This commentary aimed originally to compare the function of the principle of consent in Latin and Anglo-American history. Yet, as it developed, I could no longer ignore the reasons behind the neglect of the close links between the principle of consent and the law of nature and nations. I grew increasingly interested in a comparison between this and another equally interesting anomaly emerging from it: the limitations nationalism has imposed on historians in studying their national histories. The end result has been to use my original subject as a means to reflect on some of the presuppositions that can limit historical research.
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