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Literature of Liberty: Grotius & Natural Law

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…Grotius inherited his opposition to tyranny. His father was the curator of the University of Leyden, center both of commercial Holland’s Republican opposition to the militarism of the Princes of Orange as well as of the anti-Calvinist and bourgeois Arminianism. Grotius devoted himself to expounding the Arminian view of tolerance; his religious writings emphasized that the truths of Christianity, which were held in common by Catholics, Calvinists, Lutherans, and Arminians, were fundamentally more important compared to the peripheral points on which they felt they differed.

Grotius’s appetite for learning and his encyclopedic knowledge were recognized at age twenty when he was appointed Historiographer of his province, Holland. Historical research continually engaged Grotius’s attention, and his historical writings included Deantiquitate reipublicae Batavae and the Annals of the Low Countries, on which he worked until his death…