, Francisco de Vitoria and Hugo Grotius, the "fathers of international law." Several legal systems developed in Europe, including the codified systems of continental European states and English common law, based on decisions by judges and not by written codes. Other areas developed differing legal systems, with the Chinese legal tradition dating back more than four thousand years, although at the end of the 19th century, there was still no written code for civil proceedings. One of the first instruments of modern international law was the Lieber Code, passed in 1863 by the Congress of the United States, to govern the conduct of US forces during the United States Civil War and considered to be the first written recitation of the rules and articles of war, adhered to by all civilised nations, the precursor of international law.
This led to the first prosecution for war crimes—in the case of United States prisoners of war held in cruel and depraved conditions at Andersonville, Georgia, in which the Confederate commandant of that camp was tried and hanged, the only Confederate soldier to be punished by death in the aftermath of the entire Civil War. In the years that followed, other states subscribed to limitations of their conduct, numerous other treaties and bodies were created to regulate the conduct of states towards one another in terms of these treaties, but not limited to, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in 1899; because international law is a new area of law its development and propriety in applicable areas are subject to dispute. Under article 38 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice, international law has three principal sources: international treaties and general principles of law. In addition, judicial decisions and teachings may be applied as "subsidiary means for the determination of rules of law", International treaty law comprises obligations states expressly and voluntarily accept between themselves in treaties.
Customary international law is derived from the consistent practice of States accompanied by opinio juris, i.e. the conviction of States that the consistent practice is required by a legal obligation. Judgments of international tribunals as well as scholarly works have traditionally been looked to as persuasive sources for custom in addition to direct evidence of state behavior. Attempts to codify customary international law picked up momentum after the Second World War with the formation of the International Law Commission, under the aegis of the United Nations. Codified customary law is made the binding interpretation of the underlying custom by agreement through treaty. For states not party to such treaties, the work of the ILC may still be accepted as custom applying to those states. General principles of law are those recognized by the major legal systems of the world. Certain norms of international law achieve the binding force of peremptory norms as to include all states with no permissible derogations.
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