“The ordinary jus gentium is only a particular law, applicable to a distinct set or family of nations, varying at different times with the change in religion, manners, government, and other institutions, among every class of nations. Hence the international law of the civilized, Christian nations of Europe and America, is one thing; and that which governs the intercourse of the Mohammedan nations of the East with each other, and with Christians, is another and a very different thing. The international law of Christendom began to be fixed about the time of Grotius, when the combined influence of religion, chivalry, the feudal system, and commercial and literary intercourse, had blended together the nations of Europe into one great family. This law does not merely consist of the principles of natural justice applied to the conduct of states considered as moral beings. It may, indeed, have a remote foundation of this sort; but the immediate visible basis on which the public law of Europe, and of the American nations which have sprung from the European stock, has been erected, are the customs, usages, and conventions observed by that portion of the human race in their mutual intercourse”.