§ 1. Foundation of the common and mutual duties of nations.

THE following maxims will appear very strange to cabinet politicians; and such is the misfortune of mankind, that, to many of those refined conductors of nations, the doctrine of this chapter will be a subject of ridicule. Be it so; but we will, nevertheless, boldy lay down what the law of nature prescribes to nations. Shall we be intimidated by ridicule, when we speak after Cicero? That great man held the reins of the most powerful state that ever existed; and in that station he appeared no less eminent than at the bar. The punctual observance of the law of nature he considered as the most salutary policy to the state. In my preface, I have already quoted this fine passage — Nihil est quod adhuc de republica putem dictum, et quo possim longius progredi, nisi sit confirmatum, non modo falsum esse illud, sine injuria not posse, sed hoc verissimum, sine summa justitia rempublicam regi non posse.1 I might say on good grounds, that, by the words summa justitia, Cicero means that universal justice which consists in completely fulfilling the law of nature. But in another place he explains himself more clearly on this head, and gives us sufficiently to understand that he does not confine the mutual duties of men to the observance of justice, properly so called. "Nothing," says he, "is more agreeable to nature, more capable of affording true satisfaction, than, in imitation of Hercules, to undertake even the most arduous and painful labours for the benefit and preservation of all nations." Magis est secundum naturam, pro omnibus gentibus, si fieri possit, conservandis aut juvandis, maximos labores molestiasque suscipere, imitantem Herculem illum, quem hominum fama, beneficiorum memor, in concilium cœlestium collocavit, quam vivere in solitudine, non modo sine ullis molestiis, sed, etiam in maximis voluptatibus, abundantem omnibus copiis, ut excellas etiam pulchritudine et viribus. Quocirca optimo quisque et splendidissimo ingenio longe illam vitam huic anteponit.2 In the same chapter, Cicero expressly refutes those who are for excluding foreigners from the benefit of those duties to which they acknowledge themselves bound towards their fellow-citizens. Qui autem civium rationem dicunt habendam, externorum negant, hi dirimunt communem humani generis societatem; qua sublata, beneficentia, liberalitas, bonitas, justitia, funditus tollitur; quæ qui tollunt, etiam adversus Deos immortales impii judicandi sunt; ab Us enim constitutam inter homines societatem evertunt.

And why should we not hope still to find, among those who are the head of affairs, come wise individuals who are convinced of this great truth, that virtue is, even for sovereigns and political bodies, the most certain road to prosperity and happiness? There is at least one benefit to be expected from the open assertion and publication of sound maxims, which is, that even those who relish them the least are thereby laid under a necessity of keeping within some bounds, lest they should forfeit their characters altogether. To flatter ourselves with the vain expectation that men, and especially men in power, will be inclined strictly to conform to the laws of nature, would be a gross mistake; and to renounce all hope of making impression on some of them, would be to give up mankind for lost.

Nations, being obliged by nature reciprocally to cultivate human society (Prelim. § 11), are bound to observe towards each other all the duties which the safety and advantage of that society require.

§ 2. Offices of humanity, and their foundation.

The offices of humanity are those succours, those duties, which men owe to each other, as men, — that is, as social beings formed to live in society, and standing in need of mutual assistance for their preservation and happiness, and to enable them to live in a manner conformable to their nature. Now, the laws of nature being no less obligatory on nations than on individuals (Prelim. § 5), whatever duties each man owes to other men, the same does each nation, in its way, owe to other nations (Prelim. § 10, &c). Such is the foundation of those common duties — of those offices of humanity — to which nations are reciprocally bound towards each other. They consist, generally, in doing every thing in our power for the preservation and happiness of others, as far as such conduct is reconcilable with our duties towards ourselves.

§ 3. General principle of all the mutual duties of nations.

The nature and essence of man, who, without the assistance of his fellow-men, is unable to supply all his wants, to preserve himself, to render himself perfect, and to live happily, plainly show us that he is destined to live in society, in the interchange of mutual aid; and, consequently, that all men are, by their very nature and essence, obliged to unite their common efforts for the perfection of their own being and that of their condition. The surest method of succeeding in this pursuit is, that each individual should exert his efforts first for himself and then for others. Hence it follows, that, whatever we owe to ourselves, we likewise owe to others, so far as they stand in need of assistance, and we can grant it to them without being wanting to ourselves. Since, then, one nation, in its way, owes to another nation every duty that one man owes to another man, we may confidently lay down this general principle: — one state owes to another state whatever it owes to itself, so far as that other stands in real need of its assistance, and the former can grant it without neglecting the duties it owes to itself. Such is the eternal and immutable law of nature. Those who might be alarmed at this doctrine, as totally subversive of the maxims of sound policy, will be relieved from their apprehensions by the two following considerations: —

1. Social bodies or sovereign states are much more capable of supplying all their wants than individual men are; and mutual assistance is not so necessary among them, nor so frequently required. Now, in those particulars which a nation can itself perform, no succour is due to it from others.

2. The duties of a nation towards itself, and chiefly the care of its own safety, require much more circumspection and reserve than need be observed by an individual in giving assistance to others. This remark we shall soon illustrate.

§ 4. Duties of a nation for the preservation of others.

Of all the duties of a nation towards itself, the chief object is its preservation and perfection, together with that of its state. The detail given of them in the first book of this work may serve to point out the several objects in relation to which a state may and should assist another state. Every nation ought, on occasion, to labour for the preservation of others, and for securing them from ruin and destruction, as far as it can do this without exposing itself too much. Thus, when a neighbouring nation is unjustly attacked by a powerful enemy who threatens to oppress it, if you can defend it, without exposing yourself to great danger, unquestionably it is your duty to do so. Let it not be said, in objection to this, that a sovereign is not to expose the lives of his soldiers for the safety of a foreign nation with which he has not contracted a defensive alliance. It may be his own case to stand in need of assistance; and, consequently, he is acting for the safety of his own nation in giving energy to the spirit and disposition to afford mutual aid. Accordingly, policy here coincides with and enforces obligation and duty. It is the interest of princes to stop the progress of an ambitious monarch, who aims at aggrandizing himself by subjugating his neighbours. A powerful league was formed in favour of the United Provinces, when threatened with the yoke of Louis XIV.3 When the Turks laid siege to Vienna, the brave Sobieski, king of Poland, saved the house of Austria.4 and possibly all Germany, and his own kingdom.

§ 5. It ought to assist a nation afflicted with famine or any other calamities.

For the same reason, if a nation is afflicted with famine, all those who have provisions to spare ought to relieve her distress, without, however, exposing themselves to want.(89) But, if that nation is able to pay for the provisions thus furnished, it is perfectly lawful to sell them to her at a reasonable rate; for they are not bound to furnish her with what she is herself capable of procuring; and, consequently, there is no obligation of gratuitously bestowing on her such things as she is able to purchase. To give assistance in such extreme necessity is so essentially conformable to humanity, that the duty is seldom neglected by any nation that has received the slightest polish of civilization. The great Henry the Fourth could not forbear to comply with it in favour of obstinate rebels who were bent on his destruction.5

Whatever be the calamity with which a nation is afflicted, the like assistance is due to it. We have seen little states in Switzerland order public collections to be made in behalf of towns or villages of the neighbouring countries, which had been ruined by fire, and remit them liberal succours; the difference of religion proving no bar to the performance of so humane a deed. The calamities of Portugal have given England an opportunity of fulfilling the duties of humanity with that noble generosity which characterizes a great nation. On the first intelligence of the disastrous fate of Lisbon,6 the parliament voted a hundred thousand pounds sterling for the relief of an unfortunate people; the king also added considerable sums: ships, laden with provisions and all kinds of succours, were sent away with the utmost despatch; and their arrival convinced the Portuguese that an opposition in belief and worship does not restrain the beneficence of those who understand the claims of humanity. On the same occasion, likewise, the king of Spain signally displayed his tenderness for a near ally, and exerted, in a conspicuous manner, his humanity and generosity.

§ 6. It ought to contribute to the perfection of other states.

A nation must not simply confine itself to the preservation of other states; it should likewise, according to its power and their want of its assistance, contribute to their perfection. We have already shown (Prelim. § 13) that natural society imposes on it this general obligation. We are now come to the proper place for treating of the obligation somewhat more in detail. A state is more or less perfect, as it is more or less adapted to attain the end of civil society, which consists in procuring for its members every thing of which they stand in need, for the necessities, the conveniences, and enjoyments of life, and for their happiness in general, — in providing for the peaceable enjoyment of property, and the safe and easy administration of justice, — and, finally, in defending itself against all foreign violence (Book I. § 15). Every nation therefore, should occasionally, and according to its power, contribute, not only to put another nation in possession of these advantages, but likewise to render it capable of procuring them itself. Accordingly, a learned nation, if applied to for masters and teachers in the sciences, by another nation desirous of shaking off it native barbarism, ought not to refuse such a request. A nation, whose happiness it is to live under wise laws, should on occasion, make it a point of duty to communicate them. Thus, when the wise and virtuous Romans sent ambassadors to Greece to collect good laws, the Greeks were far from rejecting so reasonable and so laudable a request. (90)

§ 7. But not by force.

But, though a nation be obliged to promote, as far as lies in its power, the perfection of others, it is not entitled forcibly to obtrude these good offices on them. Such an attempt would be a violation of their natural liberty. In order to compel any one to receive a kindness, we must have an authority over him; but nations are absolutely free and independent (Prelim. § 4). Those ambitious Europeans who atlacked the American nations, and subjected them to their greedy dominion, in order, as they pretended, to civilize them, and cause them to be instructed in the true religion, — those usurpers, I say, grounded themselves on a pretext equally unjust and ridiculous. It is strange to hear the learned and judicious Grotius assert that a sovereign may justly take up arms to chastise nations which are guilty of enormous transgressions of the law of nature, which treat their parents with inhumanity like the Sogdians, which eat human flesh as the ancient Gauls, &c.7(91) What led him into this error, was, his attributing to every independent man, and of course to every sovereign, an odd kind of right to punish faults which involve an enormous violation of the laws of nature, though they do not affect either his rights or his safety. But we have shown (Book I. § 169) that men derive the right of punishment solely from their right to provide for their own safety; and consequently they cannot claim it except against those by whom they have been injured. Could it escape Grotius, that, notwithstanding all the precautions added by him in the following paragraphs, his opinion opens a door to all the ravages of enthusiasm and fanaticism, and furnishes ambition with numberless pretexts? Mohammed and his successors have desolated and subdued Asia, to avenge the indignity done to the unity of the Godhead; all whom they termed associators or idolaters fell victims to their devout fury.

§ 8. The right to require the offices of humanity.

Since nations ought to perform these duties or offices of humanity towards each other, according as one stands in need, and the other can reasonably comply with them, — every nation being free, independent, and sole arbitress of her own actions, it belongs to each to consider whether her situation warrants her in asking or granting any thing on this head. Thus 1. Every nation has a perfect right to ask of another that assistance and those kind offices which she conceives herself to stand in need of. To prevent her, would be doing her an injury. If she makes the application without necessity, she is guilty of a breach of duty; but, in this respect, she is wholly independent of the judgment of others. A nation has a right to ask for these kind offices, but not to demand them.

§ 9. The right of judging whether they are to be granted.

For, 2. These offices being due only in necessity, and by a nation which can comply with them without being wanting to itself; the nation that is applied to has, on the other hand, a right of judging whether the case really demands them, and whether circumstances will allow her to grant them consistently with that regard which she ought to pay to her own safety and interests: for instance, a nation is in want of corn, and applies to another nation to sell her a quantity of it: — in this case it rests with the latter party to judge whether, by a compliance with the request, they will not expose themselves to the danger of a scarcity: and, if they refuse to comply, their determination is to be patienty acquiesced in. We have very lately seen a prudent performance of this duty on the part of Russia: she generously assisted Sweden when threatened with a famine, but refused to other powers the liberty of purchasing corn in Livonia, from the circumstance of standing herself in need of it, and, no doubt, from weighty political motives likewise.

§ 10. A nation is not to compel another to perform these.

Thus, the right which a nation has to the offices of humanity is but an imperfect one: she cannot compel another nation to the performance of them. The nation that unreasonably refuses them offends against equity, which consists in acting conformably to the imperfect right of another: but thereby no injury is done; injury or injustice being a trespass against the perfect right of another.

§ 11. Mutual love of nations.

It is impossible that nations should mutually discharge all these several duties if they do not love each other. This is the pure source from which the offices of humanity should proceed; they will retain the character and perfection of it. Then nations will be seen sincerely and cheerfully to help each other, earnestly to promote their common welfare, and cultivate peace, without jealousy or distrust.

§ 12. Each nation ought to cultivate the friendship of others.

A real friendship will be seen to reign among them; and this happy state consists in a mutual affection, Every nation is obliged to cultivate the friendship of other nations, and carefully to avoid whatever might kindle their enmity against her. Wise and prudent nations often pursue this line of conduct from views of direct and present interest: a more noble, more general, and less direct interest, is too rarely the motive of politicians. If it be incontestable that men must love each other in order to answer the views of nature and discharge the duties which she prescribes them, as well as for their own private advantage, — can it be doubted that nations are under the like reciprocal obligation? Is it in the power of men, on dividing themselves into different political bodies, to break the ties of that universal society which nature has established amongst them?

§ 13. To perfect itself with a view to the advantage of others, and set them good examples.

If a man ought to qualify himself for becoming useful toother men, — and a citizen, for rendering useful services to his country and fellow citizens, a nation likewise, in perfecting herself, ought to have in view the acquisition of a greater degree of ability to promote the perfection and happiness of other nations; she should be careful to set them good examples, and avoid setting them a pattern of any thing evil. Imitation is natural to mankind: the virtues of a celebrated nation are sometimes imitated, and much more frequently its vices and defects.

§ 14. To take care of their glory.

Glory being a possession of great importance to a nation, as we have shown in a particular chapter expressly devoted to the subject,8 — the duty of a nation extends even to the care of the glory of other nations. In the first place, she should, on occasion, contribute to enable them to merit true glory: secondly, she should do them in this respect all the justice due to them, and use all proper endeavours that such justice be universally done them: finally, instead of irritating, she should kindly extenuate the bad effect which some slight blemishes may produce.

§ 15. Difference of religion.

From the manner in which we have established the obligation of performing the offices of humanity, it plainly appears to be solely founded on the nature of man. Wherefore, no nation can refuse them to another, under pretence of its professing a different religion; to be entitled to them, it is sufficient that the claimant is our fellow-creature, A conformity of belief and worship may become a new tie of friendship between nations: but no difference in these respects can warrant us in laying aside the character of men, or the sentiments annexed to it. As we have already related (§ 5) some instances well worthy of imitation, let us here do justice to the pontiff who at present fills the see of Rome, and has recently given a very remarkable example, and which cannot be loo highly commended. Information being given to that prince, that several Dutch ships remained at Civita Vecchia, not daring to put to sea for fear of the Algerine corsairs, he immediately issued orders that the frigates of the ecclesiastical state should convoy those ships out of danger; and his nuncio at Brussels received instructions to signify to the ministers of the states-general, that his holiness made it a rule to protect commerce and perform the duties of humanity, without regarding any difference of religion. Such exalted sentiments cannot fail of raising a veneration for Benedict XIV. even amongst Protestants.(92)

§ 16. Rule and measure of the offices of humanity.

How happy would mankind be, were these amiable precepts of nature everywhere observed! Nations would communicate to each other their products and their knowledge; a profound peace would prevail all over the earth, and enrich it with its invaluable fruits; industry, the sciences and the arts would be employed in promoting our happiness, no less than in relieving our wants; violent methods of deciding contests would be no more heard of; all differences would be terminated by moderation, justice, and equity; the world would have the appearance of a large republic; men would live everywhere like brothers, and each individual be a citizen of the universe. That this idea should be but a delightful dream! yet it flows from the nature and essence of man.9 Put disorderly passions, and private and mistaken interest, will for ever prevent its being realized. Let us then, consider what limitations the present state of men, and the ordinary maxims and conduct of nations, may render necessary in the practice of these precepts of nature, which are in themselves so noble and excellent.

The law of nature cannot condemn the good to become the dupes and prey of the wicked, and the victims of their injustice and ingratitude. Melancholy experience shows that most nations aim only to strengthen and enrich themselves at the expense of others, — to domineer over them, and even if an opportunity offers, to oppress and bring them under the yoke. Prudence does not allow us to strengthen an enemy,(93) or one in whom we discover a desire of plundering and oppressing us: and the care of our own safety forbids it. We have seen (§ 3, &c.) that a nation does not owe her assistance and the offices of humanity to other nations, except so far as the grant of them is reconcilable with her duties to herself. Hence, it evidently follows, that, though the universal love of mankind obliges us to grant at all times, and to all, even to our enemies, those offices which can only tend to render them more moderate and virtuous, because no inconvenience is to be apprehended from granting them, — we are not obliged to give them such succours as probably may become destructive to ourselves. Thus, 1. The exceeding importance of trade, not only to the wants and conveniences of life, but likewise to the strength of a state, and furnishing it with the means of defending itself against its enemies, — and the insatiable avidity of those nations which seek wholly and exclusively to engross it, — thus, I say, these circumstances authorize a nation possessed of a branch of trade, or the secret of some important manufacture or fabric, to reserve to herself those sources of wealth, and, instead of communicating them to foreign nations, to take measure against it. But, where the necessaries or conveniences of life are in question, the nation ought to sell them to others at a reasonable price, and not convert her monopoly into a system of odious extortion. To commerce England chiefly owes her greatness, her power, and her safety: who, then, will presume to blame her for endeavouring, by every fair and just method, to retain the several branches of it in her own hand?

2. As to things directly and more particularly useful for war, a nation is under no obligation to sell them to others of whom it has the smallest suspicion; and prudence even declares against it. Thus, by the Roman laws, people were very justly prohibited to instruct the barbarous nations in building galleys. Thus, in England, laws have been enacted to prevent the best method of ship-building from being carried out of the kingdom.

This caution is to be carried farther, with respect to nations more justly suspected. Thus, when the Turks were successfully pursuing their victorious career, and rapidly advancing to the zenith of power, all Christian nations ought, independent of every bigoted consideration, to have considered them as enemies; even the most distant of those nations, though not engaged in any contest with them, would have been justifiable in breaking off all commerce with a people who made it their profession to subdue by force of arms all who would not acknowledge the authority of their prophet.

§ 17. Particular limitation with regard to the prince.

Let us further observe, with regard to the prince in particular, that he ought not, in affairs of this nature, to obey without reserve all the suggestions of a noble and generous heart impelling him to sacrifice his own interests to the advantage of others, or to motives of generosity; because it is not his private interest that is in question, but that of the state — that of the nation who has committed herself to his care. Cicero says that a great and elevated soul despises pleasures, wealth, life itself, and makes no account of them, when the common utility is at stake.10 He is right, and such sentiments are to be admired in a private person; but generosity is not to be exerted at the expense of others. The head or conductor of a nation ought not to practise that virtue in public affairs without great circumspection, nor to a greater extent than will redound to the glory and real advantage of the state. As to the common good of human society, he ought to pay the same attention to it as the nation he represents would be obliged to pay were the government of her affairs in her own hand.

§ 18. No nation ought to injure others.

But, though the duties of a nation towards herself set bounds to the obligation of performing the offices of humanity, they cannot in the least affect the prohibition of doing any harm to others, of causing them any prejudice, — in a word, of injuring them 11.... If every man is, by his very nature, obliged to assist in promoting the perfection of others, much more cogent are the reasons which forbid him to increase their imperfection, and that of their condition. The same duties are incumbent on nations (Prelim. §§ 5, 6). No nation, therefore, ought to commit any actions tending to impair the perfection of other nations, and that of their condition, or to impede their progress, — in other words, to injure them.(94) And, since the perfection of a nation consists in her aptitude to attain the end of civil society — and the perfection of her condition, in not wanting any of the things necessary to that end (Book I. § 14) — no one nation ought to hinder another from attaining the end of civil society, or to render her incapable of attaining it. This general principle forbids nations to practise any evil manœuvres tending to create disturbance in another state, to foment discord, to corrupt its citizens, to alienate its allies, to raise enemies against it, to tarnish its glory, and to deprive it of its natural advantages.(95)

However, it will be easily conceived that negligence in fulfilling the common duties of humanity, and even the refusal of these duties or offices, is not an injury. To neglect or refuse contributing to the perfection of a nation, is not impairing that perfection.

It must be further observed, that, when we are making use of our right, when we are doing what we owe to ourselves or to others, if, from this action of ours, any prejudice results to the perfection of another, — any detriment to his exterior condition, — we are not guilty of an injury we are doing what is lawful, or even what we ought to do. The damage which accrues to the other is no part of our intention: it is merely an accident, the imputability of which must be determined by the particular circumstances. For instance, in case of a lawful defence, the harm we do to the aggressor is not the object we aim at; — we act only with a view to our own safety; we make use of our right; and the aggressor alone is chargeable with the mischief which he brings on himself.

§ 19. Offences.

Nothing is more opposite to the duties of humanity, nor more contrary to that society which should be cultivated by nations, than offences, or actions which give a just displeasure to others: every nation therefore should carefully avoid giving any other nation real offence: I say real; for, should others take offence at our behaviour when we are only using our rights or fulfilling our duties, the fault lies with them, not with us. Offences excite such asperity and rancour between nations that we should avoid giving any room even for ill-grounded piques, when it can be done without any inconveniency, or failure in our duty. It is said that certain medals and dull jests irritated Louis XIV. against the United Provinces to such a degree as to induce him, in 1672, to undertake the destruction of that republic.(96)

§ 20. Bad customs of the ancients.

The maxims laid down in this chapter, — those sacred precepts of nature, — were for a long time unknown to nations. The ancients had no notion of any duty they owed to nations with whom they were not united by treaties of friendship.12 The Jews especially placed a great part of their zeal in hating all nations; and, as a natural consequence, they were detested and despised by them in turn. At length the voice of nature came to be heard among civilized nations; they perceived that all men are brethren.13 When will the happy time come that they shall behave as such?

1. Fragm. ex. lib. ii. De Republica.

2. De Officiis, lib. iii. cap. 5

3. In 1672.

4. He defeated the Turks, and obliged them to raise the siege of Vienna, in 1683.

(89) Ante. Prelim. § 14. Upon this principle, during the late war with France, when the French troops were extensively afflicted with a disorder which would have occasioned more destruction than the most disastrous defeat in battle, England supplied them with Peruvian bark, which instantly checked and overcame the disease. — C.

5. At the famous siege of Paris.

6. The earthquake by which a great part of that city was destroyed.

(90) See the conduct of Charlemagne and Alfred the Great. Hume Hist. The ancient policy was to withhold any communication or information in improvements which might diminish our home manufactures; but the restrictions upon the exportations of artificers and machinery were removed by 5 Geo. 4, c. 97. If there be reciprocity on the part of the other nation, the indulgence of this liberal policy must be desirable; but otherwise it requires prudential checks. — C.

7. De Jure Belli et Pacis, lib. ii. cap. xx. § 11.

(91) And see the absurdity of such interference sarcastically well exemplified by Cervantes in his Don Quixote, releasing the refractory apprentice and compelling his master to beg pardon, thereby occasioning the former an infinitely more severe chastisement. — C.

8. Book I. chap. xv.

(92) He was much celebrated and spoken of in Lord Charlemont's Travels in A.D. 1742. — C.

9. Here, again, let us call in the authority of Cicero to our support. "All mankind (says that excellent philosopher) should lay it down as their constant rule of action, that individual and general advantage should be the same: for, if each man strives to grasp every advantage for himself, all the ties of human society will be broken. And, if nature ordains that man should feel interested in the welfare of his fellow-man, whoever he be, and for the single reason that he is a man, — it necessarily follows, that, according to the intentions of nature, all mankind must have one common interest. — Ergo unum debet esse omnibus propositum, ut eadem sit utilitas uniuscujusque et universorum: quam si ad se quisque raplat, dissolvetur omnis humana consociatio. Atque si etiam hoc natura præscribit, ut homo homini, quicunque sit, ob eam ipsam causam, quod is homo sit, consultum velit, necesse est, secundum eandem naturam, omnium utilitatem esse communem. De Offic. lib. iii. cap. iv. Note Ed. 1797.

(93) The same prudential consideration extends also in time of peace; for, who can anticipate how soon after advantages have been conferred or granted without equivalent to another state, she may declare war against the nation who conferred them? — C.

10. De Offic. lib. iii. cap. v.

11. Lézer (professedly borrowed from the Latin lædo) is the term used by the author, who, in order the better to explain his meaning, proceeds to inform us, that "nuire (to hurt), offenser (to offend), faire tort (to wrong), porter dommage (to cause detriment), porter prejudice (to prejudice), blesser (to wound, or hurt), are not of precisely the same import," and that, by the word lézer (which is here rendered injure) he means, "in general, causing imperfection in the injured party, or in his condition — rendering his person or his condition less perfect."

(94) This position, however, requires qualification; for, whether in time of peace or of war, a nation has a right to diminish the commerce or resources of another by fair rivalry and other means not in themselves unjust, precisely as one tradesman may by fair competition undersell his neighbour, and thereby alienate his customers. — C.

(95) An instance of this rule, is, the illegality of any commercial intercourse with a revolted colony before its separate independence has been acknowledged. A contract made between a revolted colony in that character with the subject of another state that has not as yet recognised such revolted colony as an independent state, is illegal and void, and will not be given effect to by the Court of Chancery, or any other court in this country. City of Berne v. Bank of England, 9 Ves. 347; Jones v. Garcia del Rio, 1 Turner & Russ. 297; Thompson v. Powles. 2 Sim. Rep. 202, 3; Yrisarri v. Clement, 11 Moore, 308; 2 Car. & P. 223; 3 Bing. 432; for such direct recognition of such a revolted colony must necessarily be offensive to the principal state to which it belonged; and, in the American war, Great Britain declared war against France and other countries on the ground of their improper interference between her and her colonies, Thompson v. Powles, 2 Sim. Rep. 203, 212, 3, and in Biré v. Thompson, cited id. and id. 222, Lord Eldon refused to lake notice of the Republic of Colombia; and it seems that, if a bill inequity falsely state that the colony had been recognised as an independent state, the court may take judicial notice of the contrary, and decree or proceed accordingly; and the mere fact of this country having for commercial purposes sent a consul to a revolted colony, is not equivalent to a state recognition of its independence: Taylor v. Barclay, 2 Sim. 213, and Yrisarri v. Clement, 11 Moore. 306; 2 Can. & P. 223; 3 Bing. 432, cited id. 219; {The United States v. Palmer, 3 Wheat. Rep. 610.}

To supply such a revolted colony (or even any independent state) with money, without leave of the government to which a subject belongs, is illegal, because that would be assisting such colony against the parent country to which it belongs; and also because it would create objects and interests on the part of the subject that might in case of war be injurious to his own government. Observations in Thompson v, Powles, 2 Sim. Rep. 203, and Hennings v. Rothschild, 12 Moore, 559; 4 Bing. 315,335; 9 Bar. & Cres. 470; Yrisarri v. Clement. 11 Moore, 308; 2 Car. & P. 223; 3 Bing. 432. {See The Santissima Trinidada, 7 Wheat Rep. 283.}

(96) On this ground it was held that the publication in England of a libel upon Bonaparte, then first consul of the French republic, was an indictable offence, as calculated to stir up animosity between him and the citizens of the republic, and to create discord between our king and people and said Bonaparte and said republic. Information against Peltier filed in Crown Office, K.B., in Michaelmas Term, 43 Geo. 3-1 Camp. 352, {Adam's Rep. of Peltier's Trial. Lond. 1803.} So Lord Hawkesbury laid it down to be clear "that a foreign power has a right to apply to foreign courts of judicature and obtain redress for defamation or calumny" 6 Russell's Modern Europe, 20, and see post, page 173, end of note; and see 1 Chit. Commercial L. 74. — C.

12. To the example of the Romans may be added that of the English in former days, — since, on the occasion of a navigator being accused of having committed some depredations on the natives of India. "this act of injustice" (according to Grotius) "was not without advocates who maintained, that, by ancient laws of England, crimes committed against foreign nations with whom there existed no public treaty of alliance, were not punishable in that kingdom." — History of the Disturbances in the Low Countries, book xvi.

13. See § 1, a fine passage of Cicero.


§ 21. General obligation of nations to carry on mutual commerce.

ALL men ought to find on earth the things they stand in need of. In the primitive state of communion, they took them wherever they happened to meet with them, if another had not before appropriated them to his own use. The introduction of dominion and property could not deprive men of so essential a right; and, consequently it cannot take place without leaving them, in general, some mean of procuring what is useful or necessary to them. This mean is commerce; by it every man may still supply his wants. Things being now become property, there is no obtaining them without the owner's consent, nor are they usually to be had for nothing; but they may be bought, or exchanged for other things of equal value. Men are, therefore, under an obligation to carry on that commerce with each other, if they wish not to deviate from the views of nature, and this obligation extends also to whole nations or states (Prelim. § 5). It is seldom that nature is seen in one place to produce every thing necessary for the use of man; one country abounds in corn, another in pastures and cattle, a third in timber and metals, &c. If all those countries trade together, as is agreeable to human nature, no one of them will be without such things as are useful and necessary; and the views of nature, our common mother, will be fulfilled. Further, one country is fitter for some kind of products than another, as, for instance, fitter for the vine than for tillage. If trade and barter take place, every nation, on the certainly of procuring what it wants, will employ its land and its industry in the most advantageous manner, and mankind in general prove gainers by it. Such are the foundations of the general obligation incumbent on nations reciprocally to cultivate commerce.(97)

§ 22. They should favour trade.

Every nation ought, therefore, not only to countenance trade, as far as it reasonably can, but even to protect and favour it. The care of the public roads, the safety of travellers, the establishment of ports, of places of sale, of well-regulated fairs, all contribute to this end. And, where these are attended with expense, the nation, as we have already observed (Book I, § 103), may, by tolls and other duties equitably proportioned, indemnify itself for its disbursements.

§ 23. Freedom of trade.

Freedom being very favourable to commerce, it is implied, in the duties of nations, that they should support it as far as possible, instead of cramping it by unnecessary burdens or restrictions. Wherefore, those private privileges and tolls, which obtain in many places, and press so heavily on commerce, are deservedly to be reprobated, unless founded on very important reasons arising from the public good.

§ 24. Right of trading belonging to nations.

Every nation, in virtue of her natural liberty, has a right to trade with those who are willing to correspond with such intentions; and to molest her in the exercise of her right is doing her an injury.(98) The Portuguese, at the time of their great power in the East Indies, were for excluding all other European nations from any commerce with the Indians; but such a pretension, no less iniquitous than chimerical, was treated with contempt; and the other nations agreed to consider any acts of violence in support of it, as just grounds for making war against the Portuguese. This common right of all nations is, at present, generally acknowledged under the appellation of freedom of trade.

§ 25. Each nation is sole judge of the propriety of commerce on her own part.

But, although it be in general the duty of a nation to carry on commerce with others, and, though each nation has a right to trade with those countries that are willing to encourage her — on the other hand, a nation ought to decline a commerce which is disadvantageous or dangerous (Book 1, § 98); and since, in case of collision, her duties to herself are paramount to her duties to others, she has a full and clear right to regulate her conduct, in this respect, by the consideration of what her advantage or safety requires. We have already seen (Book I. § 92), that each nation is, on her own part, the sole judge whether or not it be convenient for her to cultivate such or such branch of commerce. She may, therefore, either embrace or reject any commercial proposals from foreign nations, without affording them any just grounds to accuse her of injustice, or to demand a reason for such refusal, much less to make use of compulsion. She is free in the administration of her affairs, without being accountable to any other. The obligation of trading with other nations is in itself an imperfect obligation (Prelim. § 17), and gives them only an imperfect right; so that, in cases where the commerce would be detrimental, that obligation is entirely void. When the Spaniards attacked the Americans, under a pretence that those people refused to traffic with them, they only endeavoured to throw a colourable veil over their own insatiable avarice.

§ 26. Necessity of commercial treaties. (100)

These few remarks, together with what we have already said on

the subject (Book I. Chap. VIII.), may suffice to establish the principles of the natural law of nations respecting the mutual commerce of states. It is not difficult to point out, in general, what are the duties of nations in this respect, and what the law of nature prescribes to them for the good of the great society of mankind. But, as each nation is only so far obliged to carry on commerce with others as she can do it without being wanting to herself, and as the whole ultimately depends on the judgment that each state may form of what it can and ought to do in particular cases, nations cannot count on any thing more than generalities, such as, the inherent liberty of each to carry on trade, and, moreover, on imperfect rights, which depend on the judgment of others, and, consequently, are ever uncertain. Wherefore, if they wish to secure to themselves any definite and constant advantages, they must procure them by treaties.

§ 27. General rule concerning those treaties.

Since a nation has a full right to regulate herself in commercial affairs by what is useful or advantageous to her, she may make such commercial treaties as she thinks proper; and no other nation has a right to take offence, provided those treaties do not affect the perfect rights of others. If, by the engagements contracted, a nation, unnecessarily, or without powerful reasons, renders herself incapable of joining in the general trade which nature recommends between nations, she trespasses against her duty. But, the nation being the sole judge in this case (Prelim. § 16), other nations are bound to respect her natural liberty — to acquiesce in her determination, and even to suppose that she is actuated by substantial reasons. Every commercial treaty, therefore, which does not impair the perfect right of others, is allowable between nations; nor can the execution of it be lawfully opposed. But those commercial treaties alone are in themselves just and commendable, which pay to the general interest of mankind as great a degree of respect as is possible and reasonable in the particular case.

§ 28. Duty of nations in making those treaties.

As express promises and engagements should be inviolable, every wise and virtuous nation will be attentive to examine and weigh a commercial treaty before she concludes it, and to take care that she be not thereby engaged to any thing contrary to the duties which she owes to herself and others.

§ 29. Perpetual or temporary treaties, or treaties revocable at pleasure.

Nations may, in their treaties, insert such clauses and conditions as they think proper; they are at liberty to make them perpetual, or temporary, or dependent on certain events. It is usually most prudent not to engage for ever, as circumstances may afterwards intervene, by which the treaty might become very oppressive to one of the contracting parties. A nation may confine a treaty to the grant of only a precarious right — reserving to herself the liberty of revoking it at pleasure. We have already observed (Book I. § 94) that a simple permission does not any more than long custom (Ibid. § 95), give any perfect right to a trade. Those things — namely, permission and customs — are therefore not to be confounded with treaties, — not even with those which give only a precarious right.

§ 30. Nothing contrary to the tenor of a treaty can be granted to a third party.

When once a nation has entered into engagements by treaty, she is no longer at liberty to do, in favour of others, contrary to the tenor of the treaty, what she might otherwise have granted to them agreeably to the duties of humanity or the general obligation of mutual commerce; for she is to do for others no more than what is in her power; and, having deprived herself of the liberty of disposing of a thing, that thing is no longer in her power. Therefore, when a nation has engaged to another that she will sell certain merchandise or produce to the latter only — as, for instance, corn — she can no longer sell it to any other. The case is the same in a contract to purchase certain goods of that nation alone.

§ 31. How far lawful to give up by treaty the liberty of trading with other nations.

But it will be asked, how and on what occasions a nation may enter into engagements which deprive her of the liberty to fulfil her duties to others. As the duties we owe to ourselves are paramount to those we owe to others, if a nation finds her safety and substantial advantage in a treaty of this nature, she is unquestionably justifiable in contracting it, especially as she does not thereby interrupt the general commerce of nations, but simply causes one particular branch of her own commerce to pass through other hands, or insures to a particular people certain things of which they stand in need. If a state which stands in need of salt can secure a supply of it from another, by engaging to sell her corn and cattle only to that other nation, who will doubt but that she has a right to conclude so salutary a treaty? In this case, her corn or cattle are goods which she disposes of for supplying her own wants. But, from what we have observed (§ 28), engagements of this kind are not to be entered into without very good reasons. However, be the reasons good or bad, the treaty is still valid, and other nations have no right to oppose it (§ 27).

§ 32. A nation may abridge its commerce in favour of another.

Every one is at liberty to renounce his right; a nation, therefore, may lay a restriction on her commerce in favour of another nation, and engage not to traffic in a certain kind of goods, or to forbear trading with such and such a country, &c. And, in departing from such engagements, she acts against the perfect right of the nation with which she has contracted, and the latter has a right to restrain her. The natural liberty of trade is not hurt by treaties of this nature; for that liberty consists only in every nation being unmolested in her right to carry on commerce with those that consent to traffic with her; each one remaining free to embrace or decline a particular branch of commerce, as she shall judge most advantageous to the state.

§ 33. A nation may appropriate to herself a particular branch of trade.

Nations not only carry on trade for the sake of procuring necessary or useful articles, but also with a view to make it a source of opulence. Now, wherever a profit is to be made, it is equally lawful for every one to participate in it: but the most diligent may lawfully anticipate the others by taking possession of an advantage which lies open to the first occupier; — he may even secure the whole entirely to himself, if he has any lawful means of appropriating it. When, therefore, a particular nation is in sole possession of certain articles, another nation may lawfully procure to herself by treaty the advantage of being the only buyer, and then sell them again all over the world. And, as it is indifferent to nations from what hand they receive the commodities they want, provided they obtain them at a reasonable price, the monopoly of this nation does not clash with the general duties of humanity, provided that she do not take advantage of it to set an unreasonable and exorbitant price on her goods. Should she, by an abuse of her monopoly, exact an immoderate profit, this would be an offence against the law of nature, as, by such an exaction, she either deprives other nations of a necessary or agreeable article which nature designed for all men, or obliges them to purchase it at too dear a rate: nevertheless, she does not do them any positive wrong, because, strictly speaking, and according to external right, the owner of a commodity may either keep it or set what price he pleases on it. Thus, the Dutch, by a treaty with the king of Ceylon, have wholly engrossed the cinnamon trade: yet, whilst they keep their profits within just limits, other nations have no right to complain.

But, were the necessaries of life in question — were the monopolist inclined to raise them to an excessive price — other nations would be authorized by the care of their own safety, and for the advantage of human society, to form a general combination in order to reduce a greedy oppressor to reasonable terms. The right to necessaries is very different from that to things adapted only to convenience and pleasure, which we may dispense with if they be loo dear. It would be absurd that the subsistence and being of other nations should depend on the caprice or avidity of one.

§ 34. Consuls. (101)

Among the modern institutions for the advantage of commerce, one of the most useful is that of consuls, or persons residing in the large trading cities, and especially the seaports, of foreign countries, with a commission to watch over the rights and privileges of their nation, and to decide disputes between her merchants there. When a nation trades largely with a country, it is requisite to have there a person charged with such a commission: and, as the state which allows of this commerce must naturally favour it, — for the same reason, also, it must admit the consul. But, there being no absolute and perfect obligation to this, the nation that wishes to have a consul, must procure this right by the commercial treaty itself.

The consul being charged with the affairs of his sovereign, and receiving his orders, continues his subject, and accountable to him for his actions.

The consul is no public minister (as will appear by what we shall say of the character of ministers, in our fourth book), and cannot pretend to the privileges annexed to such character. Yet, bearing his sovereign's commission, and being in this quality received by the prince in whose dominions he resides, he is, in a certain degree, entitled to the protection of the law of nations. This sovereign, by the very act of receiving him, tacitly engages to allow him all the liberty and safety necessary to the proper discharge of his functions, without which the admission of me consul would be nugatory and delusive.

The functions of a consul require, in the first place, that he be not a subject of the state where he resides: as, in this case, he would be obliged in all things to conform to its orders, and thus not be at liberty to acquit himself of the duties of his office.

They seem even to require that the consul should be independent of the ordinary criminal justice of the place where he resides, so as not to be molested or imprisoned unless he himself violate the law of nations by some enormous crime.

And, though the importance of the consular functions be not so great as to procure to the consul's person the inviolability and absolute independence enjoyed by public ministers, — yet, being under the particular protection of the sovereign who employs him, and intrusted with the care of his concerns, — if he commits any crime, the respect due to his master requires that he should be sent home to be punished. Such is the mode pursued by states that are inclined to preserve a good understanding with each other. But the surest way is, expressly to settle all these matters, as far as practicable, by the commercial treaty.

Wicquefort, in his treatise of The Ambassador, Book I. § 5, says, that consuls do not enjoy the protection of the law of nations, and that, both in civil and criminal cases, they are subject to the justice of the place where they reside. But the very instances he quotes contradict his proposition. The states-general of the United Provinces, whose consul had been affronted and put under arrest by the governor of Cadiz, complained of it to the court of Madrid as a breach of the law of nations. And, in the year 1634, the republic of Venice was near coming to a rupture with pope Urban VIII. on account of the violence offered to the Venetian consul by the governor of Ancona. The governor, suspecting this consul to have given information detrimental to the commerce of Ancona, had persecuted him, seized his furniture and papers, and caused him to be summoned, declared guilty of contumacy, and banished under pretence that, contrary to public prohibition, he had caused goods to be unloaded in a time of contagion. This consul's successor he likewise imprisoned. The Venetian senate warmly insisted on having due satisfaction: and, on the interposition of the ministers of France, who were apprehensive of an open rupture, the pope obliged the governor of Ancona to give the republic satisfaction accordingly.

In default of treaties, custom is to be the rule on these occasions; for, a prince, who receives a consul without express conditions, is supposed to receive him on the footing established by custom.

(97) The restrictions on trade, which have been enforced absolutely or conditionally, by almost all the powerful nations of the world, have been the cause of a thousand wars, and the groundwork of innumerable treaties; and, therefore, it is important that we should give them full consideration.

With respect to the freedom of trade. It has been laid down by the wisest of politicians and best of men, that every nation ought not only to countenance trade as far as it reasonably can, but even to protect and favour it; and that freedom being very favourable to commerce, it is implied in the duties of nations that they should support it as far as possible, instead of cramping it by unnecessary burdens or restrictions; and this position is supported by the reasons thus urged by Vattel (supra, § 21).

It was this feeling that influenced that celebrated statesman, Mr. Pitt, in concluding the commercial treaty with France, in 1786. Great Britain and France had, for centuries before, contrary to every sound principle of policy, acted as rival enemies,{1} and their commercial policy was dictated by the same spirit which prompted their unhappy wars; insomuch, that, though they possessed the materials of a most extensive commerce — the one abounding in all that art and industry can supply, and the other in productions of a more favoured soil and climate — the exchange of their peculiar produce was discouraged by a complicated system of restraint and heavy duties.{2} The object of the commercial treaty alluded to was, to abolish those pernicious restraints, and, by connecting the two countries in the bonds of a reciprocal trade, to pledge them, by their mutual interest, to an oblivion of their ancient animosities. The view in which that treaty originated was explained by Mr. Pitt, when it was submitted to Parliament; and the sentiments which he expressed gave to this measure a remarkable character of moderation and wisdom. In reply to an argument inculcating constant jealousy of France,{2} he inquired, "whether. in using the word jealousy, it was meant to recommend to this country such a species of jealousy as should be either mad or blind, such a species of jealousy as should induce her either madly to throw away what was to make her happy, or blindly grasp at that which must end in her ruin? Was the necessity of a perpetual animosity with France so evident and so pressing that for it we were to sacrifice every commercial advantage we might expect from a friendly intercourse with that country? or, was a pacific connection between the two kingdoms so highly offensive that even an extension of commerce could not counterpoise it?" Towards the close of the same speech, he observes, "The quarrels between France and Britain had too long continued to harass not only those two great nations themselves, but had frequently embroiled the peace of Europe; nay, had disturbed the tranquillity of the most remote parts of the world. They had by their past conduct, acted as if they were intended for the destruction of each other; but he hoped the time was now come when they should justify the order of the universe and show that they were better calculated for the more amiable purposes of friendly intercourse and mutual benevolence."; "Considering the treaty," he continued, "in a political view, he should not hesitate to contend against the loo frequently advanced doctrine, that France was and must be the unalterable enemy of Britain; his mind revolted from this position as monstrous and impossible. To suppose that any nation was unalterably the enemy of another, was weak and childish: it had neither its foundation in the experience of nations nor in the history of man. It was a libel on the constitution of political societies, and supposed diabolical malice in the original frame of man." — C.

{1}. 2 Smith's Wealth of Nations, pp. 226-7, 252-3; Tucker's Pamphlet, Cui Bono.

{2}. See Smith's Wealth of Nations, vol. 4, 169, per Buchanan; and see Andersen's Hist. Com. vol. 4, pp. 634 to 639.

(98) It is a general rule of the law of nations, that, in time of peace, no nation is entitled to limit or impose regulations upon the commerce which any other independent state may think fit to carry on, either externally, with the natives of other independent states, or internally, amongst its own subjects. Puffend. b. 4, c. 5, s. 10, p. 168; Marten's L.N. 152-53; where see the different authorities in support of this position. It there seems that an exclusive trade may be acquired by a treaty with the nations of India who have not before entered into a restrictive treaty. See also 1 Chit. Com. L. 76. — C.

(99) See further, 1 Chit. Com. L. 80, n. 2; Grotius, 158; Puff. b. 4, c. 5, s. 10, p. 168.

(100) See, more fully, 1 Chitty's Com. L. 35.

(101) See further as to consuls, post. B. 4, ch 8, s. 75, p. 461. This and the following sections are much too concise upon the important subject of consuls. See more fully 1 Chitty's Commercial Law, 48 to 73; statute 6 Geo. 4. c. 87; Warden on Consular Establishments, Paris, A.D. 1813; Madame de Steck, a Berlin. 1790; Anderson's Hist. Commerce, index, titles "Conservator," and "Consul;" and see decisions Albreton v. Sussman, 2 Ves. & B. 323; 4 Bar. & Cres. 886; 8 Moore's Rep. 632; 7 T.R. 251; 8 East. 364; 2 Chalm. Opin. 294. A foreign consul cannot sue a merchant here for any supposed services in that character — De Lima v. Holdimand, 1 Ryan & Moody, 45: nor is he privileged from arrest, Vivash v. Belcher. 3 Mau. & Selw. 284. (He is liable as garnishee in the case of a foreign attachment in the state courts, Kidderlin v. Meyer, 2 Mile's Rep. 242; and to indictment for misdemeanour in the courts of the United States, which have exclusive jurisdiction. U. States v. Ravara, 2 Dall. Rep. 297; Comm. v. Kozloff, 5 Serg, & Rawle, 545. The State v. De la Forest. 2 Nott & McCord's Rep. 545, contra.)


§ 35. Dignity of nations or sovereign states.

EVERY nation, every sovereign and independent state, deserves consideration and respect, because it makes an immediate figure in the grand society of the human race, is independent of all earthly power, and is an assemblage of a great number of men, which is, doubtless, more considerable than any individual. The sovereign represents his whole nation; he unites in his person all its majesty. No individual, though ever so free and independent, can be placed in competition with a sovereign; this would be putting a single person upon an equality with a united multitude of his equals. Nations and sovereigns are, therefore, under an obligation, and at the same time have a right, to maintain their dignity, and to cause it to be respected, as being of the utmost importance to their safety and tranquillity.

§ 36. Their equality.

We have already observed (Prelim. § 18) that nature has established a perfect equality of rights between independent nations. Consequently, none can naturally lay claim to any superior prerogative: for, whatever privileges any one of them derives from freedom and sovereignty, the others equally derive the same from the same source.

§ 37. Precedency.

And since precedency or pre-eminence of rank is a prerogative, no nation, no sovereign, can naturally claim it as a right. Why should nations that are not dependent on him give up any point to him against their will? However, as a powerful and extensive state is much more considerable in universal society than a small state, it is reasonable that the latter should yield to the former on occasions where one must necessarily yield to the other, as, in an assembly, — and should pay it those more ceremonial deferences which do not, in fact, destroy their equality, and only show a superiority of order, a first place among equals. Other nations will naturally assign the first place to the more powerful state; and it would be equally useless as ridiculous for the weaker one obstinately to contend about it. The antiquity of the state enters also into consideration on these occasions: a new comer cannot dispossess any one of the honours he has enjoyed; and he must produce very strong reasons, before he can obtain a preference.

§ 38. The form of government is foreign to this question.

The form of government is naturally foreign to this question. The dignity, the majesty, resides originally in the body of the state; that of the sovereign is derived from his representing the nation. And can it be imagined that a state possesses more or less dignity according as it is governed by a single person or by many? At present kings claim a superiority of rank over republics: but this pretension has no other support than the superiority of their strength. Formerly, the Roman republic considered all kings as very far beneath them: but the monarchs of Europe, finding none but feeble republics to oppose them, have disdained to admit them to an equality. The republic of Venice, and that of the United Provinces, have obtained the honours of crowned heads; but their ambassadors yield precedency to those of kings.

§ 39. A state ought to keep its rank, notwithstanding any changes in the form of its government.

In consequence of what we have just established, if the form of government in a nation happens to be changed she will still preserve the same honours and rank of which she was before in possession. When England had abolished royalty, Cromwell would suffer no abatement of the honours that had been paid to the crown or to the nation; and he everywhere maintained the English ambassadors in the rank they had always possessed.

§ 40. In this respect treaties and

If the grades of precedency have been settled by treaties or by long custom founded on tacit consent, it is necessary to conform to the established rule. To dispute with a prince the rank he has acquired in this manner, is doing him an injury, inasmuch as it is an expression of contempt for him, or a violation of engagements that secure to him a right. Thus, by the injudicious partition between the sons of Charlemagne, the elder having obtained the empire, the younger who received the kingdom of France, yielded precedency to him the more readily, as there still remained at that time a recent idea of the majesty of the real Roman empire. His successor followed the rule they found established: — they were imitated by the other kings of Europe; and thus the imperial crown continues to possess, without opposition, the first rank in Christendom. With most of the other crowns, the point of precedency remains yet undetermined.

Some people would have us to look upon the precedency of the emperor as something more than the first place among equals; they would fain attribute to him the temporal head of Christendom.1 And it, in fact, appears that many emperors entertained ideas of such pretensions, — as if, by reviving the name of the Roman empire, they could also revive its rights. Other states have been on their guard against these pretensions. We may see in Mezeray2 the precautions taken by king Charles V. when the emperor Charles IV. visited France, "for fear," says the historian, "lest that prince, and his son, the king of the Romans, should found any right of superiority on his courtesy." Bodinus relates,3 that "the French took great offence at the Emperor Sigismund's placing himself in the royal seat in full parliament, and at his having knighted the Senechal de Beaucaire ." — adding that," to repair the egregious error they had committed in suffering it, they would not allow the same emperor, when at Lyons to make the Count of Savoy a duke." At present, a king of France would doubtless think it a degradation of his dignity, were he to intimate the most distant idea that another might claim any authority in his kingdom.4

§ 41. Of the name and honours.

As a nation may confer on her conductor what degree of authority and what rights she thinks proper, she is equally free in regard to the name, the titles, and honours with which she may choose to decorate him. But discretion and the care of her reputation require that she should not, in this respect, deviate too far from the customs commonly established among civilized nations. Let us further observe, that in this point, she ought to be guided by prudence, and inclined to proportion the titles and honours of her chief to the power he possesses, and to the degree of authority with which she chooses to invest him. Titles and honours, it is true, determine nothing: they are but empty names, and vain ceremonies, when they are misplaced: yet, who does not know how powerful an influence they have on the minds of mankind? This is, then, a more serious affair than it appears at the first glance. The nation ought to take care not to debase herself before other states, and not to degrade her chief by too humble a title: she ought to be still more careful not to swell his heart by a vain name, by unbounded honours, so as to inspire him with the idea of arrogating to himself a commensurate authority over her, or of acquiring a proportionate power by unjust conquests. On the other hand, an exalted title may engage the chief to support, with greater firmness, the dignity of the nation. Prudence is guided by circumstances, and, on every occasion keeps within due bounds. "Royalty," says a respectable author, who may be believed on this subject, "rescued the house of Brandenburg from that yoke of servitude under which the house of Austria then kept all the German princes. This was a bait which Frederic I. threw out to all his posterity, saying to them, as it were I have acquired a title for you; do you render yourselves worthy of it: I have laid the foundations of your greatness; it is you who are to finish the work."5

§ 42. Whether a sovereign may assume what title and honours he pleases.

If the conductor of the state is sovereign, he has in his hands the rights and authority of the political society; and consequently he may himself determine what title he will assume, and what honours shall be paid to him, unless these have been already determined by the fundamental laws, or that the limits which have been set to his power manifestly oppose such as he wishes to assume. His subjects are equally obliged to obey him in this as in whatever he commands by virtue of a lawful authority. Thus, the Czar Peter I., grounding his pretensions on the vast extent of his dominions, took upon himself the title of emperor.

§ 43. Right of other nations in this respect.

But foreign nations are not obliged to give way to the will of a sovereign who assumes a new title, or of a people who call their chief by what name they please.6

However, if this title has nothing unreasonable, or contrary to received customs, it is altogether agreeable to the mutual duties which bind nations together, to give to a sovereign or conductor of a state the same title that is given him by his people. But if this title is contrary to custom — if it implies attributes which do not belong to him who affects it, foreign nations may refuse it without his having reason to complain. The title of "Majesty" is consecrated by custom to monarchs who command great nations. The emperors of Germany have long affected to reserve it to themselves, as belonging solely to the imperial crown. But the kings asserted with reason that there was nothing on earth more eminent or more august than their dignity: they therefore refused the title of Majesty to him who refused it to them;7 and at present, except in a few instances founded on particular reasons, the title of Majesty is a peculiar attribute of the royal character.

As it would be ridiculous for a petty prince to take the title of king, and assume the style of "Majesty," foreign nations, by refusing to comply with this whim, do nothing but what is conformable to reason and their duty. However, if there reigns anywhere a sovereign, who, nothwithstanding the small extent of his power, is accustomed to receive from his neighbours the title of king, distant nations who would carry on an intercourse with him cannot refuse him that title. It belongs not to them to reform the customs of distant countries.

§ 45. How titles and honours may be secured.

The sovereign who wishes constantly to receive certain titles and honours from other powers, must secure them by treaties. Those who have entered into engagements in this way are obliged to conform to them, and cannot deviate from the treaties without doing him an injury. Thus, in the examples we have produced (§§ 41 and 42), the czar and the king of Prussia took care to negotiate beforehand with the courts in friendship with them, to secure their being acknowledged under the new titles they intended to assume.

The popes have formerly pretended that it belonged to the tiara alone to create new crowns; they had the confidence to expect that the superstition of princes and nations would allow them so sublime a prerogative. But it was eclipsed at the revival of letters.8 The emperors of Germany, who formed the same pretensions, were at least countenanced by the example of the ancient Roman emperors. They only want the same power in order to have the same right.

§ 46. We must conform to general customs.

In default of treaties, we ought, with respect to titles, and, in general, every other mark of honour, to conform to the rule established by general custom. To attempt a deviation from it with respect to a nation or sovereign, when there is no particular reason for such innovation, is expressing either contempt or ill-will towards them;" a conduct equally inconsistent with sound policy and with the duties that nations owe to each other. (102)

§ 47. Mutual respect which sovereigns owe to each other.

The greatest monarch ought to respect in every sovereign the eminent character with which he is invested. The independence, the equality of nations, the reciprocal duties of humanity, — all these circumstances should induce him to pay, even to the chief of a petty state, the respect due to the station which he fills. The weakest state is composed of men as well as the most powerful: and our duties are the same towards all those who do not depend on us.

But this precept of the law of nature does not extend beyond what is essential to the respect which independent nations owe to each other, or that conduct, in a word, which shows that we acknowledge a state or its chief to be truly independent and sovereign, and consequently entitled to every thing due to the quality of sovereignty. But on the other hand a great monarch being as we have already observed, a very important personage in human society, it is natural, that, in matters merely ceremonial, and not derogatory to the equality of rights between nations, he should receive honours to which a petty prince can have no pretensions: and the latter cannot refuse to pay the former every mark of respect which is not inconsistent with his own independence and sovereignty.

§ 48. How a sovereign ought to maintain his dignity.(103)

Every nation, every sovereign, ought to maintain their dignity (§ 35) by causing due respect to be paid to them; and, especially, they ought not to suffer that dignity to be impaired. If, then, there are titles and honours, which, by constant custom, belong to a prince, he may insist upon them; and he ought to do it on occasions where his glory is concerned.

But it is proper to distinguish between neglect or the omission of what the established usage requires, and positive acts of disrespect and insult. The prince may complain of an instance of neglect, and, if it be not repaired, may consider it as an indication of ill-will: he has a right to demand, even by force of arms, the reparation of an insult. The czar Peter the First, in his manifesto against Sweden, complained that the cannon had not been fired on his passing at Riga. He might think it strange that they did not pay him this mark of respect, and he might complain of it; but, to have made this the subject of a war, must have indicated a preposterous prodigality of human blood.

1. Bartolus went so far as to say, that "all those were heretics who did not believe that the emperor was lord of the whole earth." See Bodinus's Republic, book i. ch. ix. p.m. 139.

2. History of France, explanation of the medals of Charles V.

3. In his Republic, p. 138.

4. Pentherrieder, minister plenipotentiary of the emperor at the congress of Cambray, made an attempt to insure to his master an incontestable superiority and pre-eminence over all the other crowned heads. He induced Count Provana, the king of Sardinia's minister, to sign a deed, in which he declared that neither his own sovereign nor any other prince had a right to dispute pre-eminence with the emperor, its contents being made public, the kings made such heavy complaints on the occasion, that Provana was recalled, and the emperor ordered his minister to suppress the deed, — affecting, at the same time, a profound ignorance of the whole transaction: and thus the affair was dropped. Memoirs of Mons. de St. Philippe, vol. iv. p. 194.

5. Memoirs of the House of Brandenburg.

6. Cromwell, in writing to Louis the Fourteenth, used the following style; — "Olivarius, Dominus Protector Angliæ, Scotiæ, et Hiberniæ, Ludovico XIV. Francorum Regi Christianissime Rex." — And the subscription was — "In Aula nostra Alba. Vester bonus amicus." The court of France was highly offended at this form of address. The ambassador Boreel, in a letter to the Pensionary De Witt, dated May 25, 1655, said that Cromwell's letter had not been presented, and that those who were charged with the delivery of it, had withheld it, through an apprehension of its giving rise to some misunderstanding between the two countries.

7. At the famous treaty of Westphalia, the plenipotentiaries of France agreed with those of the emperor, "that the king and queen writing with their own hand to the emperor, and giving him the title of majesty, he should answer them, with his own hand, and give them the same title." Letter of the plenipotentiaries to M. de Brienne, Oct. 15th, 1646.

8. Catholic princes receive still from the pope titles that relate to religion, Benedict XIV. gave that of "Most Faithful" to the king of Portugal, and the condescension of other princes connived at the imperative style in which the bull is couched. — It is dated December 23, 1748.

(102) Formerly all nations used to observe, in the British Seas, the mark of honour, by lowering the flag or top-sail to an English man of war, called the duty of the flag. See 1 Chitty's Commercial Law, 102, and see end of 2d vol. p. 324. See, as to the sea and incidents, ante, 125 and 131 in notes; and Cours de Droit Public, tum. 2, p. 80 to 64, and 396 to 406. — C.

(103) The House of Lords recently rather facetiously, maintained the dignity of the king of Spain, by declining to give him costs, on the same principle that our king does not recover costs, saying, we will not disparage the dignity of the king of Spain by giving him costs. Hewlett v. King of Spain, on appeal from Chancery to House of Lords, 1 Dow. Rep. New Series, 177.


§ 49. Right to security.

IN vain does nature prescribe to nations, as well as to individuals, the care of self-preservation, and of advancing their own perfection and happiness, if she does not give them a right to preserve themselves from every thing that might render this care ineffectual. This right is nothing more than a moral power of acting, that is, the power of doing what is morally possible — what is proper and conformable to our duties. We have, then, in general, a right to do whatever is necessary to the discharge of our duties. Every nation, as well as every man, has, therefore, a right to prevent other nations from obstructing her preservation, her perfection, and happiness, — that is, to preserve herself from all injuries (§ 18): and this right is a perfect one, since it is given to satisfy a natural and indispensable obligation: for, when we cannot use constraint in order to cause our rights to be respected, their effects are very uncertain. It is this right to preserve herself from all injury that is called the right to security.

§ 50. It produces the right of resistance;

It is safest to prevent the evil when it can be prevented. A nation has a right to resist an injurious attempt, and to make use of force and every honourable expedient against whosoever is actually engaged in opposition to her, and even to anticipate his machinations, observing, however, not to attack him upon vague and uncertain suspicions, lest she should incur the imputation of becoming herself an unjust aggressor.

§ 51. and that of obtaining reparation;

When the evil is done, the same right to security authorizes the offended party to endeavour to obtain a complete reparation, and to employ force for that purpose if necessary.

§ 52. and the right of punishing.

Finally, the offended party have a right to provide for their future security, and to chastise the offender, by inflicting upon him a punishment capable of deterring him thenceforward from similar aggressions, and of intimidating those who might be tempted to imitate him. They may even, if necessary, disable the aggressor from doing further injury. They only make use of their right in all these measures, which they adopt with good reason: and if evil thence results to him who has reduced them to the necessity of taking such steps, he must impute the consequences only to his own injustice.

§ 53. Right of all nations against a mischievous people.

If, then, there is anywhere a nation of a restless and mischievous disposition, ever ready to injure others, to traverse their designs and to excite domestic disturbances in their dominions, — it is not to be doubted that all the others have a right to form a coalition in order to repress and chastise that nation, and to put it for ever after out of her power to injure them. Such would be the just fruits of the policy which Machiavel praises in Cæsar Borgia. The conduct followed by Philip II. king of Spain, was calculated to unite all Europe against him; and it was from just reasons that Henry the Great formed the design of humbling a power whose strength was formidable, and whose maxims were pernicious.

The three preceding propositions are so many principles that furnish the various foundations for a just war, as we shall see in the proper place.

§ 54. No nation has a right to interfere in the government of another state.

It is an evident consequence of the liberty and independence of nations, that all have a right to be governed as they think proper, and that no state has the smallest right to interfere in the government of another. Of all the rights that can belong to a nation, sovereignty is, doubtless, the most precious, and that which other nations ought the most scrupulously to respect, if they would not do her an injury.(105)

§ 55. One sovereign cannot make himself the judge of the conduct of another.

The sovereign is he to whom the nation has intrusted the empire and the care of the government: she has invested him with her rights; she alone is directly interested in the manner in which the conductor she has chosen makes use of his power. It does not, then, belong to any foreign power to take cognisance of the administration of that sovereign, to set himself up for a judge of his conduct, and to oblige him to alter it. If he loads his subjects with taxes, and if he treats them with severity, the nation alone is concerned in the business; and no other is called upon to oblige him to amend his conduct and follow more wise and equitable maxims. It is the part of prudence to point out the occasions when officious and amicable representations may be made to him. the Spaniards violated all rules when they set themselves up as judges of the Inca Atahualpa. If that prince had violated the law of nations with respect to them, they would have had a right to punish him. But they accused him of having put some of his subjects to death, of having had several wives, &c. — things, for which he was not at all accountable to them; and, to fill up the measure of their extravagant injustice, they condemned him by the laws of Spain.1

§ 56. How far lawful to interfere in a quarrel between a sovereign and his subjects.

But, if the prince, by violating the fundamental laws, gives his subjects a legal right to resist him, — if tyranny, becoming insupportable, obliges the nation to rise in their own defence, — every foreign power has a right to succour an oppressed people who implore their assistance. The English justly complained of James II. The nobility and the most distinguished patriots having determined to check him in the prosecution of his schemes, which manifestly tended to overthrow the constitution, and to destroy the liberties and the religion of the people, applied for assistance to the United Provinces. The authority of the Prince of Orange had, doubtless, an influence on the deliberations of the states-general; but it did not lead them to the commission of an act of injustice: for, when a people, from good reasons take up arms against an oppressor, it is but an act of justice and generosity to assist brave men in the defence of their liberties. Whenever, therefore, matters are carried so far as to produce a civil war, foreign powers may assist that party which appears to them to have justice on its side. He who assists an odious tyrant, — he who declares for an unjust and rebellious people, — violates his duty. But, when the bands of the political society are broken, or at least suspended, between the sovereign and his people, the contending parties may then be considered as two distinct powers; and, since they are both equally independent of all foreign authority, nobody has a right to judge them. Either may be in the right; and each of those who grant their assistance may imagine that he is acting in support of the better cause. It follows, then in virtue of the voluntary law of nations (see Prelim. § 21), that the two parties may act as having an equal right, and behave to each other accordingly till the decision of the affair.

But we ought not to abuse this maxim, and make a handle of it to authorize odious machinations against the internal tranquillity of states. It is a violation of the law of nations to invite those subject to revolt who actually pay obedience to their sovereign, though they complain of his government.

The practice of nations is conformable to our maxims. When the German protestants came to the assistance of the reformed party in France, the court never attempted to treat them otherwise than on the usual footing of enemies in general, and according to the laws of war. France was at the same time engaged in assisting the Netherlands then in arms against Spain, and expected that her troops should be considered in no other light than as auxiliaries in a regular war. But no power ever fails to complain, as of an atrocious wrong, if any one attempts by his emissaries to excite his subjects to revolt.

As to those monsters who, under the title of sovereigns, render themselves the scourges and horror of the human race, they are savage beasts, whom every brave man may justly exterminate from the face of the earth. All antiquity has praised Hercules for delivering the world from an Antæs, a Busiris, and a Diomede.

§ 57. Right of opposing the interference of foreign powers in the affairs of government.

After having established the position that foreign nations have no right to interfere in the government of an independent state, it is not difficult to prove that the latter has a right to oppose such interference. To govern herself according to her own pleasure, is a necessary part of her independence. A sovereign state cannot be constrained in this respect, except it be from a particular right which she has herself given to other states by her treaties; and, even if she has given them such a right, yet it cannot, in an affair of so delicate a nature as that of government, be extended beyond the clear and express terms of the treaties. In every other case, a sovereign has a right to treat those as enemies who attempt to interfere in his domestic affairs otherwise than by their good offices.

§ 58. The same rights with respect to religion.

Religion is in every sense an object of great importance to a nation, and one of the most interesting subjects on which the government can be employed. An independent people are accountable for their religion to God alone; in this particular, as in every other, they have a light to regulate their conduct according to the dictates of their own conscience, and to prevent all foreign interference in an affair of so delicate a nature.2 The custom, long kept up in Christendom of causing all the affairs of religion to be decided and regulated in a general council, could only have been introduced by the singular circumstance of the submission of the whole church to the same civil government, — the Roman empire. When that empire was overthrown, and gave place to many independent kingdoms, this custom was found contrary to the first principles of government, to the very idea of independent states and political societies. It was, however, long supported by prejudice, ignorance, and superstition, by the authority of the popes and the power of the clergy, and still respected even at the time of the reformation. The states who had embraced the reformed religion offered to submit to the decisions of an impartial council lawfully assembled. At present they would not hesitate to declare, that, in matters of religion, they are equally independent of every power on earth, as they are in the affairs of civil government. The general and absolute authority of the pope and council is absurd in every other system than that of those popes who strove to unite all Christendom in a single body, of which they pretended to be the supreme monarchs.3 But even Catholic sovereigns have endeavoured to restrain that authority within such limits as are consistent with their supreme power: they do not receive the decrees of councils or the popes' bulls till they have caused them to be examined; and these ecclesiastical laws are of no force in their dominions unless confirmed by the prince. In the first book of this work, Chap. XII. we have sufficiently established the rights of a state in matters of religion; and we introduce them hero again, only to draw just consequences from them with respect to the conduct which nations ought to observe towards each other.

§ 59 No nation can be constrained with respect to religion.

It is, then, certain that we cannot in opposition to the will of a nation, interfere in her religious concerns, without violating her rights, and doing her an injury. Much less are we allowed to employ force of arms to oblige her to receive a doctrine and a worship which we consider as divine. What right have men to set themselves up as the defenders and protectors of the cause of God? He can, whenever he pleases, lead nations to the knowledge of himself, by more effectual means than those of violence. Persecutors make no true converts. The monstrous maxim of extending religion by the sword, is a subversion of the rights of mankind, and the most terrible scourge of nations.

§ 60. Offices of humanity in these matters. Missionaries.

But it is an office of humanity to labour, by mild and lawful means, to persuade a nation to receive a religion which we believe to be the only one that is true and salutary. Missionaries may be sent to instruct the people; and this care is altogether comformable to the attention which every nation owes to the perfection and happiness of others. But it must be observed, that, in order to avoid doing an injury to the rights of a sovereign, the missionaries ought to abstain from preaching clandestinely, or without his permission, a new doctrine to his people. He may refuse to accept their proffered services; and, if he orders them to leave his dominions, they ought to obey. They should have a very express order from the King of kings, before they can lawfully disobey a sovereign who commands according to the extent of his power; and the prince who is not convinced of that extraordinary order of the Deity, will do no more than exert his lawful rights, in punishing a missionary for disobedience. But, what if the nation, or a considerable part of the people, are desirous of retaining the missionary, and following his doctrine? In a former part of the work (Book I. §§ 128-136), we have established the rights of the nation and those of the citizens; and thither we refer for an answer to this question.

Every madman will fancy he is fighting in the cause of God, and every aspiring spirit will use that pretext as a cloak for his ambition. While Charlemagne was ravaging Saxony with fire and sword, in order to plant Christianity there, the successors of Mohammed were ravaging Asia and Africa, to establish the Koran in those parts.

§ 61. Circumspection to be used.

This is a very delicate subject; and we cannot authorize an inconsiderate zeal for making proselytes, without endangering the tranquillity of all nations, and even exposing those who are engaged in making converts to act inconsistently with their duty, at the very time they imagine they are accomplishing the most meritorious work. For, it is certainly performing a very bad office to a nation and doing her an essential injury, to spread a false and dangerous religion among the inhabitants. Now, there is no person who does not believe his own religion to be the only true and safe one. Recommend, kindle in all hearts, the ardent zeal of the missionaries, and you will see Europe inundated with Lamas, Bonzes, and Dervises, while monks of all kinds will overrun Asia and Africa. Protestant ministers will crowd to Spain and Italy, in defiance of the Inquisition, while the Jesuits will spread themselves among the Protestants in order to bring them back into the pale of the church. Let the Catholics reproach the Protestants as much as they please with their lukcwarmness, the conduct of the latter is undoubtedly more agreeable to reason and the law of nations. True zeal applies itself to the task of making a holy religion flourish in the countries where it is received, and of rendering it useful to the manners of the people and to the state: and, without forestalling the dispositions of Providence, it can find sufficient employment at home, until an invitation come from foreign nations, or a very evident commission be given from heaven, to preach that religion abroad. Finally, let us add, that before we can lawfully undertake to preach a particular religion to the various nations of the earth, we must ourselves be thoroughly convinced of its truth by the most serious examination. — "What! can Christians doubt of their religion?" — The Mohammedan entertains no doubt of his. Be ever ready to impart your knowledge, — simply and sincerely expose the principles of your belief to those who are desirous of hearing you: instruct them, convince them by evidence, but seek not to hurry them away with the fire of enthusiasm. It is a sufficient charge on each of us, to be responsible for his own conscience. — Thus, neither will the light of knowledge be refused to any who wish to receive it, nor will a turbulent zeal disturb the peace of nations.

§ 62. What a sovereign may do in favour of those who profess his religion in another state.

When a religion is persecuted in one country, foreign nations who profess it may intercede for their brethren: but this is all they can lawfully do, unless the persecution be carried to an intolerable excess: then, indeed, it becomes a case of manifest tyranny, in opposition to which all nations are allowed to assist an unhappy people (§ 56). A regard to their own safety may also authorize them to undertake the defence of the persecuted sufferers A king of France replied to the ambassadors who solicited him to suffer his subjects of the reformed religion to live in peace, "that he was master in his own kingdom," But the Protestant sovereigns, who saw a general conspiracy of the Catholics obstinately bent on their destruction, were so far masters on their side as to be at liberty to give assistance to a body of men who might strengthen their party, and help them to preserve themselves from the ruin with which they were threatened. All distinctions of states and nations are to be disregarded, when there is question of forming a coalition against a set of madmen who would exterminate all those that do not implicitly receive their doctrines.

(104) As to the independence of nations, see in general, Cours de Droit Public. Paris, A.D. 1830, tom. 2, 1st part, article ii. pp. 3 to 15.

(105) Nor has a subject of one state a right to enter into any contract with, or to assist the revolted colony of another before the same has been formally recognised as an independent state by its own government; and if a state assist a revolted colony, it is just ground of war on the part of the parent state. Thompson v. Powles, 2 Simon's Rep. 194; Taylor v. Barclay, id. 213 Ante, p. 141, note 95.

1. Garcillasso de la Vega.

2. When, however, we see a party inflamed with deadly hatred against the religion we profess, and a neighboring prince persecuting in consequence the professors of that religion, it is lawful for us to give assistance to the sufferers, — as it was well remarked by James I. of England to Bouillon the ambassador of Mary de Medici, queen-regent of France, — "When my neighbours are attacked in a quarrel in which I am interested, the law of nature requires that I should anticipate and prevent the evil which may thence result to myself." — Le Vassor, History of Louis XIII.

3. See above, § 46, and Bodinus's Republic, book i. c, ix, with his quotations, p.m. 139.


§ 63. Necessity of the observance of justice in human society.

JUSTICE is the basis of all society, the sure bond of all commerce. Human society, far from being an intercourse of assistance and good offices, would be no longer any thing but a vast scene of robbery, if no respect were paid to this virtue, which secures to every one his own. It is still more necessary between nations than between individuals; because injustice produces more dreadful consequences in the quarrels of these powerful bodies politic, and it is more difficult to obtain redress. The obligation imposed on all men to be just is easily demonstrated from the law of nature. We here take that obligation for granted (as being sufficiently known), and content ourselves with observing that it is not only indispensably binding on nations (Prelim. § 5), but even still more sacred with respect to them, from the importance of its consequences.

§ 64. Obligation of all nations to cultivate and observe justice.

All nations are therefore under a strict obligation to cultivate justice towards each other, to observe it scrupulously, and carefully to abstain from every thing that may violate it. Each ought to render to the others what belongs to them, to respect their rights, and to leave them in the peaceable enjoyment of them.1

§ 65. Right of refusing to submit to injustice.

From this indispensable obligation which nature imposes on nations, as well as from those obligations which each nation owes to herself, results the right of every state not to suffer any of her rights to be taken away, or any thing which lawfully belongs to her: for, in opposing this, she only acts in conformity to all her duties; and therein consists the right (§ 49).

§ 66. This right is a perfect one.

This right is a perfect one, — that is to say, it is accompanied with the right of using force in order to assert it. In vain would nature give us a right to refuse submitting to injustice, — in vain would she oblige others to be just in their dealings with us, if we could not lawfully make use of force, when they refused to discharge this duty. The just would lie at the mercy of avarice and injustice, and all their rights would soon become useless.

§ 67. It produces 1. The right of defence.

From the foregoing right arise, as distinct branches, first, the right of a just defence, which belongs to every nation, — or the right of making use of force against whoever attacks her and her rights. This is the foundation of defensive war.

§ 68.2 The right of doing ourselves justice.

Secondly, the right to obtain justice by force, if we cannot obtain it otherwise, or to pursue our right by force of arms. This is the foundation of offensive war.

§ 69. The right of punishing injustice.

An intentional act of injustice is undoubtedly an injury. We have, then, a right to punish if, as we have shown above, in speaking of injuries in general (§ 52). The right of refusing to suffer injustice is a branch of the right to security.

§ 70. Right of all nations against one that openly despises justice.

Let us apply to the unjust what we have said above (§ 53) of a mischievous nation. If there were a people who made open profession of trampling justice under foot, — who despised and violated the rights of others whenever they found an opportunity, — the interest of human society would authorize all the other nations to form a confederacy in order to humble and chastise the delinquents. We do not here forget the maxim established in our Preliminaries, that it does not belong to nations to usurp the power of being judges of each other. In particular cases, where there is room for the smallest doubt, it ought to be supposed that each of the parties may have some right: and the injustice of the party that has committed the injury may proceed from error, and not from a general contempt of justice. But if, by her constant maxims, and by the whole tenor of her conduct, a nation evidently proves herself to be actuated by that mischievous disposition, — if she regards no right as sacred, — the safety of the human race requires that she should be repressed. To form and support an unjust pretension, is only doing an injury to the party whose interests are affected by that pretension; but, to despise justice in general, is doing an injury to all nations.

1. Might not his duty be extended to the execution of sentences passed in other countries according to the necessary and usual forms? — On this subject M. Van Beuningin wrote as follows to M. DeWitt, Oct. 15, 1666: "By what the courts of Holland have dec reed in the affair of one Koningh, of Rotterdam, I see they suppose that every judgment pronounced by the parliaments of France against the inhabitants of Holland in judicio contradictorio, ought to be executed on requisition made by those parliaments. Bull do not know that the tribunals of this country act in the same manner with respect to sentences passed in Holland; and, if they do not, an agreement might be made, that sentences passed on either side against subjects of the other state shall only take effect on such property as the condemned party is found to possess in the state where the sentence has been given.


§ 71. The sovereign ought to revenge the injuries of the state, and to pro

WE have seen in the preceding chapters what are the common duties of nations towards each other, — how they ought mutually to respect each other, and to abstain from all injury and all offence, — and how justice and equity ought to reign between them in their whole conduct. But hitherto we have only considered the actions of the body of the nation, of the state, of the sovereign. Private persons who are members of one nation, may offend and ill-treat the citizens of another, and may injure a foreign sovereign: — it remains for us to examine what share a state may have in the actions other citizens, and what are the rights and obligations of sovereigns in this respect.

Whoever offends the state, injures its rights, disturbs its tranquillity, or does it a prejudice in any manner whatsoever, declares himself its enemy, and exposes himself to be justly punished for it. Whoever uses a citizen ill, indirectly offends the state, which is bound to protect this citizen; and the sovereign of the latter should avenge his wrongs, punish the aggressor, and, if possible, oblige him to make full reparation; since otherwise the citizen would not obtain the great end of the civil association, which is, safety.

§ 72. He ought not to suffer his subjects to offend other nations or their cltizens.

But, on the other hand, the nation or the sovereign ought not to suffer the citizens to do an injury to the subjects of another state, much less to offend that state itself: and this, not only because no sovereign ought to permit those who are under his command to violate the precepts of the law of nature, which forbids all injuries, — but also because nations ought mutually to respect each other, to abstain from all offence, from all injury, from all wrong, — in a word, from every thing that may be of prejudice to others. If a sovereign, who might keep his subjects within the rules of justice and peace, suffers them to injure a foreign nation either in its body or its members, he does no less injury to that nation than if he injured it himself. In short, the safety of the state, and that of human society, requires this attention from every sovereign. If you let loose the reins to your subjects against foreign nations, these will behave in the same manner to you; and, instead of that friendly intercourse which nature has established between all men, we shall see nothing but one vast and dreadful scene of plunder between nation and nation.

§ 73. The acts of individuals are not to be imputed to the nation.

However, as it is impossible for the best regulated state, or for the most vigilant and absolute sovereign, to model at his pleasure all the actions of his subjects, and to confine them on every occasion to the most exact obedience, it would be unjust to impute to the nation or the sovereign every fault committed by the citizens. We ought not, then, to say, in general, that we have received an injury from a nation because we have received it from one of its members.

§ 74. unless it approves or ratifies them.

But, if a nation or its chief approves and ratifies the act of the individual, it then becomes a public concern; and the injured party is to consider the nation as the real author of the injury, of which the citizen was perhaps only the instrument.

§ 75. Conduct to be observed by the offended party.

If the offended state has in her power the individual who has done the injury, she may without scruple bring him to justice and punish him. If he has escaped and returned to his own country, she ought to apply to his sovereign to have justice done in the case.

§ 76. Duty of the aggressor's sovereign.

And, since the latter ought not to suffer his subjects to molest the subjects of other states, or to do them an injury, much less to give open, audacious offence to foreign powers, he ought to compel the transgressor to make reparation for the damage or injury, if possible, or to inflict on him an exemplary punishment; or, finally, according the nature and circumstances of the case, to deliver him up to the offended state, to be there brought to justice. This is pretty generally observed with respect to great crimes, which are equally contrary to the laws and safety of all nations. Assassins, incendiaries, and robbers, are seized everywhere, at the desire of the sovereign in whose territories the crime was committed, and are delivered up to his justice. The matter is carried still farther in states that are more closely connected by friendship and good neighbourhood. Even in cases of ordinary transgressions, which are only subjects of civil prosecution, either with a view to the recovery of damages, or the infliction of a slight civil punishment, the subjects of two neighbouring states are reciprocally obliged to appear before the magistrate of the place where they are accused of having failed in their duty. Upon a requisition of that magistrate, called Letter Rogatory, they are summoned in due form by their own magistrates, and obliged to appear. An admirable institution, by means of which many neighbouring states live together in peace, and seem to form only one republic! This is in force throughout all Switzerland. As soon as the Letters Rogatory are issued in form, the superior of the accused is bound to enforce them. It belongs not to him to examine whether the accusation be true or false: he is to presume on the justice of his neighbour, and not suffer any doubts on his own part to impair an institution so well calculated to preserve harmony and good understanding between the states. However, if by constant experience he should find that his subjects are oppressed by the neighbouring magistrates who summon them before their tribunals, it would undoubtedly be right in him to reflect on the protection due to his people, and to refuse the rogatories till satisfaction were given for the abuses committed, and proper steps taken to prevent a repetition of them. But, in such case, it would be his duty to allege his reasons, and set them forth in the clearest point of view.

§ 77. If he refuses justice, he becomes a party in the fault and offence.

The sovereign who refuses to cause reparation to be made for the damage done by his subject, or to punish the offender, or, finally, to deliver him up, renders himself in some measure an accomplice in the injury, and becomes responsible for it. But, if he delivers up either the property of the offender, as an indemnification, in cases that will admit of pecuniary compensation — or his person, in order that he may suffer the punishment due to his crime, the offended party has no further demand on him. King Demetrius, having delivered to the Romans those who had killed their ambassador, the senate sent them back, resolving to reserve to themselves the liberty of punishing that crime, by avenging it on the king himself, or on his dominions.1 If this was really the case and if the king had no share in the murder of the Roman ambassador, the conduct of the senate was highly unjust, and only worthy of men who sought but a pretext to cover their ambitious enterprises.

§ 78. Another case in which the nation is guilty of the crimes of the citizens.

Finally, there is another case where the nation in general is guilty of the crimes of its members. That is, when, by its manners, and by the maxims of its government, it accustoms and authorize its citizens indiscriminately to plunder and maltreat foreigners, to make inroads into the neighbouring countries, &c. Thus, the nation of the Usbecks is guilty of all the robberies committed by the individuals of which it is composed. The princes whose subjects are robbed and massacred, and whose lands are infested by those robbers, may justly level their vengeance against the nation at large.(106) Nay, more; all nations have a right to enter into a league against such a people, to repress them, and to treat them as the common enemies of the human race. The Christian nations would be no less justifiable in forming a confederacy against the states of Barbary, in order to destroy those haunts of pirates, with whom the love of plunder, or the fear of just punishment, is the only rule of peace and war. But these piratical adventurers are wise enough to respect those who are most able to chastise them; and the nations that are able to keep the avenues of a rich branch of commerce open for themselves, are not sorry to see them shut against others.

1. See Polybius, quoted by Barbeyrac, in his notes on Grotius, book iii, chap. xxiv. § vi.

(106) It was on this ground that the French nation so recently took possession of Algiers. — C.


§ 79. General effect of the domain.

WE have explained, in Chap. XVIII. Book I., how a nation takes possession of a country, and at the same time gains possession of the domain and the government thereof. That country, with every thing included in it, becomes the property of the nation in general. Let us now see what are the effects of this property, with respect to other nations. The full domain is necessarily a peculiar and exclusive right; for, if I have a full right to dispose of a thing as I please, it thence follows that others have no right to it at all, since, if they had any, I could not freely dispose of it. The private domain of the citizens may be limited and restrained in several ways by the laws of the state, and it always is so by the eminent domain of the sovereign; but the general domain of the nation is full and absolute, since there exists no authority upon earth by which it can be limited: it therefore excludes all light on the part of foreigners. And, as the rights of a nation ought to be respected by all others (§ 64), none can form any pretensions to the country which belongs to that nation, nor ought to dispose of it without her consent, any more than of the things contained in the country.

§ 80. What is comprehended in the domain of a nation.

The domain of the nation extends to every thing she possesses by a just title: it comprehends her ancient and original possessions, and all her acquisitions made by means which are just in themselves, or admitted as such among nations, — concessions, purchases, conquests made in the regular war, &c. And by her possessions we ought not only to understand her territories, but all the rights she enjoys.

§ 81. The property of the citizens is the property of the nation, with respect to foreign nations.

Even the property of the individuals is, in the aggregate, to be considered as the property of the nation, with respect to other states. It, in some sort, really belongs to her, from the right she has over the property of her citizens, because it constitutes a part of the sum total of her riches, and augments her power. She is interested in that property by her obligation to protect all her members. In short, it cannot be otherwise, since nations act and treat together as bodies in their quality of political societies, and are considered as so many moral persons. All those who form a society, a nation being considered by foreign nations as constituting only one whole, one single person, — all their wealth together can only be considered as the wealth of that same person. And this is to true, that each political society may, if it pleases, establish within itself a community of goods, as Campanella did in his republic of the sun. Others will not inquire what it does in this respect: its domestic regulations make no change in its rights with respect to foreigners nor in the manner in which they ought to consider the aggregate of its property, in what way soever it is possessed.

§ 82. A consequence of this principle.

By an immediate consequence of this principle, if one nation has a right to any part of the property of another, she has an indiscriminate right to the property of the citizens of the latter nation until the debt be discharged. This maxim is of great use, as shall hereafter be shown.

§ 83. Connection of the domain of the nation with the sovereignty.

The general domain of the nation over the lands she inhabits is naturally connected with the empire; for, in establishing herself in a vacant country, the nation certainly does not intend to possess it in subjection to any other power: and, can we suppose an independent nation not vested with the absolute command in her domestic concerns? thus, we have already observed (Book I, § 205), that, in taking possession of a country, the nation is presumed to take possession of its government at the same time. We shall here proceed further, and show the natural connection of these two rights in an independent nation. How could she govern herself at her own pleasure in the country she inhabits, if she cannot truly and absolutely dispose of it? And how could she have the full and absolute domain of a place where she has not the command? Another's sovereignty, and the rights it comprehends, must deprive her of the free disposal of that place. Add to this the eminent domain which constitutes a part of the sovereignty (Book 1, § 244), and you will the better perceive the intimate connection existing between the domain and the sovereignty of the nation. And, accordingly, what is called the high domain, which is nothing but the domain of the body of the nation, or of the sovereign who represents it, is everywhere considered as inseparable from the sovereignty. The useful domain, or the domain confined to the rights that may belong to an individual in the state, may be separated from the sovereignty: and nothing prevents the possibility of its belonging to a nation in places that are not under her jurisdiction. Thus, many sovereigns have fiefs, and other possessions, in the territories of another prince: in these cases they possess them in the manner of private individuals.

§ 84. Jurisdiction.

The sovereignty united to the domain establishes the jurisdiction of the nation in her territories, or the country that belongs to her. It is her province, or that of her sovereign, to exercise justice in all the places under her jurisdiction, to take cognisance of the crimes committed, and the differences that arise in the country.

Other nations ought to respect this right. And, as the administration of justice necessarily requires that every definitive sentence, regularly pronounced, be esteemed just, and executed as such, — when once a cause in which foreigners are interested has been decided in form, the sovereign of the defendants cannot hear their complaints. To undertake to examine the justice of a definitive sentence is an attack on the jurisdiction of him who has passed it. The prince, therefore, ought not to interfere in the causes of his subjects in foreign countries, and grant them his protection, excepting in cases where justice is refused, or palpable and evident injustice done, or rules and forms openly violated, or, finally, an odious distinction made, to the prejudice of his subjects, or of foreigners in general. The British court established this maxim with great strength of evidence, on occasion of the Prussian vessels seized and declared lawful prizes during the last war.1 What is here said has no relation to the merits of that particular cause, since they must depend on facts.

§ 85. Effects of the jurisdiction in foreign countries. (107)

In consequence of these rights of jurisdiction, the decisions made by the judge of the place within the extent of his power ought to be respected, and to take effect even in foreign countries. For instance, it belongs to the domestic judge to nominate tutors and guardians for minors and idiots. The law of nations, which has an eye to the common advantage and the good harmony of nations, requires, therefore, that such nomination of a tutor or guardian be valid, and acknowledged in all countries where the pupil may have any concerns. Use was made of this maxim in the year 1672, even with respect to a sovereign. The abbé D'Orléans, sovereign prince of Neufchatel, in Switzerland, being incapable of managing his own affairs, the king of France appointed, as his guardian, his mother, the duchess-dowager of Longueville. The duchess of Nemours, sister to that prince, laid claim to the guardianship for the principality of Neufchatel: but the title of the duchess of Longueville was acknowledged by the three estates of the country. Her counsel rested her cause on the circumstances of her having been nominated guardian by the domestic judge.2 This was a very wrong application of a just principle: for, the prince's domestic residence could be no where but in his state: and it was only by the decree of the three estates, who alone had a right to choose a guardian for their sovereign, that the authority of the duchess of Longueville became firm and lawful at Neufchatel.

In the same manner the validity of a testament, (108) as to its form, can only be decided by the domestic judge, whoso sentence delivered in form ought to be everywhere acknowledged. But, without affecting the validity of the testament itself, the bequests contained in it may be disputed before the judge of the place where the effects are situated, because those effects can only be disposed of conformably to the laws of the country. Thus, the abbé D'Orléans above mentioned having appointed the prince of Conti his universal legatee, — the three estates of Neufchatel, without waiting till the parliament of Paris should pronounce their decision on the question of two contradictory wills made by the abbé D'Orléans, gave the investiture of the principality to the duchess of Nemours, — declaring that the sovereignty was unalienable. Besides, it might have been said on this occasion also, that the domestic residence of the prince could be nowhere but in the state.

§ 86. Desert and uncultivated places.

As every thing included in the country belongs to the nation, — and, as none but the nation, or the person on whom she has devolved her right, is authorized to dispose of those things (§ 79), — if she has left uncultivated and desert places in the country, no person whatever has a right to take possession of them without her consent. Though she does not make actual use of them, those places still belong to her; she has an interest in preserving them for future use, and is not accountable to any person for the manner in which she makes use of her property. It is, however, necessary to recollect here what we have observed above (Book I. § 81). No nation can lawfully appropriate to herself a too disproportionate extent of country, and reduce other nations to want subsistence, and a place of abode. A German chief, in the time of Nero, said to the Romans, "As heaven belongs to the gods, so the earth is given to the human race; and desert countries are common to all,"3 — giving those proud conquerors to understand that they had no right to reserve and appropriate to themselves a country which they left desert. The Romans had laid waste a chain of country along the Rhine, to cover their provinces from the incursions of the barbarians. The German's remonstrance would have had a good foundation, had the Romans pretended to keep without reason a vast country which was of no use to them: but those lands which they would not suffer to be inhabited, serving as a rampart against foreign nations, were of considerable use to the empire.

§ 87. Duty of the nation in this respect.

When there is not this singular circumstance, it is equally agreeable to the dictates of humanity, and to the particular advantage of the state, to give those desert tracts to foreigners who are willing to clear the land and to render it valuable. The beneficence of the state thus turns to her own advantage; she acquires new subjects, and augments her riches and power. This is the practice in America; and, by this wise method, the English have carried their settlements in the new world to a degree of power which has considerably increased that of the nation. Thus, also, the king of Prussia endeavours to re-people his states laid waste by the calamities of former wars.

§ 88. Right of possessing things that have no owner.

The nation that possesses a country is at liberty to leave in the primitive state of communion certain things that have as yet no owner, or to appropriate to herself the right of possessing those things, as well as every other advantage which that country is capable of affording. And, as such a right is of use, it is, in case of doubt, presumed that the nation has reserved it to herself. It belongs to her, then, to the exclusion of foreigners, unless her laws expressly declare otherwise; as those of the Romans, which left wild beasts, fish, &c., in the primitive state of communion. No foreigner, therefore, has a natural right to hunt or fish in the territories of a state, to appropriate to himself a treasure found there, &c.

§ 89. Rights granted to another nation.

There exists no reason why a nation, or a sovereign, if authorized by the laws, may not grant various privileges in their territories to another nation, or to foreigners in general, since every one may dispose of his own property as he thinks fit. Thus, several sovereigns in the Indies have granted to the trading nations of Europe the privilege of having factories, ports, and even fortresses and garrisons in certain places within their dominions. We may in the same manner grant the right of fishing in a river, or on the coast, that of hunting in the forests, &c., and, when once these rights have been validly ceded, they constitute a part of the possessions of him who has acquired them, and ought to be respected in the same manner as his former possession.

§ 90. It is not allowable to drive a nation out of a country which it inhabits.

Whoever agrees that robbery is a crime, and that we are not allowed to take forcible possession of our neighbour's property, will acknowledge, without any other proof, that no nation has a right to expel another people from the country they inhabit, in order to settle in it herself. Notwithstanding the extreme inequality of climates and soils, every people ought to be contented with that which has fallen to their share. Will the conductors of nations despise a rule that constitutes all their safety in civil society? Let this sacred rule be entirely forgotten, and the peasant will quit his thatched cottage to invade the palaces of the great, or the delightful possessions of the rich. The ancient Helvetians, discontented with their native soil, burned all their habitations, and commenced their march, in order to establish themselves, sword in hand, in the fertile plains of southern Gaul. But they received a terrible lesson from a conqueror of superior abilities to themselves, and who paid still less regard to the laws of justice. Cæsar defeated them, and drove them back into their own country. Their posterity, however, more wise than they, confine their views to the preservation of the lands and the independence they have received from nature: they live contented, and the labour of free hands counterbalances the sterility of the soil.

§ 91. to extend by violence the bounds of empire.

There are conquerors, who, aspiring after nothing more than the extension of the boundaries of their dominions, without expelling the inhabitants from a country, content themselves with subduing them; — a violence less barbarous, but not less unjust: while they spare the property of individuals, they seize all the rights of the nation, and of the sovereign.

§ 92. The limits of territories ought to be carefully settled.

Since the least encroachment on the territory of another is an act or injustice, — in order to avoid the commission of any such act, and to prevent every subject of discord, every occasion of quarrel, the limits of territories ought to be marked out with clearness and precision. If those who drew up the treaty of Utrecht had bestowed on so important a subject all the attention it deserved, we should not see France and England in arms, in order to decide by a bloody war what are to be the boundaries of their possessions in America. But the makers of treaties often designedly leave in them some obscurity, some uncertainty, in order to reserve for their nation a pretext for a rupture: — an unworthy artifice in a transaction wherein good faith alone ought to preside! We have also seen commissioners endeavouring to overreach or corrupt those of a neighbouring state, in order to gain for their master an unjust acquisition of a few leagues of territory. How can princes or ministers stoop to dirty tricks that would dishonour a private man?

§ 93. Violation of territory.

We should not only refrain from usurping the territory of others; we should also respect, and abstain from every act contrary to the rights of the sovereign: for, a foreign nation can claim no right in it (§ 79). We cannot, then, without doing an injury to a state, enter its territories with force and arms in pursuit of a criminal, and take him from thence. This would at once be a violation of the safety of the state, and a trespass on the rights of empire or supreme authority vested in the sovereign. This is what is called a violation of territory; and among nations there is nothing more generally acknowledged as an injury that ought to be vigorously repelled by every state that would not suffer itself to be oppressed. We shall make use of this principle in speaking of war, which gives occasion for many questions on the rights of territory.

§ 94. Prohibition to enter the territory.(109)

The sovereign may forbid the entrance of his territory either to foreigners in general or in particular cases, or to certain persons or for certain particular purposes, according as he may think it advantageous to the state. There is nothing in all this that does not flow from the rights of domain and sovereignty: every one is obliged to pay respect to the prohibition; and whoever dares to violate it, incurs the penalty decreed to render it effectual. But the prohibition ought to be known, as well as the penalty annexed to disobedience: those who are ignorant of it, ought to be informed of it when they approach to enter the country. Formerly the Chinese, fearing lest the intercourse of strangers should corrupt the manners of the nation, and impair the maxims of a wise but singular government, forbade all people entering the empire: a prohibition that was not at all inconsistent with justice, provided they did not refuse human assistance to those whom tempest or necessity obliged to approach their frontiers. It was salutary to the nation, without violating the rights of any individual, or even the duties of humanity, which permits us, in case of competition, to prefer ourselves to others.

§ 95. A country possessed by several nations at the same time.

If at the same time two or more nations discover and take possession of an island or any other desert land without an owner, they ought to agree between themselves, and make an equitable partition; but, if they cannot agree, each will have the right of empire and the domain in the parts in which they first settled.

§ 96. A country possessed by a private person.

An independent individual, whether he has been driven from his country, or has legally quitted it of his own accord, may settle in a country which he finds without an owner, and there possess an independent domain. Whoever would afterwards make himself master of the entire country, could not do it with justice without respecting the rights and independence of this person. But, if he himself finds a sufficient number of men who are willing to live under his laws, he may form a new state within the country he has discovered, and possess there both the domain and the empire. But, if this individual should arrogate to himself alone an exclusive right to a country, there to reign monarch without subjects, his vain pretensions would be justly held in contempt: — a rash and ridiculous possession can produce no real right.

There are also other means by which a private person may found a new state. Thus, in the eleventh century, some Norman noblemen founded a new empire in Sicily, after having wrested that island by conquest from the common enemies of the Christian name. The custom of the nation permitted the citizens to quit their country in order to seek their fortune elsewhere.

§ 97. Independent families in a country.

When several independent families are settled in a country, they posess the free domain, but without sovereignty, since they do not form a political society. Nobody can seize the empire of that country; since this would be reducing those families to subjection against their will; and no man has a right to command men who are born free, unless they voluntarily submit to him.

If those families have fixed settlements, the place possessed by each is the peculiar property of that family: the rest of the country of which they make no use, being left in the primitive state of communion, belongs to the first occupant. Whoever chooses to settle there, may lawfully take possession of it.

Families wandering in a country, as the nations of shepherds, and ranging through it as their wants require, possess it in common: it belongs to them to the exclusion of all other nations; and we cannot, without injustice, deprive them of the tracts of country of which they make use. But, let us here recollect what we have said more than once (Book I. §§ 81 and 209, Book II. § 69). The savages of North America had no right to appropriate all that vast continent to themselves; and since they were unable to inhabit the whole of those regions, other nations might, without injustice, settle in some parts of them, provided they left the natives a sufficiency of land. If the pastoral Arabs would carefully cultivate the soil, a less space might be sufficient for them. Nevertheless, no other nation has a right to narrow their boundaries, unless she be under an absolute want of land. For, in short, they possess their country; they make use of it after their manner; they reap from it an advantage suitable to their manner of life, respecting which they have no laws to receive from any one. In a case of pressing necessity, I think people might, without injustice, settle in a part of that country, on leading the Arabs the means of rendering it, by the cultivation of the earth, sufficient for their own wants, and those of the new inhabitants.

§ 98. Possession of certain places only, or of certain rights, in a vacant country.

It may happen that a nation is contented with possessing only certain places, or appropriating to itself certain rights, in a country that has not an owner, without being solicitous to take possession of the whole country. In this case, another nation may take possession of what the first has neglected; but this cannot be done without allowing all the rights acquired by the first to subsist in their full and absolute independence. In such cases, it is proper that regulations should be made by treaty; and this precaution is seldom neglected among civilized nations.

1. See the report made to the King of Great Britain by Sir George Lee, Dr. Paul, Sir Dudley Ryder, and Mr. Murray. It is an excellent piece on the law of nations.

(107) This principle appears to be now settled by the law and practice of nations; but, nevertheless, subject to certain general wholesome rules, essential to be adhered to in order to prevent the effect of partial and unjust sentences and decisions. The respected decisions which have given rise to discussion, have principally been in foreign Courts of Admiralty, or Prize Courts; and the law respecting them has been better settled by the decisions of Sir W. Scott and Sir J. Nichol, so universally respected than at any other period of history. By the long established doctrine in England, and by the more recent general practice of European nations, a sentence of condemnation, pronounced in a court of competent jurisdiction, is essential, completely to transfer the legal interest in property captured as prize, (per Sir W. Scott, in the Flad Oyen 1 Rob. Rep. 115). And, in order to constitute a legal prize-court to pronounce a binding sentence, by the law of nations, certain requisites are essential. The celebrated report drawn up by Lord Mansfield and signed by him and other very eminent personages as their opinion, contains much of the law of nations upon the subject. (See Postle. Universal Dict. of Trade and Commerce, article Silesia, 4th ed.; and 1 Col. Jurid. 133; and see Lindo v. Rodney, 2 Doug. 613, and Le Caux v. Eden, id. 594.) One rule was there laid down, that the condemnation must have been pronounced by a court belonging to the belligerent country. (See id., and Havelock v. Rockwood, Atcheson's Rep. 7 & 8; 8 Term Re. 288; 1 Col. Jurid. 130.) Secondly, the court must have, at the time it pronounced sentence of condemnation, actually sat in the country to which it belonged, and not within the dominions of any foreign prince, whether neutral or an ally; for, otherwise, a captor might have innumerable seats of war, and elude the fair chance of recaption whilst the vessel or property was in progress towards a proper condemning port (Havelock v. Rockwood, Atcheson's Rep. 8 & 49; The Flad Oyen, 1 Rob. Rep. 115, 8 Term Rep. 270, in notes.) Thirdly, the ship or other property condemned as prize must, at the time of condemnation, in general, be actually in the country where the sentence was pronounced. — Per Sir. W. Scott, in The Flad Oyen. 1 Rob. Rep. 115, where see some exceptions; and see also Havelock v. Rockwood. Atch. Rep. 49; (Jolly v. The Neptune, 2 Pet. Adm. Dec. 345; Findlay v. The William, 1 Pet. Adm. Dec. 12.) See other cases in 1 Harrison's Index, pp. 687 to 689,

By the marine law of England, as practised in the High Court of Admiralty, it was formerly held that there was no change of property in case of recaption, so as to bar the original owner in favour of a vendee or recaptor, until there had been a sentence of condemnation (2 Burr. 696; Undo v. Rodney & another, 2 Douglas, 616; 1 Rob. Rep. 139) and now by statutes 13 Geo. 2, c. 4, s. 18, and 29 Geo. 2, c. 34, s. 24, in case of recapture, the jus Postliminii is extended, and continues forever, upon payment of certain salvage, which is regulated and fixed by 33 Geo. 3, c. 66, s. 42. (See 2 Burr. 696, 1209, &c) And, when the private property of an allied sovereign is recaptured from the enemy, it is to be restored to him free from salvage, or even expense — (Alexander, 2 Dodson's Rep. 37). With respect to the effect in England of foreign judgments, decrees, and sentences, the present general rule is, that, if they were decided in a foreign court, of competent jurisdiction, they shall be admitted as prima facie valid and binding on the parties in all other countries, but not conclusively so. (See the cases referred to in note (a) to Novelli v. Ross, 2 Barn. & Adolph. 765; and see Frankland v. McGusty, Knapp's Rep. 295; 1 Ves. 159; 2 Strange 733; 2 Bing. 380; 3 Bing. 353; 4 Barn, & Cres. 637; Tarleton v. Tarleton, 4 Maule & Sel. 20; Kennedy v. Cassilus. 2 Swanst. 325); {Calhoun v. Fitzsimmons, 1 Bin. Rep. 293; Calbreath v. Gracy, 1 Wash. C.C. Rep. 219.) And it was held, that a decree of the sale of a ship made in an American court of competent jurisdiction, pending war with this country, was to be received in the Court of Admiralty in England as legally operative. (The Experiments, 2 Dods. Rep. 46, 47); {Thirty, &c. v. Boyle, 9 Cranch, 191}. So, a marriage, established by the sentence of a foreign court having proper jurisdiction, has even been considered as conclusive by the law of nations (Roach v. Gavan, 1 Ves. sen. 159); {Story, Conf. Laws. p. 103, ed. 1834}; and it was laid down by De Grey, C.J. that the judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction directly upon a point, is, as a plea, a bar, or, as evidence, conclusive, between the same parties upon the same matter directly in question in another court. (See Duchess of Kingston's case, 20 Howell's state Trials, 538; and see Bul. N. Pri. 244; Phillips v. Hunter, 2 Hen. Bla. 402. per Eyre, C.J.; and see, as to that point, 1 Phillips on Evid. part ii. c. 2 and 3, {vol.4, Am. ed. 18839, New York, pages 856 to 915}; and Starkle on Evid. part ii. §§ 67, 68; Frankland v. McGusty, 1 Knapp's Rep. 274; Buchanan v. Rucker, 1 Campb. 63. 180, n., 9 East, 192, S.C.; Sadler v. Robins, id. 280, 253; Cavan v. Stewart, 1 Stark. Rep. 525; and see 1 Chitty's Com. L 61 to 65.) But such foreign decision is not conclusive like the judgement of a court of record in England; and, therefore, if a man recover a judgment or sentence in France for money due to him, the debt must be considered here in England as only a simple contract debt, and the statute of limitations wilt run upon it (Dupleix v. De Rowen, 2 Vern. 540); and the sentence of a court of summary jurisdiction in France cannot be pleaded to a bill in Chancery in England for the same matter. (Gage v. Bulkeley, 3 Atk. 215); and it should seem, that even a recovery of a judgment upon a bond in a foreign country is no bar to an action here on the same bond. (Foster v. Vassall, 3 Atk. 589, decided upon an Irish bond and judgment before the Union.) It is true that there are cases which seem to decide that such foreign judgments are conclusive. (See Newland v. Horseman, 1 Vern. 21.) In a late case the Vice Chancellor held that the grounds of a foreign judgment cannot be reviewed in the courts of this country, and that, therefore, a bill for a discovery and a commission to examine witnesses in Antigua, in aid of the parties' defence to an action brought on the judgment in this country, was demurrable. (Martin v. Nicholls, 3 Simon's Rep. 458, cited by Parke, J., in Bequest v. McCarthy, 2 Barn. & Adol. 954; see also Kennedy v. Cassilis, 2 Swans. 326.) But that doctrine is not sustainable, and, therefore, upon an appeal to the Privy Council from a decree of the court of justice at Demerara, such decree being for a sum of money alleged to be due on foreign judgments, was reversed, on the ground that such court of justice had erroneously determined that those judgments were conclusive when they were only prima facie evidence of the debt, and it was competent to the original defendant to show that the judgment had been improperly obtained. (Frankland v. McGusty and Others, Knapp's Rep. 274.) If, therefore, a foreign judgment appear upon the face of it to have proceeded, either wholly in the defendant's absence, and without his having had any opportunity of knowing of the proceeding, and defending it, and, therefore, manifestly against justice; or if the decision has manifestly proceeded upon false premises, or in adequate reasons, or upon a mistake of local or foreign law, and which ought to have occasioned a different decision (Novelli v. Ross, 2 Barn. & Adol. 757); or, even if either of those objections be shown by extrinsic evidence (Frankland v. McGusty, Knapp's Rep. 274 to 310; semble, overruling the contrary decision in Martin v. Nicolls, 3 Simon's Rep. 456, and 2 Swans. 326); Then, it seems now to be clearly settled, at least in England, that the foreign decision will not be binding or valid — (id. ibid.) Thus, it was recently held, that where the French courts had in their decrees, on the face of them, mistaken the law of England as to the effect of a cancellation of the acceptance of a hill by mistake, and had, on that ground, and contrary to the English law, adjudged that the defendant, as well as the plaintiff, was discharged from liability by such cancellation, when, according to the English law, they remained liable, it was held, in the Court of King's Bench in England, that the defendant was still liable to be sued by the plaintiff for the debt in respect of which the bills were given, notwithstanding the decree, (Novelli v. Rossi, 2 Barn. & Adolp. 757.) And, upon appeal to the Privy Council, a decree of the court of justice of Demerara, for a sum of money due upon three foreign judgments in St. Vincent's, was reversed, on the ground that those judgments had been improperly obtained, (Frankland v. McGusty. Knapp's Rep. 274.) So, if it appear on the face of the proceedings, or otherwise, that the defendant in the foreign court was absent from the country before the suit was commenced, the judgment against him may be deemed invalid. (Buchanan v. Rucker, 1 Campb. 63, 9 East Rep. 192; Cavan v. Stewart, 1 Stark, Rep. 525; Frankland v. McGusty, Knapp's Rep. 304.) But, to render a foreign judgment void, on the ground that it Is contrary to the law of the country where it was given, or to reason and justice, it must be shown clearly and equivocally to be so. (Becquet v. McCarthy, 3 Barn, & Adolp. 951.) But, if the error do not appear upon the face of the proceeding and the party complaining of the judgment himself was misled, and submitted to the decision instead of protesting against it, he is too late to complain upon an appeal against it. (Macallister v. Macallister, 4 Wilson & Shaw, 142, 147.) And where the law of a British colony required, that, on a suit instituted against an absent party, the process should be served upon the King's Attorney-General in the colony, but it was not expressly provided that the Attorney General should communicate with the absent party; it was held, that such law was not so contrary to national justice as to render void a judgment obtained against a party who had resided within the jurisdiction of the court at the time when the cause of action accrued, but had withdrawn himself before the proceedings were commenced. (Ibid.; Douglas v. Forrest, 4 Bing. 686; 1 Moore & Pay. 663.) So, horning in Scotland (though the party was absent), was held legal, where the defendant had been domiciled in that country, and had left property there. (Douglas v. Forrest.)

In England, the judgment of an English court of record, however inferior, is conclusive, until reversed by writ of error (1 Doug. 5), and even English judgments of inferior courts, not of record, are to some purposes conclusive, unless it appear upon the face of the proceedings to have been unfairly obtained (2 Burr. 1009; 2 Bing. 216). But the judgment of an inferior court may be controverted, when it appears that the proceedings have been bad in law, as, where a summons and attachment, which ought to have been successive proceedings, in default of appearance to the former, were issued against the defendant at the same time, and returnable at the same time, and to which the defendant never appeared (3 Bar. & Cres. 772; 5 Dowl. & Ryl. 719, S.C.); and it seems that the judgment of an inferior court may be avoided, by proof that the cause of action did not arise within the jurisdiction of the court. (Willes, 36 n.; 2 Big. 213.)

With respect to the proof of foreign judgments and decrees in England, it has been decided, that an exemplification of a sentence in Holland under the common seal of the States, may be read in evidence in a suit in Chancery. Anon. 9 Mod. 56.

2. Memorial in behalf of the duchess of Longueville, 1672.

(108) See post Book II. ch. VIII. § 103, p. 173 and § 111, p. 175.

It is now settled in Great Britain that a will is to be construed, interpreted, and given effect to, according to the law of the country where it was made and where the testator had his domicile, and every court in every country is bound to construe it accordingly. (Trotter v. Trotter, 3 Wilson & Shaw, Rep. on Appeal Cases, 407, 414, — in House of Lords appeal from Scotland.) And, therefore, where a natlve of Scotland, domiciled in India, but who possessed heritable bonds in Scotland, as well as personal property there, and also, in lndia, having executed a will in India, ineffectual to convey Scotch heritage; and a question having arisen whether his heir-at-law (who claimed the heritable bonds as heir) was also entitled to a share of the movable property, as legatee under the will — it was held in the House of Lords, in England (affirming the judgment of the court below), that the construction of the will, as to whether it expressed an intention to pass the Scotch heritable bonds, and the legal consequences of that construction, must be determined by the law of the land where if was made, and where the testator had his domicile, namely India, that is, by the law of England; and this although the will was the subject of judicial inquiry in the courts of Scotland; for, these courts also are bound to decide according to the law of the place where the will was made, (Id. ibid. 414.) "A will must be interpreted according to the law of the country where it is made, and where the party making the will has his domicile. There are certain rules of construction adopted in the courts, and the expressions which are made use of in a will, and the language of a will, have frequently reference to those rules of construction; and it would be productive, therefore, of the most mischievous consequences, and in many instances defeat the intention of the testator if those rules were to be altogether disregarded, and the judges of a foreign court (which it may be considered, in relation to the will), without reference to that knowledge which it is desirable to obtain of the law of the country in which the will was made, were to interpret the will according to their own rules of construction, that would also be productive of another inconvenience, namely, that the will might have a construction put upon it in the English courts different from that which might be put upon it in the foreign country. It appears to me, my Lords, that there is no solid ground for the objection; but that, where a will is executed in a foreign country by a person having his domicile in that country, with respect to that person's property, the will must be interpreted according to the law of the country where it is made; it must, if it comes into question, in any proceeding, have the same interpretation put upon it as would be put upon it in any tribunal of the country where it was made." — Per Lord Chancellor.

But, where a will was made by a native of Scotland, domiciled in England, and having personal property only there, and who went for a short time to Scotland, and there executed his will in the Scotch form, and registered it there, and afterwards died in England, it was held that such will must be construed according to the law of England, (Anstruther v. Chalmers, 2 Simons, 1). It should seem, therefore, that in some cases, as respects personalty, the domicile of the testator is to be regarded rather than the precise place of signing the will (id. ibid., sed quere).

A will made in Jamaica devising rents, issues, and profits of an estate there, passes slaves, mules, cattle, and machinery, (3 Simons, 398, Lusington v. Sewell, 1 Simons, 435, S.P.), though a devise of a farm in England would not pass farming utensils (Stewart v. Maryat, 11 Ves. 657.) So, if a Dutchman be possessed of real estate in Holland, and personal estate in England, and devise his real estate to A., and his personal to B., the personal shall be first applied to pay debts in Holland, though real estate is liable there. (Anon. 9 Mod. 66, and see Bowaman v. Reeve, Pre. Ch. 577.) A will of property entirely abroad may be proved there. (Jaunay v. Sealey, 1 Vern. 397.).

3. Sicut cœlum diis, ita terras generi mortalium datas; quæque vacuæ, eas publicas esse. — TACIT.

(109) See further as to the subject of this section, 1 Chit. Com. Law, 73 & 84; Marten's Law of Nations, 153.


§ 99. General idea of the conduct the state ought to observe towards foreigners.

WE have already treated (Book I. § 213) of the inhabitants, or persons who reside in a country where they are not citizens. We shall here treat only of those foreigners who pass through or sojourn in a country, either on business, or merely as travellers. The relation that subsists between them and the society in which they now live — the objects of their journey, and of their temporary residence — the duties of humanity — the rights, the interest, and the safety of the state which harbours them — the rights of that to which they belong — all these principles, combined and applied according to cases and circumstances, serve to determine the conduct that ought to be observed towards them, and to point out our right and our duty with respect to them. But the intention of this chapter is not so much to show what humanity and justice require towards foreigners, as to establish the rules of the law of nations on this subject — rules tending to secure the rights of all parties, and to prevent the repose of nations being disturbed by the quarrels of individuals.

§ 100. Entering the territory. (110)

Since the lord of the territory may, whenever he thinks proper, forbid its being entered (§ 94), he has, no doubt, a power to annex what conditions he pleases to the permission to enter. This, as we have already said, is a consequence of the right of domain. Can it be necessary to add, that the owner of the territory ought, in this instance, to respect the duties of humanity? The case is the same with all rights whatever: the proprietor may use them at his discretion; and, in so doing, he does not injure any person; but, if he would be free from guilt, and keep his conscience pure, he will never use them but in such manner as is most conformable to his duty. We speak here, in general, of the rights which belong to the lord of the country, reserving for the following chapter the examination of the cases in which he cannot refuse an entrance into his territory; and we shall see, in Chap. X., how his duty towards all mankind obliges him, on other occasions to allow a free passage through, and a residence in his state.

If the sovereign annexes any particular condition to the permission to enter his territories, he ought to have measures taken to make foreigners acquainted with it, when they present themselves on the frontier.

There are states, such as China and Japan, into which all foreigners are forbid to penetrate without an express permission; but, in Europe, the access is everywhere free to every person who is not an enemy of the state, except, in some countries, to vagabonds and outcasts.

§ 101. Foreigners are subject to the laws.

But, even in those countries which every foreigner may freely enter, the sovereign is supposed to allow him access only upon this tacit condition, that he be subject to the laws, — I mean the general laws made to maintain good order, and which have no relation to the title of citizen or of subject of the state. The public safety, the rights of the nation and of the prince, necessarily require this condition; and the foreigner tacitly submits to it, as soon as he enters the country, as he cannot presume that he has access upon any other footing. The sovereignly is the right to command in the whole country; and the laws are not simply confined to regulating the conduct of the citizens towards each other, but also determine what is to be observed by all orders of people throughout the whole extent of the state.

§ 102. And punishable according to the laws.

In virtue of this submission, foreigners who commit faults are to be punished according to the laws of the country. The object of punishment is to cause the laws to be respected, and to maintain order and safety.

§ 103. Who is the judge of their disputes.

For the same reason, disputes that may arise between foreigners, or between a foreigner and a citizen, are to be determined by the judge of the place, and according to the laws of the place.(111) And, as the dispute properly arises from the refusal of the defendant, who maintains that he is not bound to perform what is required of him, it follows, from the same principle, that every defendant ought to be prosecuted before his own judge, who alone has a right to condemn him, and compel him to the performance. The Swiss have wisely made this rule one of the articles of their alliance, in order to prevent the quarrels that might arise from abuses that were formerly too frequent in relation to this subject. The defendant's judge is the judge of the place where that defendant has his settled abode, or the judge of the place where that defendant has his settled abode, or the judge of the place where the defendant is, when any sudden difficulty arises, provided it does not relate to an estate in land, or to a right annexed to such an estate. In this last case, as property of that kind is to be held according to the laws of the country where it is situated, and as the right of granting possession is vested in the ruler of the country, disputes relating to such property can only be decided in the state on which it depends.

We have already shown (§ 84) how the jurisdiction of a nation ought to be respected by other sovereigns, and in what cases alone they may interfere in the causes of their subjects in foreign countries.

§ 104. Protection due to foreigners.

The sovereign ought not to grant an entrance into his state for the purpose of drawing foreigners into a snare; as soon as he admits them, he engages to protect them as his own subjects, and to afford them perfect security, as far as depends on him. Accordingly, we see that every sovereign who has given an asylum to a foreigner, considers himself no less offended by an injury done to the latter, than he would be by an act of violence committed on his own subject. Hospitality was in great honour among the ancients, and even among barbarous nations, such as the Germans. Those savage nations who treated strangers ill, that Scythian tribe who sacrificed them to Diana,1 were universally held in abhorrence; and Grotius justly says2 that their extreme ferocity excluded them from the great society of mankind. All other nations had a right to unite their forces in order to chastise them.

§ 105. Their duties.

From a sense of gratitude for the protection granted to him, and the other advantages he enjoys, the foreigner ought not to content himself with barely respecting the laws of the country; he ought to assist it upon occasion, and contribute to its defence, as far as is consistent with his duty as citizen of another state. We shall see elsewhere what he can and ought to do, when the country is engaged in a war. But there is nothing to hinder him from defending it against pirates or robbers, against the ravages of an inundation, or the devastations of fire. Can he pretend to live under the protection of a state, to participate in a variety of advantages that it affords, and yet make no exertion for its defence, but remain an unconcerned spectator of the dangers to which the citizens are exposed?

§ 106. To what burdens they are subject.

He cannot, indeed, be subject to those burdens that have only a relation to the quality of citizens; but he ought to bear his share of all the others. Being exempted from serving in the militia, and from paying those taxes destined for the support of the rights of the nation, he will pay the duties imposed upon provisions, merchandise, &c., and, in a word, every thing that has only a relation to his residence in the country, or to the affairs which brought him thither.

§ 107. Foreigners continue members of their own nation.

The citizen or the subject of a state who absents himself for a time without any intention to abandon the society of which he is a member, does not lose his privilege by his absence: he preserves his rights, and remains bound by the same obligations. Being received in a foreign country, in virtue of the natural society, the communication, and commerce which nations are obliged to cultivate with each other (Prelim. §§ 11, 12; Book II. § 21), he ought to be considered there as a member of his own nation, and treated as such.

§ 108. The state has no right over the person of a foreigner; (112)

The state, which ought to respect the rights of other nations, and in general those of all mankind, cannot arrogate to herself any power over the person of a foreigner, who, though he has entered her territory, has not become her subject. The foreigner cannot pretend to enjoy the liberty of living in the country without respecting the laws: if he violates them, he is punishable as a disturber of the public peace, and guilty of a crime against the society in which he lives: but he is not obliged to submit, like the subjects, to all the commands of the sovereign: and, if such things are required of him as he is unwilling to perform, he may quit the country. He is free at all times to leave it; nor have we a right to detain him, except for a time, and for very particular reasons, as, for instance, an apprehension, in war time, lest such foreigner, acquainted with the state of the country and of fortified places, should communicate his knowledge to the enemy. (113) From the voyages of the Dutch to the East Indies, we learn that the kings of Corea forcibly detain foreigners who are shipwrecked on their coast; and Bodinus assures us,3 that a custom so contrary to the law of nations was practised in his time in Æthiopa, and even in Muscovy. This is at once a violation of the rights of individuals, and of those of the state to which they belong. Things have been greatly changed in Russia; in a single reign — that of Peter the Great — has placed that vast empire in the rank of civilized nations.

§ 109. nor over his property.

The property of an individual does not cease to belong to him on account of his being in a foreign country; it still constitutes a part of the aggregate wealth of his nation (§ 81). Any power, therefore, which the lord of the territory might claim over the property of a foreigner would be equally derogatory to the rights of the individual owner and to those of the nation of which he is a member.(114)

§ 110. Who are the heirs of a foreigner.

Since the foreigner still continues to be a citizen of his own country, and a member of his own nation (§ 107), the property he leaves at his death in a foreign country ought naturally to devolve to those who are his heirs according to the laws of the state of which he is a member. But, notwithstanding this general rule, his immovable effects are to be disposed of according to the laws of the country where they are situated. (See § 103.)

As the right of making a will, or of disposing of his fortune in case of death, is a right resulting from property, it cannot, without injustice, be taken from a foreigner. The foreigner, therefore, by natural right, has the liberty of making a will. But, it is asked, by what laws he is obliged to regulate himself, either in the form of his testament, or in the disposal of his property. 1. As to the form or solemnities appointed to settle the validity of a will it appears that the testator ought to observe those that are established in the country where he makes it, unless it be otherwise ordained by the laws of the state of which he is a member; in which case, he will be obliged to observe the forms which they prescribe, if he would validly dispose of the property he possesses in his own country. I speak here of a will which is to be opened in the place where the person dies; for, if a traveller makes his will, and sends it home under seal, it is the same thing as if it had been written at home; and, in this case, it is subject to the laws of his own country. 2. As to the bequests themselves, we have already observed that those which relate to immovables ought to be conformable to the laws of the country where those immovables are situated. The foreign testator cannot dispose of the goods, movable or immovable, which he possesses in his own country, otherwise than in a manner conformable to the laws of that country. But, as to movable goods, specie, and other effects which he possesses elsewhere, which he has with him, or which follow his person, we ought to distinguish between the local laws, whose effect cannot extend beyond the territory, and those laws which peculiarly affect the character of citizen. The foreigner, remaining a citizen of his own country, is still bound by those last-mentioned laws, wherever he happens to be, and is obliged to conform to them in the disposal of his personal property, and all his movables whatsoever. The laws of this kind, made in the country where he resides at the time, but of which he is not a citizen, are not obligatory with respect to him. Thus, a man who makes his will, and dies in a foreign country, cannot deprive his widow of the part of his movable effects assigned to that widow by the laws of his own country. A Genevan, obliged by the law of Geneva to leave a dividend of his personal property to his brothers or his cousins, if they be his next heirs, cannot deprive them of it by making his will in a foreign country, while he continues a citizen of Geneva; but, a foreigner dying at Geneva is not obliged, in this respect, to conform to the laws of the republic. The case is quite otherwise with respect to local laws: they regulate what may be done in the territory, and do not extend beyond it. The testator is no longer subject to them when he is out of the territory; and they do not affect that part of his property which is also out of it, the foreigner is obliged to observe those laws, in the country where he makes his will, with respect to the goods he possesses there. Thus, an inhabitant of Neufchatel, to whom entails are forbidden in his own country with respect to the property he possesses there, freely makes an entail of the estate he possesses out of the jurisdiction of the country, if he dies in a place where entails are allowed; and, a foreigner making a will at Neufchatel, cannot make an entail of even the movable property he possesses there, — unless, indeed, we may suppose that his movable property is excepted by the spirit of the law.

§ 112. Escheatage

What we have established in the three preceding sections is sufficient to show with how little justice the crown, in some states, lays claim to the effects left there by a foreigner at his death. This practice is founded on what is called escheatage, by which foreigners are excluded from all inheritances in this state, either of the property of a citizen or that of an alien, and, consequently, cannot be appointed heirs by will, nor receive any legacy. Grotius justly observes, that this law has descended to us from those ages when foreigners were almost considered as enemies.4 Even after the Romans were become a very polite and learned people, they could not accustom themselves to consider foreigners as men entitled to any right in common with them. "Those nations," says Pomponius, the civilian, "with whom we have neither friendship, nor hospitality, nor alliance, are not, therefore, our enemies; yet, if any thing belonging to us falls into their hands, it becomes their property; our free citizens become slaves to them; and they are on the same terms with respect to us."5 We cannot suppose that so wise a people retained such inhuman laws with any other view than that of a necessary retaliation, as they could not otherwise obtain satisfaction from barbarous nations, with whom they had no connection or treaties existing, Bodinus shows,6 that escheatage is derived from these worthy sources! It has been successively mitigated, or even abolished, in most civilized states. The emperor Frederic II. first abolished it by an edict, which permitted all foreigners dying within the limits of the empire to dispose of their substance by will, or, if they died intestate, to have their nearest relations for heirs.6 But Bodinus complains that this edict is but ill executed. Why does there still remain any vestige of so barbarous a law in Europe, which is now enlightened and so full of humanity? The law of nature cannot suffer it to be put in practice except by way of retaliation. This is the use made of it by the king of Poland in his hereditary states. Escheatage is established in Saxony; but the sovereign is so just and equitable, that he enforces it only against those nations which subject the Saxons to a similar law.

§ 113. The right of traite foraine.

The right of traite foraine (called in Latin jus detractus) is more conformable to justice and the mutual obligation of nations. We give this name to the right by virtue of which the sovereign retains a moderate portion of the property either of citizens or aliens which is sent out of his territories to pass into the hands of foreigners. As the exportation of that property is a loss to the state, she may fairly receive an equitable compensation for it.

§ 114. Immovable property possessed by an alien.

Every state has the liberty of granting or refusing to foreigners the power of possessing Lands or other immovable property within her territory.(117) If she grants them that privilege, all such property possessed by aliens remains subject to the jurisdiction and laws of the country, and to the same taxes as other property of the same kind. The authority of the sovereign extends over the whole territory; and it would be absurd to except some parts of it, on account of their being possessed by foreigners. If the sovereign does not permit aliens to possess immovable property, nobody has a right to complain of such prohibition; for, he may have very good reasons for acting in this manner: and, as foreigners cannot claim any right in his territories (§ 79), they ought not to take it amiss that he makes use of his power and of his rights in the manner which he thinks most for the advantage of the state. And, as the sovereign may refuse to foreigners the privilege of possessing immovable property, he is doubtless at liberty to forbear granting it except with certain conditions annexed.

§ 115. Marriages of aliens. (118)

There exists no natural impediment to prevent foreigners from contracting marriages in the state. But, if these marriages are found prejudicial or dangerous to a nation, she has a right, and is even in duty bound to prohibit them, or to subject to certain conditions the permission to contract them: and, as it belongs to the nation or to her sovereign to determine what appears most conducive to the welfare of the state, other nations ought to acquiesce in the regulations which any sovereign state has made on this head. Citizens are almost everywhere forbid to marry foreign wives of a different religion; and in many parts of Switzerland a citizen cannot marry a foreign woman, unless he prove that she brings him in marriage a certain sum fixed by the law.

(110) See more fully, Grotius, book 2. chap. 2, p. 153; 1 Chit. Com. L. 86, 87.

(111) (In the courts of the United States alien friends are entitled to clairn the same protection of their rights as citizens. Taylor v. Carpenter, 3 Story's Rep. 458.) See ante 166, in notes, as to foreign judgments. The doctrine here advanced by Vattel (excepting as regards land) is contrary to the present French Code, and many other authors. Upon principle, it should seem, that if a contract or right be created in one country, and be there by the lex loci subjected to certain qualifications, and clothed with certain privileges, it ought to be enforced if at all as against all the original parties, precisely the same in a foreign country as it would be in that where it was created; and this, although it be a negotiable security, and the interest therein vested in a third person resident in a foreign country, because the latter ought, when he takes it, to inquire into the circumstances and law which affected it in the place where it was made. And à fortiori it should seem that if a contract or transaction were in violation of the state regulations of a foreign nation where it was made, as in fraud of its revenue, and such state is in amity with another state, the courts of the latter ought not to give effect to it. In neither case ought the accidental removal of either of the parties into a foreign country, or his prosecuting his remedy there, alter the substance of the remedy; and, however inconvenient and difficult it may be to investigate and accurately ascertain the precise state of foreign law, still, if courts will entertain jurisdiction over such cases, they ought to administer the law so as to give effect to the transaction precisely the same as if it had been litigated in the country where created; for, otherwise, the original expectations, rights, and interests of the parties would not be given effect to; and it would be conceded that, more especially after a competent local court has already decided upon the transaction (without any apparent injustice,) such decision ought to be conclusive in all other courts and countries.

These principles are fully acknowledged and given effect to in the present French Code and in their administration of the law. (See Pardessus, Droit Commercial, vol. 1, p. 455, 4 id. 196. 205, 209 to 211 and 220 to 223, titles, "Des Conflits de Legislation relatif au Commerce;" "De l'application de lois estrangeres relatives à la fornie des actes;" "De l'interpretation des actes fails en pays estrangers;' "De l'execution des actes faits en pays estrangers.";) Thus, in their courts it has been considered, that, if a bill of exchange be made in a foreign country, defective according to the French law, but valid according to the foreign law, it must nevertheless be given effect to in the French courts, even against a French endorser, "par ce que les regles sur la validité intrinsèque des conventions, sont dérivées du droit natural, et sont de toutes les législations;"; and in the case of limitations, it is laid down that the law of prescriptions prevailing in the country where the contract was made, though different from that in France, must in their courts, be given effect to. (4 Pardessus, 223.) They admit the difficulty of ascertaining correctly the foreign law, but consider that difficulty as not constituting any sufficient grounds for relieving their courts from the necessity of giving full effect to the contract according to the law of the place where it was made. (4 Pardessus, 246.) When the foreign law differs from that where the suit is depending, undoubtedly the party relying on the foreign law must prove it. (Brown v. Lacy. 1 Dowl. & Ryl. Ni. Pri. Cas. 41, n. (a. As to the evidence, see post, note.)

In Great Britain the same theory is professed, and prevails to a limited extent; but the courts have so narrowly applied it, that, as regards the process for the recovery of the claim, and the time when it must be commenced, it is a doctrine rather in name than in practice, excepting in a few instances as regards foreign marriages, and a few other cases. Dalrymple v. Dalrymple, Hafgg. Rep. 54; Lacon v. Higgins, 1 Dowl. & Ryl. Ni. Pri. Rep. 38; Roach v. Garvan, 1 Ves. 159.) In theory it is laid down, that effect ought to be given to contracts, and especially to bills of exchange according to the law of the country where the contract was made, and in which it was to be performed, and not according to the law of the country into which either or all may remove; for, what is not an obligation in one place cannot, by the laws of another country, become such in another place. (The King of Spain v. Machado, 4 Russ. Rep. 239; Burrows v. Jemino, 2 Stra. 733; Sel. Cas. 144, S.C.; Potter v. Brown, 5 East, 130; Chitty on Bills, 8th edit. 191.)

And a foreign marriage, if celebrated according to the lex loci, will be valid, though in a form quite different to that prescribed by English law. — Lacon v. Higgins, 1 Dowl. & Ryl. Ni. Pri. Cas. 38; 3 Stark Rep. 176; where see the mode of proving the foreign law. As to which also see Hill v. Reardon, Jacob's Rep. 89, 90; and as to foreign marriages, in general, see 1 Roper on Husband and Wife, 333; Lantour v. Teesdale, 8 Taunt. 830; Smith v. Maxwell, Ry. & Mood. Ni. Pri. Cas. 80; 1 Carr. & Payne, 271, S.C.; and see Butler v. Freeman, Ambl. 303. And indeed, a marriage had in a foreign country will not be valid here unless it were so by the lex loci. (Butler v. Freeman, Ambl. 303.) And, where the defendant gave the plaintiff, in a foreign country, where both were resident, a bill of exchange drawn by the defendant upon a person in England, which bill was afterwards protested here for non-acceptance, and the defendant afterwards, while still abroad, became bankrupt there, and obtained a certificate of discharge by the law of that state, it was held that such certificate was a bar to an action here upon an implied assumpsit to pay the bill in consequence of such non-acceptance in England, because such implied contract must be considered as made abroad. (Potter v. Brown, 5 East. 124.) So, in England, the rule is recognised, that the payment of a bill is to be made according to the law of the place where it was made payable, as best corresponding with the original intention of the parties. (Beawes, pl. 251; Marius, 102; Poth. pl. 155; 5 Barn. & Cres. 443; Chitty on Bills, 191.) So, the English courts, in some cases, besides giving effect to the contract itself, according to the foreign law, also give effect to such foreign law in some collateral respects, acknowledging that otherwise the greatest injustice might ensue. Thus, in France, a protest for non-payment is not to be made till the day after a bill falls due, whereas in England it must be made upon the very day; and it cannot be doubted that if the bill were payable in France the English courts must give effect to the French instead of the English law, (4 Pardessus, 227, semble.) So, where a wife was entitled to a share under the statute of distribution, and was resident in Prussia, and by the laws of which one moiety of the effects of the husband must come to her on his death, the court of equity here did not, as usual, require him to make any settlement upon his wife. (Sawyer v. Shute, 1 Anst. 63; and Campbell v. French, 3 Ves. 323.)

But as before observed, the English courts will not, as respects the form of the remedy, notice the foreign law; and therefore a foreigner may in England be arrested for a debt, or in equity upon a writ of ne exeat, in respect of which he could not, according to the foreign law, where it was contracted, have been imprisoned. (De la Vega v. Vianna, 1 Barn. & Adolph. 284; 10 Barn, & Cress. 903; Flack v. Holm, 1 Jac. & Walk. 405.) So, though according to the law of Holland, persons jointly concerned in trade could not use as partners, they might do so in England. (Shaw v. Harvey, Mood. & M. 226.) And, as regards the time for commencing suits on foreign contracts, the English courts, contrary to the practice in France, will only apply the English Statute of Limitations, and will not regard the foreign lex loci. (The British Linen Company v. Drummond. 10 Barn. & Cress. 903; 1 Barn. & Adolph. 285, 384; 1 Younge & Jerv. 376; (Nash v. Tupper, I Caine's Rep. 402; Decouche v. Savetier, 3 Johns. Cha. Rep. 190; Le Roy v. Crowninshield, 2 Mason's Rep. 151;) aliter in France, 4 Pardessus, 223.) But it must be observed, that, in the case of The British Linen Company v. Drummond, (10 Barn. & Cress. 903), the much more distinct French law in 1 Pardessus, 455, 4 id. 196, 209 to 211, 220 to 223, and 285, was not cited, and that Lord Tenterden doubted whether the decision in Delvalle v. The York Buildings Company was not the better law.

Again, in the English courts there is a rule of narrow petty policy not to protect the revenue laws of a foreign state, even at amity with this country, but even to encourage and give effect to the most dishonourable practices, however injurious to such independent state; so that British subjects are allowed to carry on smuggling transactions adverse to the interests of a neighbouring country, provided they do not prejudice our own revenue. (Holman v. Johnson, Cowp. 343) — per Lord Mansfield, "no country ever takes notice of the revenue laws of another." (See all the cases collected and observed upon in Chitty on Bills, 8th edit. 143, n.c.) And this to such a degree that a British subject has been allowed in the English courts to support an action against a purchaser of paper knowingly made by the plaintiff for the purpose of forging assignâts upon the same, to be exported to France, in order to commit frauds there on other persons. (Smith v. Marconnoy, 2 Peake's Rep. 81, addenda; and Strongitharm v. Lukyn, 1 Esp. Rep. 389). Assuredly one state is bound to act towards another as neighbours should to each other; and should it be tolerated that the latter should encourage frauds of one upon the other? Express treaties sometimes expressly provide against the toleration of such practices. So, in some cases, the English courts will not only deny effect to a correct decision of a foreign court upon the lex loci applicable to the same transaction, but will actually adjudicate to the contrary. Thus, in a late case it was held in chancery, that a distinct holder might recover in an English court on a bill drawn in France on a French stamp, although, in consequence of it not being in the form required by the French Code, another holder had failed in an action which he brought upon it in a French court; and the vice-chancellor is reported to have been of opinion, "That the circumstance of the bills being drawn and accepted by the defendant in France, and of the plaintiff having received the same from the French drawer, and of the bills having been drawn in such a form in France that the holder could not recover on them in France, was no objection to his recovering on them in an English court." (Wynne v. Jackson, 2 Russ. 352; but see observations in Wynne v. Cullender, 1 Russ. 293.)

In cases where the foreign law and rule of construction would prevail, care must be observed to establish it, and have it stated on the record, for otherwise the contract will be construed the same as an English contract; and therefore it was held that an instrument executed by foreigners in a foreign country, as in Spain, must, on demurrer, be construed by the same grammatical rules as English contracts, and according to the obvious import of its terms, unless there be an allegation in the bill in equity, setting it forth, and that, according to the law of the country in which it was executed, the true construction of it is different. (The King of Spain and Others v. Machado and Others, 4 Russ. 224.)

Where an English commission precedes a Scotch sequestration, all Scotch personal estate is liable to the commission, and not to the sequestration, (Ex parte Cridland, 3 Ves. &; B. 100; when otherwise. Ex parte Geddes, 1 Glyn & J. 414.)

Legacy in a foreign country, and coin, as sicca rupees, by a will in India, if paid by remittance to this country, the payment must be according to the current value of the rupee in India, without regard to the exchange or the expense of remittance; so, as to other countries. (Cockerell v. Barber, 16 Ves. 461.)

With respect to the proof of foreign law, it must in general be established as a fact, and the court cannot take notice of the same judicially. (Freemoult v. Dedire, 1 P. Wms. 431; Ex parte Cridland, 3 Ves. & B. 99; {Talbot v. Seeman, 1 Cranch. 1.} It is not absolutely necessary to prove it by the production of an examined copy; but a printed copy of the Cinq Codes of France, produced by the French vice-consul resident in London, purchased by him at a bookseller's shop at Paris, was received as evidence of the law of France, upon which the Court in England would act in deciding upon the validity of a marriage in France between British subjects. (Lacon v. Higgins, 1 Dowl. & Ryl. Ni. Pri. Rep. 38; 3 Stark. 176, S.C.) And it has been supposed that the same point was decided in Sir Thomas Picton's case, where the question arose as to the right of inflicting torture in the island of Trinidad; formerly under the dominion of Spain; and the attorney-general of the island was examined as a witness, and the court allowed him to refer to printed books purporting to contain the law of Spain; and Lord Ellenborough, C.J., expressed no doubt that such books were receivable as evidence of the law of Spain and Trinidad. (30 Howell's State Trials, 514; but see 1 Dowl. & Ryl. Ni. Pri. Rep. 42, n. (a).)

In equity, it has been held that the foreign law must be verified by the affidavit of a professional person swearing positively, and not by the affidavit of another person not professionally acquainted with the law, and swearing only to information and belief. (Hill v. Reardon, Jacob, 89) The best evidence is an affidavit or evidence of the foreign consul, or a foreign advocate of experience, stating verbatim the terms of the foreign law, when it was a written edict, or in the nature of our statute law. (Flack v. Holm, 1 Jac. & Walk. 418.)

As respects the claims of a sovereign of a foreign independent state upon a subject of Great Britain, it seems clear that he stands in the same situation as a private subject of such foreign state. (Greig v. Somerville, 1 Russ. & M. 388, case of the emperor of Russia's claim.) Lord Hawkesbury said, that a foreign power might legally apply to the courts of judicature, and might obtain redress, as for defamation or calumny (6 Russ. Mod. Europe, 20, ante, 143), excepting that, in respect of his dignity, he, like our king, is not to recover costs (ante, 154, Hullet v. King of Spain, 1 Dow. Rep. new ser. 177); and, if such sovereign has never been in England, the statute of limitations constitutes no bar; and in equity at any distance of time, however remote, whilst there is a fund in court, it will be decreed that the foreign sovereign shall be at liberty, by his ambassador, to go before the master and prove such debt due from an intestate's estate as he might be able, though not so as to prejudice any previous distribution (id, ibid. cases first stated).

It has been recently decided, that a foreign sovereign has a right to sue in the English courts in equity as well as at law. (Hullett and Others v. King of Spain, 1 Dow. Rep. new ser. 169, and 2 Bligh. new ser. 31, in the House of Lords, on appeal from Court of Chancery.) {the Constitution of the United States gives jurisdiction to the courts of the United States where foreign states are parties. The King of Spain v. Oliver, 2 Wash. C.C. Rep. 429.}

If a foreign state sue in chancery, the bill must properly describe the plaintiff, so that he may, if thought fit, be served upon a cross bill. (The Columbian Government v. Rothschild, 1 Simons, 94, id. 68.) And the sovereign of a foreign state must either sue here in his own name or by his ambassador; and his subjects, when privately interested, must sue individually in their names, or in their defined political character; and an ambassador cannot sue in England as procurator general for all or any of the subjects of the foreign sovereign. (Spanish Ambassador v. Bingley, Hob. 113.)

By the maritime law materially affecting the intercourse of nations with each other, when damage has been occasioned to a ship by the equal fault of those managing one ship as the other, as, by running foul of each other, the owner of the damaged vessel is to receive half the amount of the damage sustained, (Hay v. Le New, 2 Shaw's Rep. 401 to 405.)

1. The Taurians.

2. See Grotius de Jure Belli et Pacis, lib. ii. cap. xx, § xl. n. 7.

(112) But, in ancient times, the Chancellor had jurisdiction, by writ of ne exeat, to restrain a foreigner or a British subject from going abroad and communicating intelligence to an enemy, or otherwise injurious to this state, and the Court of Chancery, from more to more, have assumed and established a jurisdiction over foreigners in favour of a private subject; so that, if a foreigner be here, and be about to depart, he may be restrained and compelled to give security for satisfying any equitable claim, or even a demand at law in nature of an account, either upon a contract or transaction entered into in the foreign country, and although by the lex loci the foreigner could not have been arrested, (Flack v. Holm, 1 Jac. & W. 405; but see De Carriere v. Columne. 4 Ves. 577); and it is now settled, that at law, a foreigner may be arrested in this country for a foreign debt, though he could not have been imprisoned in his own country. (De la Vega v. Vianna, 1 Barn. & Adolph, 284.)

(113) But see ante, 105, and note.

3. In his Republic, book i. chap. vi.

(114) But specific performance of an agreement relating to the boundaries of two provinces in America, may be enforced by bill in chancery in England, if the parties be within the jurisdiction Penn v. Baltimore, 1 Ves. sen, 444.)

(115) Ante, 167, and note; and see Vattel cited, Anstruther v. Chalmer, 2 Sim. Rep. 4; but see Trotter v. Trotter, 3 Wils. & Shaw. 407, 414, and ante 167, in notes, and see Anon. 9 Mod. 66; Bowaman v. Reeve. Pre. Ch. 577, ante. 178, note.

(116) As to alienage in general, and the jealous provisions in England against foreigners, see 1 Chittys Commercial Law, 108 to 169. See exceptions in treaty with America, and decisions thereon with respect to Americans who were seised of lands in Great Britain, being allowed to retain the same, notwithstanding a subsequent war — Sutton v. Sutton, 1 Russ. & Myl. Rep. 663.

4. De Jure Belli et Pacis, lib. ii. cap. vi. § 14.

5. Digest, lib. xlix. til, x7. De Captivis, et postlimin.

6. His Republic, book 1, chap. vi.

(117) By the municipal law of Great Britain, no alien can inherit or hold real property. Thus, Doe v. Acklam, 2 Bar. & Cress. 799, establishes that a person born in the United states, since 1783, when the two countries were separated, cannot inherit lands in England; and the same point was afterwards decided in Doe d. Auchmuty v. Mulcaster, 5 Barn. & Cres. 771. To this rule some exemptions have been occasionally introduced by express treaty intended to be permanent, as regards such exception, and strengthened by statute; as under the treaty of 1794, between Great Britain and America, and the act 37 Geo. III. c. 97, under which American citizens who held lands in Great Britain, on 28 Oct. 1795, and their heirs and assigns, are at all times to be considered, so far as regards those lands, not as aliens, but as native subjects of Great Britain, and this, notwithstanding a subsequent war and the adherence of the citizen to America whilst at war with Great Britain, Sutton v. Sutton, 1 Russ. & M. 663), and the consequent conflictlon of duties as regards the American citizen seised of such estate. But, as alienage subjects no party to any indictment or penalty, an alien must answer a bill of discovery filed to ascertain whether he has purchased land. (Duplesses v. Attorney-General, 1 Bro. P.C. 415; 2 Ves. 286.)

(118) The validity of a marriage celebrated in a foreign country must be determined in an English court by the lex loci where the marriage was solemnized; and, therefore, on a plea of coverture, where the parties, who were British subjects, were married in France, it was held, that, if the marriage would not be valid in that country, according to the municipal law there, it would not be valid in this country. It was even further held that a printed copy of the "Cinq Codes"; of France, produced by the French vice-consul resident in London, purchased by him at a bookseller's shop in Paris, was property received as evidence of the law of France upon which the court would act; and Abbott, C.J., said: The general rule certainly is, that the written law of a foreign country must be proved by an examined copy thereof before it can be acted upon in an English court; but, according to my recollection, printed books upon the subject of the law of Spain were referred to and acted upon in argument in Sir Thomas Picton's case as evidence of the law of that country, and, therefore, I shall act upon that authority, and receive the printed copy now produced as evidence of the law of France. (Lacon v. Higgins, 1 Dowling & Ryland, Ni. Pri. Cases, 36; 3 Stark. Rep. 176, S.C.; Butler v. Freeman, Ambl. 303.)


§ 116. What are the rights of which men cannot be deprived.

IF an obligation, as we have before observed, gives a right to those things without which it cannot be fulfilled, every absolute, necessary, and indispensable obligation produces in this manner rights equally absolute, necessary, and indefeasible. Nature imposes no obligations on men without giving them the means of fulfilling them. They have an absolute right to the necessary use of those means: nothing can deprive them of that right, as nothing can dispense with their fulfilling their natural obligations.

§ 117. Right still remaining from the primitive state of communion.

In the primitive state of communion, men had, without distinction, a right to the use of every thing, as far as was necessary to the discharge of their natural obligations. And, as nothing could deprive them of this right, the introduction of domain and property could not take place without leaving to every man the necessary use of things, — that is to say, the use absolutely required for the fulfillment of natural obligations. We cannot, then, suppose the introduction to have taken place without this tacit restriction, that every man should still preserve some right to the things subjected to property, in those cases where, without this right, he would remain absolutely deprived of the necessary use of things of this nature. This right is a necessary remnant of the primitive state of communion.

§ 116. Right retained by each nation over the

Notwithstanding the domain of nations, therefore, each nation still retains some right to what is possessed by others, in those cases where she would find herself deprived of the necessary use of certain things if she were to be absolutely debarred from using them by the consideration of their being other people's property. We ought carefully to weigh every circumstance in order to make a just application of this principle.

§ 119. Right of necessity.

I say the same of the right of necessity. We thus call the right which necessity alone gives to the performance of certain actions that are otherwise unlawful, when, without these actions, it is impossible to fulfil an indispensable obligation. But it is carefully to be noted, that, in such a case, the obligation must really be an indispensable one, and the act in question the only means of fulfilling that obligation. If either of these conditions be wanting, the right of necessity does not exist on the occasion. We may see the subjects discussed in treatises on the law of nature, and particularly in that of Mr. Wolf. I confine myself here to a brief summary of those principles whose aid is necessary to us in developing the rights of nations.

§ 120. Right of procuring provisions by force. (119)

The earth was designed to feed its inhabitants; and he who is in want of every thing is not obliged to starve because all property is vested in others. When, therefore, a nation is in absolute want of provisions, she may compel her neighbours who have more than they want for themselves to supply her with a share of them, at a fair price; she may even take it by force, it they will not sell it. Extreme necessity revives the primitive communion, the abolition of which ought to deprive no person of the necessaries of life (§ 117). The same right belongs to individuals, when a foreign nation refuses them a just assistance. Captain Bontekoe, a Dutchman, having lost his vessel at sea, escaped in his boat, with a part of his crew, and landed on an Indian coast, where the barbarous inhabitants refusing him provisions, the Dutch obtained them sword in hand.1

§ 121. Right of making use of the things that belong to others. (119)

In the same manner, if a nation has a pressing want of the ships, wagons, horses, or even the personal labour of foreigners, she may make use of them, either by free consent or by force, provided that the proprietors be not under the same necessity. But, as she has no more right to these things than necessity gives her, she ought to pay for the use she makes of them, if she has the means of paying. The practice of Europe is conformable to this maxim. In cases of necessity, a nation sometimes presses foreign vessels which happen to be in her ports; but she pays a compensation for the services performed by them.

§ 122. Right of carrying off women.

Let us say a few words on a more singular case, since authors have treated of it — a case in which at present, people are never reduced to employ force. A nation cannot preserve and perpetuate itself, except by propagation. A nation of men has, therefore, a right to procure women, who are absolutely necessary to its preservation; and if its neighbours, who have a redundancy of females, refuse to give some of them in marriage to those men, the latter may justly have recourse to force. We have a famous example of this in the rape of the Sabine women.2 But, though a nation is allowed to procure for itself, even by force of arms, the liberty of obtaining women in marriage, no woman in particular can be constrained in her choice, nor become, by right, the wife of a man who carries her off by force — a circumstance which has not been attended to by those who have decided, without restriction, that the Romans did not commit an act of injustice on that occasion.3 It is true that the Sabine women submitted to their fate with a good grace; and, when their nation took up arms to avenge them, it sufficiently appeared, from the ardour with which those women rushed between the combatants, that they willingly acknowledged the Romans for their lawful husbands.

We may further add, that, if the Romans, as many pretend, were originally only a band of robbers united under Romulus, they did not form a true nation, or a legitimate state; the neighbouring nations had a just right to refuse them women; and the law of nature, which approves no civil society but such as is legitimate, did not require them to furnish that society of vagabonds and robbers with the means of perpetuating itself; much less did it authorize the latter to procure those means by force. In the same manner, no nation was obliged to furnish the Amazons with males. That nation of women, if it ever existed, put itself, by its own fault, out of a condition to support itself without foreign assistance.

§ 123. Right of passage. (120)

The right of passage is also a remnant of the primitive state of communion, in which the entire earth was common to all mankind, and the passage was everywhere free to each individual according to his necessities. Nobody can be entirely deprived of this right (§ 117); but the exercise of it is limited by the introduction of domain and property: since they have been introduced, we cannot exert that right without paying due regard to the private rights of others. The effect of property is, to give the proprietor's advantage a preference over that of all others. When, therefore, the owner of a territory thinks proper to refuse you admission into it, you must, in order to enter it in spite of him, have some reason more cogent than all his reasons to the contrary. Such is the right of necessity: this authorizes an act on your part, which on other occasions would be unlawful, viz. an infringement of the right of domain. When a real necessity obliges you to enter into the territory of others, — for instance, if you cannot otherwise escape from imminent danger, or if you have no other passage for procuring the means of subsistence, or those of satisfying some other indispensable obligation, — you may force a passage when it is unjustly refused, but, if an equal necessity obliges the proprietor to refuse you entrance, he refuses it justly; and his right is paramount to yours. Thus, a vessel driven by stress of weather has a right to enter, even by force, into a foreign port. But, if that vessel is affected with the plague, the owner of the port may fire upon it and beat it off, without any violation either of justice, or even of charity, which, in such a case, ought doubtless to begin at home.

§ 124. and of procuring necessaries.

The right of passage through a country would in most cases be useless, without that of procuring necessaries at a fair price: and we have already shown (§ 120) that in case of necessity it is lawful to take provisions even by force.

§ 125. Right of dwelling in a foreign country.

In speaking of exile and banishment, we have observed (Book I. §§ 229-231) that every man has a right to dwell somewhere upon earth. What we have shown with respect to individuals may be applied to whole nations. If a people are driven from the place of their abode, they have a right to seek a retreat: the nation to which they make application ought then to grant them a place of habitation, at least for a time, if she has not very important reasons for a refusal. But, if the country inhabited by this nation is scarcely sufficient for herself, she is under no obligation to allow a band of foreigners to settle in it for ever: she may even dismiss them at once, if it be not convenient to her to grant them a permanent settlement. As they have the resource of seeking an establishment elsewhere, they cannot claim any authority from the right of necessity, to stay in spite of the owners of the country. But it is necessary, in short, that these fugitives should find a retreat; and, if everybody rejects them, they will be justifiable in making a settlement in the first country where they find land enough for themselves, without depriving the inhabitants of what is sufficient for them. But, even in this case, their necessity gives them only the right of habitation; and they are bound to submit to all the conditions, not absolutely intolerable, which may be imposed on them by the master of the country, — such as paying him tribute, becoming his subjects, or at least living under his protection, and, in certain respects, depending on him. This right, as well as the two preceding, is a remnant of the primitive state of communion.

§ 126. Things of

We have been occasionally obliged to anticipate the subject of the present chapter, in order to follow the order of the different subjects that presented themselves. Thus, in speaking of the open sea, we have remarked (Book I. § 281) that those things, the use of which is inexhaustible, cannot fall under the domain or property of any one; because, in that free and independent state in which nature has produced them, they may be equally useful to all men. And, as to those things even which in other respects are subject to domain, if their use is inexhaustible, they remain common with respect to that use, thus a river may be subject both to domain and empire; but, in quality of running water, it remains common, — that is to say, the owner of the river cannot hinder any one from drinking and drawing water out of it. Thus, the sea, even in those parts that are held in possession, being sufficient for the navigation of all mankind, he who has the domain cannot refuse a passage through it to any vessel from which he has nothing to fear. But it may happen, by accident, that this inexhaustible use of the thing may be justly refused by the owner, when people cannot take advantage of it without incommoding him or doing him a prejudice. For instance, if you cannot come to my river for water without passing over my land and damaging the crop it bears, I may for that reason debar you from the inexhaustible use of the running water: in which case, it is but through accident you are deprived of it. This leads us to speak of another right which has a great connection with that just mentioned, and is even derived from it; that is, the right of innocent use.

§ 127. Right of innocent use.

We call innocent use, or, innocent advantage, that which may be derived from a thing without causing either loss or inconvenience to the proprietor; and the right of innocent use is the right we have to that advantage or use which may be made of things belonging to another, without causing him either loss or inconvenience. I have said that this right is derived from the right to things of which the use is inexhaustible. In fact, a thing that may be useful to any one without loss or inconvenience to the owner, is, in this respect, inexhaustible in the use; and that is the reason why the law of nature still allows all men a right to it notwithstanding the introduction of domain and property. Nature, who designs her gifts for the common advantage of mankind, does not allow us to prevent the application of those gifts to a useful purpose which they may be made to serve without any prejudice to the proprietor, and without any diminution of the utility and advantages he is capable of deriving from his rights.

§ 128. Nature of this right in general.

This right of innocent use is not a perfect right, like that of necessity: for, it belongs to the owner to judge whether the use we wish to make of a thing that belongs to him will not be attended with damage or inconvenience. If others should presume to decide on the occasion, and, in case of refusal, to compel the proprietor, he would be no longer master of his own property. It may frequently happen that the person who wishes to derive advantage from a thing shall deem the use of it perfectly innocent, though it is not so in fact; and, if, in such case, he attempts to force the proprietor, he exposes himself to the risk of committing an act of injustice; nay, he actually commits one, since he infringes the owner's right to judge of what is proper to be done on the occasion. In all cases, therefore, which admit of any doubt, we have only an imperfect right to the innocent use of things that belong to others.

§ 129. and in cases not doubtful.

But, when the innocence of the use is evident, and absolutely indubitable, the refusal is an injury. For, in addition to a manifest violation of the rights of the party by whom that innocent use is required, such refusal is moreover a testimony of an injurious disposition of hatred or contempt for him. To refuse a merchant-ship the liberty of passing through a strait, to fishermen that of drying their nets on the sea shore, or of watering at a river, is an evident infringement of the right they have to the innocent use of things in those cases, But in every case, if we are not pressed by necessity, we may ask the owner for his reasons for the refusal, and if he gives none, we may consider him as an unjust man; or an enemy, with whom we are to act according to the rules of prudence. In general, we should regulate our sentiments and conduct towards him, according to the greater or lesser weight of the reasons on which he acts.

§ 130. Exercise of this right between nations.

All nations do therefore still retain a general right to the innocent use of things that are under the domain of any one individual nation. But, in the particular application of this right, it is the nation in whom the property is vested that is to determine whether the use which others wish to make of what belongs to her be really innocent: and, if she gives them a denial, she ought to allege her reasons; as she must not deprive others of their right from mere caprice. All this is founded in justice: for, it must be remembered that the innocent use of things is not comprehended in the domain, or the exclusive property. The domain gives only the right of judging, in particular cases, whether the use be really innocent. Now, he who judges ought to have his reasons; and he should mention them, if he would have us think that he forms any judgment, and not that he acts from caprice or ill-nature. All this, I say, is founded injustice. In the next chapter, we shall see the line of conduct which a nation is, by her duty to other nations, bound to observe in the exercise of her rights.

(119) See the doctrine of Preemption, 1 Chitty's Com. Law, 103, 104, 105, 446, 447.

1. Bonketoe's Voyage, in the Voyages of the Dutch to the East Indies.

2. Livy, book i.

3. Wolf., Jus Gent. § 341.

(120) See fully 1 Chitty's Com. L., 84; Grotius, book ii, chap. ii. p. 153, states that a nation is hound to grant free passage without reserve or discretion. But Puffendorf appears to agree with Vattel, and states that the law of humanity does not seem to oblige us to grant passage to any other goods except such as are absolutely necessary for the purpose of their life to whom they are thus conveyed. — Puff. book iii. chap. iii, § 6, p. 29


§ 131. General duty of the proprietor.

SINCE the law of nations treats as well of the duties of states as of their rights, it is not sufficient that we have explained, on the subject of innocent use, what all nations have a right to require from the proprietor: we are now to consider what influence his duties to others ought to have on their proprietor's conduct. As it belongs to him to judge whether the use be really innocent, and not productive of any detriment or inconvenience to himself, he ought not to give a refusal unless it be grounded upon real and substantial reasons: this is a maxim of equity; he ought not even to stop at trifles, — a slight loss, or any little inconvenience: humanity forbids this; and the mutual love which men owe to each other, requires greater sacrifices. It would certainly be too great a deviation from that universal benevolence which ought to unite the human race, to refuse a considerable advantage to an individual, or to a whole nation, whenever the grant of it might happen to be productive of the most trifling loss or the slightest inconvenience to ourselves. In this respect, therefore, a nation ought on all occasions to regulate her conduct by reasons proportioned to the advantages and necessities of others, and to reckon as nothing a small expense or a supportable inconvenience, when great good will thence result to another nation. But she is under no obligation to incur heavy expenses or embarrassments, for the sake of furnishing others with the use of any thing, when such use is neither necessary nor of any great utility to them. The sacrifice we here require is not contrary to the interests of the nation: — it is natural to think that the others will behave in the same manner in return; and how great the advantages that will result to all states from such a line of conduct!

§ 132. Innocent passage. (121)

The introduction of property cannot be supposed to have deprived nations of the general right of traversing the earth for the purposes of mutual intercourse, of carrying on commerce with each other, and for other just reasons. It is only on particular occasions, when the owner of a country thinks it would be prejudicial or dangerous to allow a passage through it, that he ought to refuse permission to pass. He is therefore bound to grant a passage for lawful purposes, whenever he can do it without inconvenience to himself. And he cannot lawfully annex burdensome conditions to a permission which he is obliged to grant, and which he cannot refuse if he wishes to discharge his duty, and not abuse his right of property. The count of Lupfen having improperly stopped some merchandise in Alsace, and complaints being made on the subject to the emperor Sigismund, who was then at the council of Constance, that prince assembled the electors, princes, and deputies of towns, to examine the affair. The opinion of the burgrave of Nuremberg deserves to be mentioned: "God," said he, "has created heaven for himself and his saints, and has given the earth to mankind, intending it for the advantage of the poor as well as of the rich. The roads are for their use, and God has not subjected them to any taxes." He condemned the count of Lupfen to restore the merchandise, and to pay costs and damages, because he could not justify his seizure by any peculiar right. The emperor approved this opinion, and passed sentence accordingly.1

§ 133. Sureties may be required.

But, if any apprehension of danger arise from the grant of liberty to pass through a country, the state has a right to require sureties: the party who wishes to pass cannot refuse them, a passage being only so far due to him as it is attended with no inconvenience.

§ 134. Passage of merchandise. (122)

In like manner, a passage ought also to be granted for merchandise: and, as this is in general productive of no inconvenience, to refuse it without just reason is injuring a nation, and endeavouring to deprive her of the means of carrying on a trade with other states. If this passage occasions any inconvenience, any expense for the preservation of canals and highways, we may exact a compensation for it by toll duties (Book I. § 303).

§ 135. Residence in the country.

In explaining the effects of domain we have said above (§§ 64 and 100) that the owner of the territory may forbid the entrance into it, or permit it on such conditions as he thinks proper. We were then treating of his external right, — that right which foreigners are bound to respect. But now that we are considering the matter in another view, and as it relates to his duties and to his internal right, we may venture to assert that he cannot, without particular and important reasons, refuse permission, either to pass through or reside in the country, to foreigners who desire it for lawful purposes. For, their passage or their residence being in this case an innocent advantage, the law of nature does not give him a right to refuse it: and, though other nations and other men in general are obliged to submit to his judgment (§§ 128 and 130), he does not the less offend against his duty, if he refuses without sufficient reason: he then acts without any true right; he only abuses his external right. He cannot, therefore without some particular and cogent reason. refuse the liberty of residence to a foreigner who comes into the country with the hope of recovering his health, or for the sake of acquiring instruction in the schools and academies. A difference in religion is not a sufficient reason to exclude him, provided he do not engage in controversial disputes with a view to disseminate his tenets; for, that difference does not deprive him of the rights of humanity.

§ 136. How we are to act towards foreigners who desire a perpetual residence.

We have seen (§ 125) how the right of necessity may in certain cases authorize a people, who are driven from the place of their residence, to settle in the territory of another nation. Every state ought, doubtless, to grant to so unfortunate a people every aid and assistance which she can bestow without being wanting to herself: but to grant them an establishment in the territories of the nation, is a very delicate step, the consequences of which should be maturely considered by the conductor of the state. The emperors Probus and Valens experienced the evil effects of their conduct in having admitted into the territories of the empire numerous bands of Gepidæ, Vandals, Goths, and other barbarians.2 If the sovereign finds that such a step would be attended with too great an inconvenience or danger, he has a right to refuse an establishment to those fugitive people, or to adopt, on their admission, every precaution that prudence can dictate to him. One of the safest will be, not to permit those foreigners to reside together in the same part of the country, there to keep up the form of a separate nation. Men who have not been able to defend their own country, cannot pretend to any right to establish themselves in the territory of another, in order to maintain themselves there as a nation in a body.3 The sovereign who harbours them may therefore disperse them, and distribute them into the towns and provinces that are in want of inhabitants. In this manner his charity will turn to his own advantage, to the increase of his power, and to the greater benefit of the state. What a difference is observable in Brandenburg since the settlement of the French refugees! The great elector, Frederic William, offered an asylum to those unfortunate people; he provided for their expenses on the road, and with truly regal munificence established them in his states; by which conduct that beneficent and generous prince merited the title of a wise and able politician.

§ 137. Right accruing

When, by the laws or the custom of a state, certain actions are generally permitted to foreigners, as, for instance, travelling freely through the country without any express permission, marrying there, buying or selling merchandise, hunting, fishing, &c., we cannot exclude any one nation from the benefit of the general permission without doing her an injury, unless there be some particular and lawful reason for refusing to that nation what is granted indiscriminately to others. The question here, it is to be observed, only relates to those actions which are productive of innocent advantage: and, as the nation allows them to foreigners without distinction, she, by the very nature of that general permission, affords sufficient proof that she deems them innocent with respect to herself; which amounts to a declaration that foreigners have a right to them (§ 127): the innocence of such acts is manifested by the confession of the state; and the refusal of an advantage that is manifestly innocent, is an injury (§ 129). Besides, to attempt without any reason to lay one nation under a prohibition where an indiscriminate permission is enjoyed by all others, is an injurious distinction, since it can only proceed from hatred or contempt. If there by any particular and well-founded reason for the exception, the advantage resulting from the act in question can no longer be deemed an innocent one with respect to the excepted nation; consequently no injury is done to them. The state may also by way of punishment, except from the general permission a people who have given her just cause of complaint.

§ 138. A right granted as a favour.

As to rights of this nature granted to one or more nations for particular reasons, they are conferred on them as favours, either by treaty, or through gratitude for some particular service: those to whom the same rights are refused cannot consider themselves as offended. The nation does not esteem the advantage accruing from those acts to be an innocent one, since she does not indiscriminately allow them to all nations: and she may confer on whom she pleases any rights over her own property, without affording just grounds to anybody else, either for uttering a complaint, or forming pretensions to the same favour.

§ 139. The nation ought to be courteous.

Humanity is not confined to the bare grant of a permission to foreign nations to make an innocent use of what belongs to us: it moreover requires that we should even facilitate to them the means of deriving advantage from it, so far as we can do this without injury to ourselves. Thus, it becomes a well-regulated state to promote the general establishment of inns where travellers may procure lodging and food at a fair price, — to watch over their safety, — and to see that they be treated with equity and humanity. A polite nation should give the kindest reception to foreigners, receive them with politeness, and on every occasion show a disposition to oblige them. by these means every citizen, while he discharges his duty to mankind in general, will at the same time render essential services to his country. Glory is the certain reward of virtue; and the good-will which is gained by an amiable character, is often productive of consequences highly important to the state. No nation is entitled to greater praise in this respect than the French: foreigners nowhere meet a reception more agreeable, or better calculated to prevent their regretting the immense sums they annually spend at Paris.

(121) See, in general, 1 Chitty's Com. Law, 84, 88.

1. Stettler, vol. i. p. 114. Tschudi, vol ii. pp. 27, 28.

(122) Puffendorf, b. 3, ch. 3, s. 6. p. 29.

2. Vopiscus, Prob. c. sviii. — Ammian. Marcell. lib. xxxi. — Socrat. Hist. Eccles. lib. iv. c. 28.

3. Cæsar replied to the Tenchtheri and Usipetes, who wanted to retain possession of the territories they had seized, that it was not just for them to invade the territories of others, since they had not been able to defend their own. — Neque verum esse, qui suos fines tueri non potuerint, alienos occupare. De Bello Gallico, lib. iv, cap. vi.


LET us conclude what relates to domain and property with an examination of a celebrated question on which the learned are much divided. It is asked whether usucaptlon and prescription can take place between independent nations and states.(123)

§ 140. Definition of usucaption and prescription.

Usucaption is the acquisition of domain founded on a long possession, uninterrupted and undisputed — that is to say, an acquisition solely proved by this possession. Wolf defines it, an acquisition of domain founded on a presumed desertion. His definition explains the manner in which a long and peaceable possession may serve to establish the acquisition of domain. Modestinus, Digest, lib, 3, de Usurp. et Usucap., says, in conformity to the principles of the Roman law, that usucaption is the acquisition of domain by possession continued during a certain period prescribed by law. These three definitions are by no means incompatible with each other; and it is easy to reconcile them by setting aside what relates to the civil law in the last of the three. In the first of them, we have endeavoured clearly to express the idea commonly affixed to the term usucaption.

Prescription is the exclusion of all pretensions to a right — an exclusion founded on the length of time during which that right has been neglected: or, according to Wolf's definition, it is the loss of an inherent right by virtue of a presumed consent. This definition, too, is just; that is, it explains how a right may be forfeited by long neglect; and it agrees with the nominal definition we give of the term, prescription, in which we confine ourselves to the meaning usually annexed to the word. As to the rest, the term usucaption is but little used in French; and the word prescription implies, in that language, every thing expressed by the Latin terms Usucapio and præscriptio: wherefore we shall make use of the word prescription wherever we have not particular reasons for employing the other.

§ 141. Usucaption and prescription derived from the law of nature.

Now, to decide the question we have proposed, we must first see whether usucaption and prescription are derived from the law of nature. Many illustrious authors have asserted and proved them to be so.1 Though in this treatise we frequently suppose the reader acquainted with the law of nature, it is proper in this place to establish the decision, since the affair is disputed.

Nature has not herself established a private property over any of her gifts, and particularly over land; she only approves its establishment, for the advantage of the human race. On this ground, then, it would be absurd to suppose, that, after the introduction of domain and property, the law of nature can secure to a proprietor any right capable of introducing disorder into human society. Such would be the right of entirely neglecting a thing that belongs to him, — of leaving it during a long space of time under all the appearances of a thing utterly abandoned or not belonging to him, — and of coming at length to wrest it from a bona fide possessor, who has perhaps dearly purchased his title to it, — who has received it as an inheritance from his progenitors, or as a portion with his wife, — and who might have made other acquisitions, had he been able to discover that the one in question was neither solid nor lawful. Far from giving such a right, the law of nature lays an injunction on the proprietor to take care of his property, and imposes on him an obligation to make known his rights, that others may not be led into error: it is on these conditions alone that she approves of the property vested in him, and secures him in the possession. If he has neglected it for such a length of time that he cannot now be admitted to reclaim it without endangering the rights of others, the law of nature will no longer allow him to revive and assert his claims. We must not therefore conceive the right of private property to be a right of so extensive and imprescriptible a nature, that the proprietor may, at the risk of every inconvenience thence resulting to human society, absolutely neglect it for a length of time, and afterwards reclaim it, according to his caprice. With what other view than that of the peace, the safety, and the advantage of human society, does the law of nature ordain that all men should respect the right of private property in him who makes use of it? For the same reason, therefore, the same law requires that every proprietor who for a long time and without any just reason neglects his right, should be presumed to have entirely renounced and abandoned it. This is what forms the absolute presumption (juris et de jure) of its abandonment, — a presumption, upon which another person is legally entitled to appropriate to himself the thing so abandoned. The absolute presumption does not here signify a conjecture of the secret intentions of the proprietor, but a maxim which the law of nature ordains should be considered as true and invariable, — and this with a view of maintaining peace and order among men. Such presumption therefore confirms a title as firm and just as that of property itself, and established and supported by the same reasons. The bona fide possessor, resting his title on a presumption of this kind, has, then, a right which is approved by the law of nature; and that law, which requires that the rights of each individual should be stable and certain, does not allow any man to disturb him in his possession,

The right of usucaption properly signifies that the bona fide possessor is not obliged to suffer his right of property to be disputed after a long-continued and peaceable possession on his part: he proves that right by the very circumstance of possession, and sets up the plea of prescription in bar to the claims of the pretended proprietor. Nothing can be more equitable than this rule. If the claimant were permitted to prove his property, he might happen to bring proofs very convincing indeed in appearance, but, in fact, deriving all their force only from the loss or destruction of some document or deed which would have proved how he had either lost or transferred his right. Would it be reasonable that he should be allowed to call in question the rights of the possessor, when by his own fault he has suffered matters to proceed to such a state that there would be danger of mistaking the truth? If it be necessary that one of the two should be exposed to lose his property, it is just it should be the party who is in fault.

It is true, that, if the bona fide possessor should discover, with perfect certainty, that the claimant is the real proprietor, and has never abandoned his right, he is bound in conscience, and by the internal principles of justice, to make restitution of whatever accession of wealth he has derived from the property of the claimant. But this estimation is not easily made; and it depends on circumstances.

§ 142. What foundation is required for ordinary prescription.

As prescription cannot be grounded on any but an absolute or lawful presumption, it has no foundation, if the proprietor has not really neglected his right. This condition implies three particulars: 1, that the proprietor cannot allege an invincible ignorance, either on his own part, or on that of the persons from whom he derives his right; — 2, that he cannot justify his silence by lawful and substantial reasons; — 3, that he has neglected his right, or kept silence during a considerable number of years: for, the negligence of a few years, being incapable of producing confusion and rendering doubtful the respective rights of the parties, is not sufficient to found or authorize a presumption of relinquishment. It is impossible to determine by the law of nature the number of years required to found a prescription: this depends on the nature of the property disputed, and the circumstances of the case.

§ 143. Immemorial prescription.

What we have remarked in the preceding section, relates to ordinary prescription. There is another called immemorial, because it is founded on immemorial possession, — that is, on a possession, the origin of which is unknown, or so deeply involved in obscurity, as to allow no possibility of proving whether the possessor has really derived his right from the original proprietor, or received the possession from another. This immemorial prescription secures the possessor's right beyond the power of recovery: for, it affords a legal presumption that he is the proprietor, as long as the adverse party fails to adduce substantial reasons in support of his claim: and, indeed, whence could these reasons be derived, since the origin of the possession is lost in the obscurity of time? It ought even to secure the possessor against every pretension contrary to his right. What would be the case were it permitted to call in question a right acknowledged time immemorial, when the means of proving it were destroyed by time? Immemorial possession, therefore, is an irrefragable title, and immemorial prescription admits of no exception: both are founded on a presumption which the law of nature directs us to receive as an incontestable truth.

§ 144. Claimant alleging reasons for his silence.

In cases of ordinary prescription, the same argument cannot be used against a claimant who alleges just reasons for his silence, as, the impossibility of speaking, or a well-founded fear, &c., because there is then no longer any room for a presumption that he has abandoned his right. It is not his fault if people have thought themselves authorized to form such a presumption; nor ought he to suffer in consequence: he cannot therefore be debarred the liberty of clearly proving his property. This method of defence in bar of prescription has been often employed against princes whose formidable power had long silenced the feeble victims of their usurpations.

§ 145. Proprietor sufficiently showing that he does not mean to abandon his right.

It is also very evident that we cannot plead prescription in opposition to a proprietor who, being for the present unable to prosecute his right, confines himself to a notification, by any token whatever, sufficient to show that it is not his intention to abandon it. Protests answer this purpose. With sovereigns it is usual to retain the title and arms of a sovereignty or a province, as an evidence that they do not relinquish their claims to it.

§ 146 Prescription founded on

Every proprietor who expressly commits, or omits, certain acts, which he cannot commit or omit without renouncing his right, sufficiently indicates by such commission or omission that it is not his intention to preserve it, unless, by an express reservation, he declare the contrary. We are undoubtedly authorized to consider as true what he sufficiently manifests on occasions where he ought to declare the truth: consequently, we may lawfully presume that he abandons his right; and, if he would afterwards resume it, we can plead prescription in bar to his claim.

§ 147. Usucaption and prescription take place between nations.

After having shown that usucaption and prescription are founded in the law of nature, it is easy to prove that they are equally a part of the law of nations, and ought to take place between different states. For, the law of nations is but the law of nature applied to nations in a manner suitable to the parties concerned (Prelim. § 6). And so far is the nature of the parties from affording them an exemption in the case, that usucaption and prescription are much more necessary between sovereign states than between individuals. Their quarrels are of much greater consequence; their disputes are usually terminated only by bloody wars; and consequently the peace and happiness of mankind much more powerfully require that possession on the part of sovereigns should not be easily disturbed, — and that, if it has for a considerable length of time continued uncontested, it should be deemed just and indisputable, were we allowed to recur to antiquity on every occasion, there are few sovereigns who could enjoy their rights in security, and there would be no peace to be hoped for on earth.

§ 148. More difficult between nations, to found them on a presumptive desertion.

It must however be confessed, that, between nations, the rights of usucaption and prescription are often more difficult in their application, so far as they are founded on a presumption drawn from long silence. Nobody is ignorant how dangerous it commonly is for a weak state even to hint a claim to the possessions of a powerful monarch. In such a case, therefore, it is not easy to deduce from long silence a legal presumption of abandonment. To this we may add, that, as the ruler of the society has usually no power to alienate what belongs to the state, his silence, even though sufficient to afford a presumption of abandonment on his own part, cannot impair the national right or that of his successors. The question then will be, whether the nation has neglected to supply the omission caused by the silence of her ruler, or has participated in it by a tacit approbation.

§ 149. Other principles that enforce prescription.

But there are other principles that establish the use and force of prescription between nations. The tranquillity of the people, the safety of states, the happiness of the human race, do not allow that the possessions, empire, and other rights of nations should remain uncertain, subject to dispute, and ever ready to occasion bloody wars. Between nations, therefore, it becomes necessary to admit prescription founded on length of time as a valid and incontestable title. If any nation has kept silence through fear, and as it were through necessity, the loss of her right is a misfortune which she ought patiently to bear, since she could not avoid it: and why should she not submit to this as well as to have her towns and provinces taken from her by an unjust conqueror, and to be forced to cede them to him by treaty? It is, however, only in cases of long-continued, undisputed, and uninterrupted possession, that prescription is established on these grounds, because it is necessary that affairs should some time or other be brought to a conclusion, and settled on a firm and solid foundation. But the case is different with a possession of only a few years' continuance, during which the party whose rights are invaded may from prudential reasons find it expedient to keep silence, without at the same time affording room to accuse him of suffering things to become uncertain, and of renewing quarrels without end.

As to immemorial prescription, what we have said respecting it (§ 143) is sufficient to convince every one that it ought necessarily to take place between nations.

§ 150. Effects of the voluntary law of nations on this subject.

Usucaption and prescription being so necessary to the tranquillity and happiness of human society, it is justly presumed that all nations have consented to admit the lawful and reasonable use of them, with a view to the general advantage, and even to the private interest of each individual nation.

Prescription of many years' standing, as well as usucaption, is, then, established by the voluntary law of nations (Prelim. § 21).

Nay, more, as by virtue of that law nations are, in all doubtful cases, supposed to stand on a footing of equal right in treating with each other (ibid.), prescription, when founded on long undisputed possession, ought to have its full effect between nations, without admitting any allegation of the possession being unjust, unless the evidence to prove it be very clear and convincing indeed. For, without such evidence, every nation is to be considered as a bona fide possessor. Such is the right that a sovereign state ought to allow to other states; but to herself she should only allow the use of the internal and necessary right (Prelim. § 28). It is the bona fide possessor alone whose prescription will stand the test of conscience.

§ 151. Law of treaties or of custom in this matter.

Since prescription is subject to so many difficulties, it would be very proper that adjoining nations should by treaty adopt some rule on this subject, particularly with respect to the number of years required to found a lawful prescription, since this latter point cannot in general be determined by the law of nature alone. If, in default of treaties, custom has determined any thing in this matter, the nations between whom this custom is in force, ought to conform to it (Prelim. § 26).

(123) We have seen that twenty years' undisturbed possession or enjoyment of an easement or profit amongst nations, as well as amongst private individuals, creates a right. See ante, 125 to 127; and see Benest v. Pipon, Knapp's Rep. 60 to 73; where see the law of nations fully examined. — C.

1. See Grotius de Jure Belli et Pacis, lib. ii. cap. lv. — Puffendorf, Jus Nat. et Gent. lib. iv. cap. xii. — and especially Wolfius, Jus Nat. part iii. cap. vii.


§ 152. Nature of treaties. (124)

THE subject of treaties is undoubtedly one of the most important that the mutual relations and affairs of nations can present us with. Having but too much reason to be convinced of the little dependence that is to be placed on the natural obligations of bodies politic, and on the reciprocal duties imposed upon them by humanity, — the most prudent nations endeavour to procure by treaties those succours and advantages which the law of nature would insure to them, if it were not rendered ineffectual by the pernicious counsels of a false policy.

A treaty, in Latin fœdus, is a compact made with a view to the public welfare by the superior power, either for perpetuity, or for a considerable time.

§ 153. Pactions, agreements, or conventions.

The compacts which have temporary matters for their object are called agreements, conventions, and pactions. They are accomplished by one single act, and not by repeated acts. These compacts are perfected in their execution once for all: treaties receive a successive execution whose duration equals that of the treaty.

§ 154. By whom treaties are made.

Public treaties can only be made by the superior powers, by sovereigns, who contract in the name of the state. Thus, conventions, made between sovereigns respecting their own private affairs, and those between a sovereign and a private person, are not public treaties.

The sovereign who possesses the full and absolute authority has, doubtless, a right to treat in the name of the state he represents; and his engagements are binding on the whole nation. But all rulers of states have not a power to make public treaties by their own authority alone: some are obliged to take the advice of a senate, or of the representatives of the nation. It is from the fundamental laws of each state that we must learn where resides the authority that is capable of contracting with validity in the name of the state.

Notwithstanding our assertion above, that public treaties are made only by the superior powers, treaties of that nature may nevertheless be entered into by princes or communities, who have a right to contract them, either by the concession of the sovereign, or by the fundamental laws of the state, by particular reservations, or by custom. Thus, the princes and free cities of Germany, though dependent

on the emperor and the empire, have the right of forming alliances with foreign powers. The constitutions of the empire give them, in this as in many other respects, the rights of sovereignty. Some cities of Switzerland, though subject to a prince, have made alliances with the cantons: the permission or toleration of the sovereign has given birth to such treaties, and long custom has established the right to contract them.

§ 155. Whether a state under protection may make treaties.

As a state that has put herself under the protection of another, has not on that account forfeited her character of sovereignty (Book I. § 192), she may make treaties and contract alliances, unless she has, in the treaty of protection, expressly renounced that right. But she continues for ever after bound by this treaty of protection, so that she cannot enter into any engagements contrary to it, — that is to say, engagements which violate the express conditions of the protection, or that are in their own nature repugnant to every treaty of protection. Thus, the protected state cannot promise assistance to the enemies of her protector, nor grant them a passage.

§ 156. Treaties concluded by proxies or plenipotentiaries.

Sovereigns treat with each other through the medium of agents or proxies who are invested with sufficient powers for the purpose, and are commonly called plenipotentiaries. To their office we may apply all the rules of natural law which respect things done by commission. The rights of the proxy are determined by the instructions that are given him: he must not deviate from them; but every promise which he makes in the terms of his commission, and within the extent of his powers, is binding on his constituent.

At present, in order to avoid all danger and difficulty, princes reserve to themselves the power of ratifying what has been concluded upon in their name by their ministers. The plenipotentiary commission is but a procuration cum libera. If this commission were to have its full effect, they could not be too circumspect in giving it. But, as princes cannot otherwise than by force of arms be compelled to fulfil their engagements, it is customary to place no dependence on their treaties, till they have agreed to and ratified them. Thus, as every agreement made by the minister remains invalid till sanctioned by the prince's ratification, there is less danger in vesting him with unlimited powers. But, before a prince can honourably refuse to ratify a compact made in virtue of such plenipotentiary commission, he should be able to allege strong and substantial reasons, and, in particular, to prove that his minister has deviated from his instructions.

§ 157. Validity of treaties.

A treaty is valid if there be no defect in the manner in which it has been concluded: and for this purpose nothing more can be required than a sufficient power in the contracting parties, and their mutual consent sufficiently declared.

§ 158. Injury does

An injury cannot, then, render a treaty invalid, He who enters into engagements ought carefully to weigh every thing before he concludes them; he may do what he pleases with his own property, forego his rights, and renounce his advantages, as he thinks proper; the acceptor is not obliged to inquire into his motives, and to estimate their due weight. If we might recede from a treaty because we found ourselves injured by it, there would be no stability in the contracts of nations. Civil laws may set bounds to injury, and determine what degree of it shall be capable of invalidating a contract. But sovereigns are subject to no superior judge. How shall they be able to prove the injury to each other's satisfaction? Who shall determine the degree of it sufficient to invalidate a treaty? The peace and happiness of nations manifestly require that their treaties should not depend on so vague and dangerous a plea of invalidity.

§ 159. Duty of nations in this respect.

A sovereign nevertheless is in conscience bound to pay a regard to equity, and to observe it as much as possible in all his treaties. And, if it happens that a treaty which he has concluded with upright intentions, and without perceiving any unfairness in it, should eventually prove disadvantageous to an ally, nothing can be more honourable, more praiseworthy, more conformable to the reciprocal duties of nations, than to relax the terms of such treaty as far as he can do it consistently with his duty to himself, and without exposing himself to danger, or incurring a considerable loss.

§ 160. Nullity of treaties which are pernicious to the state.

Though a simple injury, or some disadvantage in a treaty, be not sufficient to invalidate it, the case is not the same with those inconveniences that would lead to the ruin of the nation. Since, in the formation of every treaty, the contracting parties must be vested with sufficient powers for the purpose, a treaty pernicious to the state is null, and not at all obligatory, as no conductor of a nation has the power to enter into engagements to do such things as are capable of destroying the state, for whose safety the government is intrusted to him. The nation itself, being necessarily obliged to perform every thing required for its preservation and safety (Book I. § 16, &c.), cannot enter into engagements contrary to its indispensable obligations. In the year 1506, the states-general of the kingdom of France, assembled at Tours, engaged Louis XII. to break the treaty he had concluded with the emperor Maximilian and the archduke Philip, his son, because that treaty was pernicious to the kingdom. They also decided that neither the treaty, nor the oath that had accompanied it, could be binding on the king, who had no right to alienate the property of the crown.1 We have treated of this latter source of invalidity in the twenty-first chapter of Book I.

§ 161. Nullity of treaties made for an unjust

For the same reason — the want of sufficient powers — a treaty concluded for an unjust or dishonest purpose is absolutely null and void, — nobody having a right to engage to do things contrary to the law of nature. Thus, an offensive alliance, made for the purpose of plundering a nation from whom no injury has been received, may or rather ought to be broken.

§ 162. Whether an alliance may be contracted with those who do not profess the true religion.

It is asked, whether it be allowable to contract an alliance with a nation that does not profess the true religion, and whether treaties made with the enemies of the faith are valid. Grotius has treated this subject at large:2 and the discussion might have been necessary at a time when party-rage still obscured those principles which it had long caused to be forgotten; but we may venture to believe that it would be superfluous in the present age. The law of nature alone regulates the treaties of nations: the difference of religion is a thing absolutely foreign to them. Different people treat with each other in quality of men, and not under the character of Christians, or of Mohammedans. Their common safety requires that they should be capable of treating with each other, and of treating with security. Any religion that should in this case clash with the law of nature, would, on the very face of it, wear the stamp of reprobation, and could not pretend to derive its origin from the great Author of nature, who is ever steady, ever consistent with himself. But, if the maxims of a religion tend to establish it by violence, and to oppress all those who will not embrace it, the law of nature forbids us to favour that religion, or to contract any unnecessary alliances with its inhuman followers, and the common safety of mankind invites them rather to enter into an alliance against such a people, — to repress such outrageous fanatics, who disturb the public repose and threaten all nations.

§ 163. Obligation of observing treaties.

It is a settled point in natural law, that he who has made a promise to any one has conferred upon him a real right to require the thing promised, — and, consequently, that the breach of a perfect promise is a violation of another person's right, and as evidently an act of injustice as it would be to rob a man of his property. The tranquillity, the happiness, the security of the human race, wholly depend on justice, — on the obligation of paying a regard to the rights of others. The respect which others pay to our rights of domain and property constitutes the security of our actual possessions; the faith of promises is our security for things that cannot be delivered or executed upon the spot. There would no longer be any security, no longer any commerce between mankind, if they did not think themselves obliged to keep faith with each other, and to perform their promises. This obligation is, then, as necessary as it is natural and indubitable, between nations that live together in a state of nature, and acknowledge no superior upon earth, to maintain order and peace in their society. Nations, therefore, and their conductors, ought inviolably to observe their promises and their treaties. This great truth, though too often neglected in practice, is generally acknowledged by all nations:3 the reproach of perfidy is esteemed by sovereigns a most atrocious affront yet he who does not observe a treaty is certainly perfidious, since he violates his faith. On the contrary, nothing adds so great a glory to a prince, and to the nation he governs, as the reputation of an inviolable fidelity in the performance of promises. By such honourable conduct, as much or even more than by her valour, the Swiss nation has rendered herself respectable throughout Europe, and is deservedly courted by the greatest monarchs who intrust their personal safety to a body-guard of her citizens. The parliament of England has more than once thanked the king for his fidelity and zeal in succouring the allies of his crown. This national magnanimity is the source of immortal glory; it presents a firmer basis on which nations may build their confidence; and thus it becomes an unfailing source of power and splendour.

§ 164. The violation of a treaty is an act of injustice.

As the engagements of a treaty impose on the one hand a perfect obligation, they produce on the other a perfect right. The breach of a treaty is therefore a violation of the perfect right of the party with whom we have contracted; and this is an act of injustice against him.

§ 165. Treaties cannot be made contrary to those already existing.

A sovereign already bound by a treaty cannot enter into others contrary to the first. The things respecting which he has entered into engagements are no longer at his disposal. If it happens that a posterior treaty be found, in any particular point, to clash with one of more ancient date, the new treaty is null and void with respect to that point, inasmuch as it tends to dispose of a thing that is no longer in the power of him who appears to dispose of it. (We are here to be understood as speaking of treaties made with different powers.) If the prior treaty is kept secret, it would be an act of consummate perfidy to conclude a contrary one, which may be rendered void whenever occasion serves. Nay, even to enter into engagements, which, from the eventual turn of affairs, may chance at a future day to militate against the secret treaty, and from that very circumstance to prove ineffectual and nugatory, is by no means justifiable, unless we have the ability to make ample compensation to our new ally: otherwise it would be practising a deception on him, to promise him a thing without informing him that cases may possibly occur which will not allow us to substantiate our promise. The ally thus deceived is undoubtedly at liberty to renounce the treaty: but, if he chooses rather to adhere to it, it will hold good with respect to all the articles that do not clash with the prior treaty.

§ 166. How treaties may be concluded with several nations with the same view.

There is nothing to prevent a sovereign from entering into engagements of the same nature with two or more nations, if he be able to fulfil those several engagements to his different allies at the same time. For instance, a commercial treaty with one nation does not deprive us of the liberty of afterwards contracting similar engagements with other states, unless we have, in the former treaty, bound ourselves by a promise not to grant the same advantages to any other nation. We may in the same manner promise to assist two different allies with troops, if we are able to furnish them, or if there is no probability that both will have occasion for them at the same time.

§ 167. The more ancient ally entitled to a preference.

If nevertheless the contrary happens, the more ancient ally is entitled to a preference: for, the engagement was pure and absolute with respect to him; whereas we could not contract with the more recent ally, without a reservation of the rights of the former. Such reservation is founded in justice, and is tacitly understood, even if not expressly made.

§ 168. We owe no assistance in an unjust war.

The justice of the cause is another ground of preference between two allies. We ought even to refuse assistance to the one whose cause is unjust, whether he be at war with one of our allies, or with another state: to assist him on such occasion, would in the event be the same thing as if we had contracted an alliance for an unjust purpose; which we are not allowed to do (§ 161). No one can be validly engaged to support injustice.

§ 169. General division of treaties.
1. Those that relate to things already due by the law of nature.

Grotius divides treaties into two general classes, — first, those which turn merely on things to which the parties were already bound by the law of nature — secondly, those by which they enter into further engagements.4 By the former we acquire a perfect right to things to which we before had only an imperfect right, so that we may thenceforward demand as our due what before we could only request as an office of humanity. Such treaties became very necessary between the nations of antiquity, who, as we have already observed, did not think themselves bound to any duty towards people who were not in the number of their allies. They are useful even between the most polished nations, in order the better to secure the succours they may expect, — to determine the measure and degree of those succours, and to show on what they have to depend, — to regulate what cannot in general be determined by the law of nature, — and thus to obviate all difficulties, by providing against the various interpretations of that law. Finally, as no nation possesses inexhaustible means of assistance, it is prudent to secure to ourselves a peculiar right to that assistance which cannot be granted to all the world.

To this first class belong all simple treaties of peace and friendship, when the engagements which we thereby contract make no addition to those duties that men owe to each other as brethren and as members of the human society: such are those treaties that permit commerce, passage, &c.

§ 170. Collision of these treaties with the duties we owe to ourselves.

If the assistance and offices that are due by virtue of such a treaty should on any occasion prove incompatible with the duties a nation owes to herself, or with what the sovereign owes to his own nation, the case is tacitly and necessarily excepted in the treaty. For, neither the nation nor the sovereign could enter into an engagement to neglect the care of their own safety, or the safety of the state, in order to contribute to that of their ally. If the sovereign, in order to preserve his own nation, has occasion for the things he has promised in the treaty, — if, for instance, he has engaged to furnish corn, and in a time of dearth he has scarcely sufficient for the subsistence of his subjects, he ought without hesitation to give a preference to his own nation; for, it is only so far as he has it in his power to give assistance to a foreign nation, that he naturally owes such assistance; and it was upon that footing alone that he could promise it in a treaty. Now. it is not in his power to deprive his own nation of the means of subsistence in order to assist another nation at their expense. Necessity here forms an exception, and he does not violate the treaty because he cannot fulfil it.

§ 171. Treaties in which we barely promise to do no injury.

The treaties by which we simply agree not to do any evil to an ally, to abstain, with respect to him, from all harm, offence, and injury, are not necessary, and produce no new right, since every individual already possesses a perfect natural right to be exempt from harm, injury, and real offence. Such treaties, however, become very useful, and accidentally necessary, among those barbarous nations who think they have a right to act as they please towards foreigners. They are not wholly useless with nations less savage, who, without so far divesting themselves of humanity, entertain a much less powerful sense of a natural obligation, than of one which they have themselves contracted by solemn engagements: and would to god that his manner of thinking were entirety confined to barbarians! We see too frequent effects of it among those who boast of a perfection much superior to the law of nature. But the imputation of perfidy is prejudicial to the rules of nations, and thus becomes formidable even to those who are little solicitous to merit the appellation of virtuous men, and who feel no scruple in silencing the reproaches of conscience.

§ 172. Treaties concerning things that are not naturally due Equal Treaties.

Treaties by which we contract engagements that were not imposed on us by the law of nature, are either equal or unequal.

Equal treaties are those in which the contracting parties promise the same things, or things that are equivalent, or, finally, things that are equitably proportioned, so that the condition of the parties is equal. Such is, for example, a defensive alliance, in which the parties reciprocally stipulate for the same succours. Such is an offensive alliance, in which it is agreed that each of the allies shall furnish the same number of vessels, the same number of troops, of cavalry and infantry, or an equivalent in vessels, in troops, in artillery, or in money. Such is also a league in which the quota of each of the allies is regulated in proportion to the interest he takes or may have in the design of the league. Thus, the emperor and the king of England, in order to induce the states-general of the United Provinces to accede to the treaty of Vienna of the 16th of March, 1731, consented that the republic should only promise to her allies the assistance of four thousand foot and a thousand horse, though they engaged, in case of an attack upon the republic, to furnish her, each, with eight thousand foot and four thousand horse. We are also to place in the class of equal treaties those which stipulate that the allies shall consider themselves as embarked in a common cause, and shall act with all their strength. Notwithstanding a real inequality in their strength, they are nevertheless willing in this instance to consider it as equal.

Equal treaties may be subdivided into as many species as there are of different transactions between sovereigns. Thus, they treat of the conditions of commerce, of their mutual defence, of associations in war, of reciprocally granting each other a passage, or refusing it to the enemies of their ally; they engage not to build fortresses in certain places, &c. But it would be needless to enter into these particulars: generals are sufficient, and are easily applied to particular cases.

§ 173. Obligation of preserving equality in treaties

Nations being no less obliged than individuals to pay a regard to equity, they ought, as much as possible, to preserve equality in their treaties. When, therefore, the parties are able reciprocally to afford each other equal advantages, the law of nature requires that their treaties should be equal, unless there exist some particular reason for deviating from that equality, — such, for instance, as gratitude for a former benefit, — the hope of gaining the inviolable attachment of a nation, — some private motive, which renders one of the contracting parties particularly anxious to have the treaty concluded, &c. Nay, viewing the transaction in its proper point of light, the consideration of that particular reason restores to the treaty that equality which seems to be destroyed by the difference of the things promised.

I see those pretended great politicians smile, who employ all their subtlety in circumventing those with whom they treat, and in so managing the conditions of the treaty, that all the advantages shall accrue to their masters. Far from blushing at a conduct so contrary to equity, to rectitude and natural honesty, they glory in it, and think themselves entitled to the appellation of able negotiators. How long shall we continue to see men in public characters take a pride in practices that would disgrace a private individual? The private man, if he is void of conscience, laughs also at the rules of morality and justice; but he laughs in secret: it would be dangerous and prejudicial to him to make a public mockery of them. Men in power more openly sacrifice honour and honesty to present advantage: but, fortunately for mankind, it often happens that such seeming advantage proves fatal to them; and even between sovereigns, candour and rectitude be found to be the safest policy. All the subtleties, all the tergiversations of a famous minister, on the occasion of a treaty in which Spain was deeply interested, turned at length to his own confusion, and to the detriment of his master; while England, by her good faith and generosity to her allies, gained immense credit, and rose to the highest pitch of influence and respectability.

§ 174. Difference between equal treaties and equal alliances.

When people speak of equal treaties, they have commonly in their minds a double idea of equality, viz. equality in the engagements, and equality in the dignity of the contracting parties. It becomes therefore necessary to remove all ambiguity; and for that purpose, we may make a distinction between equal treaties and equal alliances. Equal treaties are those in which there is an equality in the promises made, as we have above explained (§ 172); and equal alliances, those in which equal treats with equal, making no difference in the dignity of the contracting parties, or, at least, admitting no too glaring superiority, but merely a pre-eminence of honour and rank. Thus kings treat with the emperor on a footing of equality, though they do not hesitate to allow him precedency; thus great republics treat with kings on the same footing, notwithstanding the pre-eminence which the former now-a-days yield to the latter. Thus all true sovereigns ought to treat with the most powerful monarch, since they are as really sovereigns, and as independent as himself. (See § 37 of this Book.)

§ 175. Unequal treaties and unequal alliances.

Unequal treaties are those in which the allies do not reciprocally promise to each other the same things, or things equivalent; and an alliance is unequal when it makes a difference in the dignity of the contracting parties. It is true, that most commonly an unequal treaty will be at the same time an unequal alliance; as great potentates are seldom accustomed to give or to promise more than is given or promised to them, unless such concessions be fully compensated in the article of honour and glory; and, on the other hand, a weak state does not submit to burdensome conditions without being obliged also to acknowledge the superiority of her ally.

Those unequal treaties that are at the same time unequal alliances, are divided into two classes, — the first consisting of those where the inequality prevails on the side of the more considerable power, — the second comprehending treaties where the inequality is on the side of the inferior power.

Treaties of the former class, without attributing to the more powerful of the contracting parties any right over the weaker, simply allow him a superiority of honours and respect. We have treated of this in Book I. § 5. Frequently a great monarch, wishing to engage a weaker state in his interest, offers her advantageous conditions, — promises her gratuitous succours, or greater than he stipulates for himself: but at the same time he claims a superiority of dignity, and requires respect from his ally. It is this last particular which renders the alliance unequal: and to this circumstance we must attentively advert; for, with alliances of this nature we are not to confound those in which the parties treat on a footing of equality, though the more powerful of the allies, for particular reasons, gives more than he receives, promises his assistance gratis, without requiring gratuitous assistance in his turn, or promises more considerable succours, or even the assistance of all his forces: — here the alliance is equal, but the treaty is unequal, unless indeed we may be allowed to say, that as the party who makes the greater concessions has a greater interest in concluding the treaty, this consideration restores the equality. Thus, at a time when France found herself embarrassed in a momentous war with the house of Austria, and the cardinal de Richelieu wished to humble that formidable power, he, like an able minister, concluded a treaty with Gustavus Adolphus, in which all the advantage appeared to be on the side of Sweden. From a bare consideration of the stipulations of that treaty, it would have been pronounced an unequal one; but the advantages which France derived from it, amply compensated for that inequality. The alliance of France with the Swiss, if we regard the stipulations alone, is an unequal treaty; but the valour of the Swiss troops has long since counterbalanced that inequality; and the difference in the interests and wants of the parties serves still further to preserve the equilibrium. France, often involved in bloody wars, has received essential services from the Swiss: the Helvetic body, void of ambition, and untainted with the spirit of conquest, may live in peace with the whole world; they have nothing to fear, since they have feelingly convinced the ambitious, that the love of liberty gives the nation sufficient strength to defend her frontiers. This alliance may at certain times have appeared unequal: — our forefathers5 paid little attention to ceremony: — but, in reality, and especially since the absolute independence of the Swiss is acknowledged by the empire itself, the alliance is certainly equal, although the Helvetic body do not hesitate to yield to the king of France all that pre-eminence which the established usage of modern Europe attributes to crowned heads, and especially to great monarchs.

Treaties in which the inequality prevails on the side of the inferior power —; that is to say, those which impose on the weaker party more extensive obligations or greater burdens, or bind him down to oppressive or disagreeable conditions, — these unequal treaties, I say, are always at the same time unequal alliances; for, the weaker party never submits to burdensome conditions, without being obliged also to acknowledge the superiority of his ally. These conditions are commonly imposed by the conqueror, or dictated by necessity, which obliges a weak state to seek the protection or assistance of another more powerful; and by this very step, the weaker state acknowledges her own inferiority. Besides, this forced inequality in a treaty of alliance is a disparagement to her, and lowers her dignity, at the same time that it exalts that of her more powerful ally. Sometimes, also, the weaker state not being in a condition to promise the same succours as the more powerful one, it becomes necessary that she should compensate for her inability in this point, by engagements which degrade her below her ally, and often even subject her, in various respects, to his will. Of this kind are all those treaties in which the weaker party alone engages not to make war without the consent of her more powerful ally, — to have the same friends and the same enemies with him, — to support and respect his dignity, — to have no fortresses in certain places, — not to trade or raise soldiers in certain free countries, — to deliver up her vessels of war, and not to build others, as was the case of the Carthaginians when treating with their Roman conquerors, — to keep up only a certain number of troops, &c.

These unequal alliances are subdivided into two kinds; they either impair the sovereignty, or they do not. We have slightly touched on this in Book I. Ch. I. and XVI.

The sovereignty subsists entire and unimpaired when none of its constituent rights are transferred to the superior ally, or rendered, as to the exertion of them, dependent on his will. But the sovereignty is impaired when any of its rights are ceded to an ally, or even if the use of them be merely rendered dependent on the will of that ally. For example, the treaty does not impair the sovereignty, if the weaker state only promises not to attack a certain nation without the consent other ally. By such an engagement she neither divests herself of her right, nor subjects the exertion of it to another's will; she only consents to a restriction in favour of her ally: and thus she incurs no greater diminution of liberty than is incurred by promises of every kind. Such reservations are every day stipulated in alliances that are perfectly equal. But, if either of the contracting parties engages not to make war against any one whatsoever without the consent or permission of an ally who on his side does not make the same promise, the former contracts an unequal alliance, with diminution of sovereignty; for he deprives himself of one of the most important branches of the sovereign power, or renders the exertion of it dependent on another's will. The Carthaginians having, in the treaty that terminated the second Punic war, promised not to make war on any state without the consent of the Roman people, were thenceforward, and for that reason, considered as dependent on the Romans.

§ 176. How an alliance with diminution of sovereignty may annul preceding treaties.

When a nation is forced to submit to the will of a superior power, she may lawfully renounce her former treaties, if the party with whom she is obliged to enter into an alliance requires it of her. As she then loses a part other sovereignty, their ancient treaties fall to the ground together with the power that had concluded them. This is a necessity that cannot be imputed to her as a crime: and since she would have a right to place herself in a state of absolute subjection, and to renounce her own sovereign, if she found such measures necessary for her preservation, — by a much stronger reason, she has a right, under the same necessity, to abandon her allies. But a generous people will exhaust every resource before they will submit to terms so severe and so humiliating.

§ 177. We ought to avoid as much as possible making unequal alliances.

In general, as every nation ought to be jealous of her glory, careful of maintaining her dignity, and preserving her independence, nothing short of the last extremity, or motives the most weighty and substantial, ought ever to induce a people to contract an unequal alliance. This observation is particularly meant to apply to treaties where the inequality prevails on the side of the weaker ally, and still more particularly to those unequal alliances that degrade the sovereignty. Men of courage and spirit will accept such treaties from no other hands but those of imperious necessity.

§ 178. Mutual duties of nations with respect to unequal alliances.

Notwithstanding every argument which selfish policy may suggest to the contrary, we must either pronounce sovereigns to be absolutely emancipated from all subjection to the law of nature, or agree that it is not lawful for them, without just reasons, to compel weaker states to sacrifice their dignity, much less their liberty, by unequal alliances. Nations owe to each other the same assistance, the same respect, the same friendship, as individuals living in a state of nature. Far from seeking to humble a weaker neighbour, and to despoil her of her most valuable advantages, they will respect and maintain her dignity and her liberty, if they are inspired by virtue more than by pride — if they are actuated by principles of honour more than by the manner views of sordid interest — nay, if they have but sufficient discernment to distinguish their real interests. Nothing more firmly secures the power of a great monarch than his attention and respect to all other sovereigns. The more cautious he is to avoid offending his weaker brethren, the greater esteem he testifies for them, the more will they revere him in turn; they feel an affection for a power whose superiority over them is displayed only by the conferring of favours: they cling to such a monarch as their prop and support, and he becomes the arbiter of nations. Had his demeanour been stamped with arrogance, he would have been the object of their jealousy and fear, and might perhaps have one day sunk under their united efforts.

§ 179. In alliances where the inequality is on the side of the more powerful party.

But as the weaker party ought, in his necessity, to accept with gratitude the assistance of the more powerful, and not to refuse him such honours and respect as are flattering to the person who receives them, without degrading him by whom they are rendered; so, on the other hand, nothing is more conformable to the law of nature than a generous grant of assistance from the more powerful state, unaccompanied by any demand of a return, or, at least, of an equivalent. And in this instance also, there exists an inseparable connection between interest and duty. Sound policy holds out a caution to a powerful nation not to suffer the lesser states in her neighbourhood to be oppressed. If she abandon them to the ambition of a conqueror, he will soon become formidable to herself. Accordingly, sovereigns, who are in general sufficiently attentive to their own interests, seldom fail to reduce this maxim to practice. Hence those alliances, sometimes against the house of Austria, sometimes against its rival, according as the power of the one or the other preponderates. Hence that balance of power, the object of perpetual negotiations and wars.

When a weak and poor nation has occasion for assistance of another kind — when she is afflicted by famine — we have seen (§ 5), that those nations who have provisions ought to supply her at a fair price. It were noble and generous to furnish them at an under price, or to make her a present of them, if she be incapable of paying their value. To oblige her to purchase them by an unequal alliance, and especially at the expense of her liberty — to treat her as Joseph formerly treated the Egyptians — would be a cruelty almost as dreadful as suffering her to perish with famine.

§ 180. How inequality of treaties and a alliances may be conformable to the law of nature.

But there are cases where the inequality of treaties and alliances, dictated by some particular reasons, is not contrary to equity, nor, consequently, to the law of nature. Such, in general, are all those cases in which the duties that a nation owes to herself, or those which she owes to other nations, prescribe to her a departure from the line of equality. If, for instance, a weak state attempts, without necessity, to erect a fortress, which she is incapable of defending, in a place where it might become very dangerous to her neighbour if ever it should fall into the hands of a powerful enemy, that neighbour may oppose the construction of the fortress; and, if he does not find it convenient to pay the lesser state a compensation for complying with his desire, he may force her compliance, by threatening to block up the roads and avenues of communication, to prohibit all intercourse between the two nations, to build fortresses, or to keep an army on the frontier, to consider that little state in a suspicious light, &c. He thus indeed imposes an unequal condition; but his conduct is authorized by the care of his own safety. In the same manner he may oppose the forming of a highway, that would open to an enemy an entrance into his state. War might furnish us with a multitude of other examples. But rights of this nature are frequently abused; and it requires no less moderation than prudence to avoid turning them into oppression.

Sometimes those duties to which other nations have a claim, recommend and authorize inequality in a contrary sense, without affording any ground of imputation against a sovereign, of having neglected the duty which he owes to himself or to his people. Thus, gratitude — the desire of showing his deep sense of a favour received — may induce a generous sovereign to enter into an alliance with joy, and to give in the treaty more than he receives.

§ 181. Inequality imposed by way of punishment.

It is also consistent with justice to impose the conditions of an unequal treaty, or even an unequal alliance, by way of penalty, in order to punish an unjust aggressor, and render him incapable of easily injuring us for the time to come. Such was the treaty to which the elder Scipio Africanus forced the Carthaginians to submit, after he had defeated Hannibal. The conqueror often dictates such terms: and his conduct in this instance is no violation of the laws of justice or equity, provided he do not transgress the bounds of moderation, after he has been crowned with success in a just and necessary war.

§ 182. Other kinds of which we have spoken elsewhere.

The different treaties of protection — those by which a state renders itself tributary or feudatory to another — form so many different kinds of unequal alliances. But we shall not repeat here what we have said respecting them in Book I. Chap. I. and XVI.

§ 183. Personal and real treaties.

By another general division of treaties or alliances, they are distinguished into personal and real: the former are those that relate to the persons of the contracting parties, and are confined and in a manner attached to them. Real alliances relate only to the matters in negotiation between the contracting parties, and are wholly independent of their persons.

A personal alliance expires with him who contracted it.

A real alliance attaches to the body of the state, and subsists as long as the state, unless the period of its duration has been limited.

It is of considerable importance not to confound these two sorts of alliances. Accordingly, sovereigns are at present accustomed to express themselves in their treaties in such a manner as to leave no uncertainty in this respect: and this is doubtless the best and safest method. In default of this precaution, the very subject of the treaty, or the expressions in which it is couched, may furnish a clue to discover whether it be real or personal. On this head we shall lay down some general rules.

§ 184. Naming the contracting parties in the treaty does not render it personal.

In the first place, we are not to conclude that a treaty is a personal one from the bare circumstance of its naming the contracting sovereigns: for, the name of the reigning sovereign is often inserted with the sole view of showing with whom the treaty has been concluded, without meaning thereby to intimate that it has been made with himself personally. This is an observation of the civilians Pedius and Ulpian,6 repeated by all writers who have treated of these subjects.

§ 185. An alliance made by a republic is real.

Every alliance made by a republic is in its own nature real, for it relates only to the body of the state. When a free people, a popular state, or an aristocratical republic, concludes a treaty, it is the state herself that contracts; and her engagements do not depend on the lives of those who were only the instruments in forming them: the members of the people, or of the governing body, change and succeed each other; but the state still continues the same.

Since, therefore, such a treaty directly relates to the body of the state, it subsists, though the form of the republic should happen to be changed — even though it should be transformed into a monarchy. For, the state and the nation are still the same, notwithstanding every change that may take place in the form of the government; and the treaty concluded with the nation remains in force as long as the nation exists. But it is manifest that all treaties relating to the form of government are exceptions to this rule. Thus two popular states, that have treated expressly, or that evidently appear to have treated, with the view of maintaining themselves in concert in their state of liberty and popular government, cease to be allies from the very moment that one of them has submitted to be governed by a single person.

§ 186. Treaties concluded by kings or other monarchs.

Every public treaty, concluded by a king or by any other monarch, is a treaty of the state; it is obligatory on the whole state, on the entire nation which the king represents, and whose power and rights he exercises. It seems then at first view, that every public treaty ought to be presumed real, as concerning the state itself. There can be no doubt with respect to the obligation to observe the treaty; the only question that arises, is respecting its duration. Now, there is often room to doubt whether the contracting parties have intended to extend their reciprocal engagements beyond the term of their own lives, and to bind their successors. Conjunctures change; a burden that is at present light, may in other circumstances become insupportable, or at least oppressive: the manner of thinking among sovereigns is no less variable; and there are certain things of which it is proper that each prince should be at liberty to dispose according to his own system. There are others that are freely granted to one king, and would not be allowed to his successor. It therefore becomes necessary to consider the terms of the treaty, or the matter which forms the subject of it, in order to discover the intentions of the contracting powers.

§ 187. Perpetual treaties, and those for a certain time.

Perpetual treaties, and those made for a determinate period, are real ones, since their duration cannot depend on the lives of the contracting parties.

§ 188. Treaties made for the king and his successors.

In the same manner, when a king declares in the treaty that it is made "for himself and his successors," it is manifest that this a real treaty. It attaches to the state, and is intended to last as long as the kingdom itself.

§ 189. Treaties made for the good of the kingdom.

When a treaty expressly declares that it is made for the good of the kingdom, it thus furnishes an evident proof that the contracting powers did not mean that its duration should depend on that of their own lives, but on that of the kingdom itself. Such treaty is therefore a real one.

Independently even of this express declaration, when a treaty is made for the purpose of procuring to the state a certain advantage which is in its own nature permanent and unfailing, there is no reason to suppose that the prince by whom the treaty has been concluded, intended to limit it to the duration of his own life. Such a treaty ought therefore to be considered as a real one, unless there exist very powerful evidence to prove that the party with whom it was made granted the advantage in question only out of regard to the prince then reigning, and as a personal favour: in which case the treaty terminates with the life of the prince, as the motive for the concession expires with him. But such a reservation is not to be presumed on slight grounds: for, it would seem, that, if the contracting parties had had it in contemplation, they should have expressed it in the treaty.

§ 190. How presumption ought to be founded in doubtful cases.

In case of doubt, where there exists no circumstance by which we can clearly prove either the personality or the reality of a treaty, it ought to be presumed a real treaty if it chiefly consists of favourable articles, — if of odious ones, a personal treaty. By favourable articles we mean those which tend to the mutual advantage of the contracting powers, and which equally favour both parties; by odious articles, we understand those which onerate one of the parties only, or which impose a much heavier burden upon the one than upon the other. We shall treat this subject more at large in the chapter on the "Interpretation of Treaties." Nothing is more conformable to reason and equity than this rule. Whenever absolute certainty is unattainable in the affairs of men, we must have recourse to presumption. Now, if the contracting powers have not explained themselves, it is natural, when the question relates to things favourable, and equally advantageous to the two allies, to presume that it was their intention to make a real treaty, as being the more advantageous to their respective kingdoms: and if we are mistaken in this presumption, we do no injury to either party. But, if there be any thing odious in the engagements, — if one of the contracting states finds itself overburdened by them, — how can it be presumed that the prince who entered into such engagements intended to lay that burden upon his kingdom in perpetuity? Every sovereign is presumed to desire the safety and advantage of the state with which he is intrusted: wherefore it cannot be supposed that he has consented to load it for ever with a burdensome obligation. If necessity rendered such a measure unavoidable, it was incumbent on his ally to have the matter explicitly ascertained at the time; and it is probable that he would not have neglected this precaution, well knowing that mankind in general, and sovereigns in particular, seldom submit to heavy and disagreeable burdens, unless bound to do so by formal obligations. If it happens then that the presumption is a mistake, and makes him lose something of his right, it is a consequence of his own negligence. To this we may add, that, if either the one or the other must sacrifice a part of his right, it will be a less grievous violation of the laws of equity that the latter should forego an expected advantage, than that the former should suffer a positive loss and detriment. This is the famous distinction de lucro captando, and de damno vitando.

We do not hesitate to include equal treaties of commerce in the number of those that are favourable, since they are in general advantageous, and perfectly conformable to the law of nature. As to alliances made on account of war, Grotius says with reason, that "defensive alliances are more of a favourable nature, — offensive alliances have something in them that approaches nearer to what is burdensome or odious."7

We could not dispense with the preceding brief summary of those discussions, lest we should in this part of our treatise leave a disgusting chasm. They are, however, but seldom resorted to in modern practice, as sovereigns at present generally take the prudent precaution of explicitly ascertaining the duration of their treaties. They treat for themselves and their successors, — for a certain number of years, &c. — or they treat only for the time of their own reign, — for an affair peculiar to themselves, — for their families, &c.

§ 191. The obligations and rights resulting

Since public treaties, even those of a personal nature, concluded by a king, or by any other sovereign who is invested with sufficient power, are treaties of the state, and obligatory on the whole nation (§ 186), real treaties, which were intended to subsist independently of the person who has concluded them, are undoubtedly binding on his successors; and the obligation which such treaties impose on the state passes successively to all her rules as soon as they assume the public authority. The case is the same with respect to the rights acquired by those treaties: they are acquired for the sate, and successively pass to her conductors.

It is at present a pretty general custom for the successor to confirm or renew even real alliances concluded by his predecessors: and prudence requires that this precaution should not be neglected, since men pay greater respect to an obligation which they have themselves contracted, than to one which devolves on them from another quarter, or to which they have only tacitly subjected themselves. The reason is, that, in the former case, they consider their word to be engaged, and, in the latter, their conscience alone.

§ 192. Treaties accomplished once for all and perfected.

The treaties that have no relation to the performance of reiterated acts, but merely relate to transient and single acts which are concluded at once, — those treaties (unless indeed it be more proper to call them by another name8) — those conventions, those compacts, which are accomplished once for all, and not by successive acts, — are no sooner executed than they are completed and perfected. If they are valid, they have in their own nature a perpetual and irrevocable effect: nor have we them in view when we inquire whether a treaty be real or personal. Puffendorf9 gives us the following rules to direct us in this inquiry — "1. That the successors are bound to observe the treaties of peace concluded by their predecessors. 2. That a successor should observe all the lawful conventions by which his predecessor has transferred any right to a third party." This is evidently wandering from the point in question: it is only saying that what is done with validity by a prince, cannot be annulled by his successors. — And who doubts it? A treaty of peace is in its own nature made with a view to its perpetual duration: and, as soon as it is once duly concluded and ratified, the affair is at an end; the treaty must be accomplished on both sides, and observed according to its tenor. If it is executed upon the spot, there ends the business at once. But, if the treaty contains engagements for the performance of successive and reiterated acts, it will still be necessary to examine, according to the rules we have laid down, whether it be in this respect real or personal, — whether the contracting parties intended to bind their successors to the performance of those acts, or only promised them for the time of their own reign. In the same manner, as soon as a right is transferred by a lawful convention, it no longer belongs to the state that has ceded it; the affair is concluded and terminated. But, if the successor discovers any flaw in the deed of transfer, and proves it, he is not to be accused of maintaining that the convention is not obligatory on him, and refusing to fulfil it; — he only shows that such convention has not taken place; for a defective and invalid deed is a nullity, and to be considered as having never existed.

§ 193. Treaties already accomplished on the one part.

The third rule given by Puffendorf is no less useless with respect to this question. It is, "that if, after the other ally has already executed something to which he was bound by virtue of the treaty, the king happens to die before he has accomplished in his turn what he had engaged to perform, his successor is indispensably obliged to perform it. For, what the other ally has executed under the condition of receiving an equivalent, having turned to the advantage of the state, or at least having been done with that view, it is clear that, if he does not receive the return for which he had stipulated, he then acquires the same right as a man who has paid what he did not owe; and, therefore, the successor is obliged to allow him a complete indemnification for what he has done or given, or to make good, on his own part, what his predecessor had engaged to perform." All this, I say, is foreign to our question. If the alliance is real, it still subsists, notwithstanding the death of one of the contracting parties; if it is personal, it expires with them, or either of them (§ 183). But, when a personal alliance comes to be dissolved in this manner, it is quite a different question to ascertain what one of the allied states is bound to perform, in case the other has already executed something in pursuance of the treaty: and this question is to be determined on very different principles. It is necessary to distinguish the nature of what has been done pursuant to the treaty. If it has been any of those determinate and substantial acts which it is usual with contracting parties mutually to promise to each other in exchange, or by way of equivalent, there can be no doubt that he who has received, ought to give what he has promised in return, if he would adhere to the agreement, and is obliged to adhere to it: if he is not bound, and is unwilling to adhere to it, he ought to restore what he has received, to replace things in their former state, or to indemnify the ally from whom he has received the advantage in question. To act otherwise, would be keeping possession of another's property. In this case, the ally is in the situation, not of a man who has paid what he did not owe, but of one who has paid beforehand for a thing that has not been delivered to him. But, if the personal treaty related to any of those uncertain and contingent ads which are to be performed as occasions offer, — of those promises which are not obligatory if an opportunity of fulfilling them does not occur, — it is only on occasion likewise that the performance of similar acts is due in return: and, when the term of the alliance is expired, neither of the parties remains bound by any obligation. In a defensive alliance, for instance, two kings have reciprocally promised each other a gratuitous assistance during the term of their lives: one of them is attacked: he is succoured by his ally, and dies before he has an opportunity to succour him in his turn: the alliance is at an end, and no obligation thence devolves on the successor of the deceased, except indeed that he certainly owes a debt of gratitude to the sovereign who has given a salutary assistance to his state. And we must not pronounce such an alliance an injurious one to the ally who has given assistance without receiving any. His treaty was one of those speculating contracts in which the advantages or disadvantages wholly depend on chance: he might have gained by it, though it has been his fate to lose.

We might here propose another question. The personal alliance expiring at the death of one of the allies, if the survivor, under an idea that it is to subsist with the successor, fulfils the treaty on his part in favour of the latter, defends his country, saves some of his towns, or furnishes provision for his army, — what ought the sovereign to do, who is thus succoured? He ought, doubtless, either to suffer the alliance to subsist, as the ally of his predecessor has conceived that it was to subsist (and this will be a tacit renewal and extension of the treaty) — or to pay for the real service he has received, according to a just estimate of its importance, if he does not choose to continue that alliance. It would be in such a case as this that we might say with Puffendorf, that he who has rendered such a service has acquired the right of a man who has paid what he did not owe.

§ 194. The personal alliance expires if one of the contracting powers ceases to reign.

The duration of a personal alliance being restricted to the persons of the contracting sovereigns, — if, from any cause whatsoever, one of them ceases to reign, the alliance expires: for they have contracted in quality of sovereigns; and he who ceases to reign no longer exists as a sovereign, though he still lives as a man.

§ 195. Treaties in their own nature

Kings do not always treat solely and directly for their kingdoms; sometimes, by virtue of the power they have in their hands, they make treaties relative to their own persons, or their families; and this they may lawfully do, as the welfare of the state is interested in the safety and advantage of the sovereign, properly understood. These treaties are personal in their own nature, and expire, of course, on the death of the king or the extinction of his family. Such is an alliance made for the defence of a king and his family.

§ 196. Alliance concluded for the defence of the king and the

It is asked, whether such an alliance subsists with the king and the royal family, when, by some revolution, they are deprived of the crown. We have remarked above (§ 194), that a personal alliance expires with the reign of him who contracted it: but that is to be understood of an alliance formed with the state, and restricted, in its duration, to the reign of the contracting king. But the alliance of which we are now to treat, is of another nature. Although obligatory on the state, since she is bound by all the public acts of her sovereign, it is made directly in favour of the king and his family: it would, therefore, be absurd that it should be dissolved at the moment when they stand in need of it, and by the very event which it was intended to guard against. Besides, the king does not forfeit the character of royalty merely by the loss of his kingdom. If he is unjustly despoiled of it by an usurper, or by rebels, he still preserves his rights, among which are to be reckoned his alliances.

But who shall judge whether a king has been dethroned lawfully or by violence? An independent nation acknowledges no judge. If the body of the nation declare that the king has forfeited his right, by the abuse he has made of it, and depose him, they may justly do it when their grievances are well founded; and no other power has a right to censure their conduct. The personal ally of this king ought not, therefore, to assist him against the nation who have made use of their right in deposing him: if he attempts it, he injures that nation. England declared war against Louis XIV., in the year 1688, for supporting the interests of James II., who had been formally deposed by the nation, The same country declared war against him a second time, at the beginning of the present century, because that prince acknowledged the son of the deposed monarch, under the title of James III. In doubtful cases, and when the body of the nation has not pronounced, or has not pronounced freely, a sovereign ought naturally to support and defend an ally; and it is then that the voluntary law of nations subsists between different states. The party who have expelled the king maintain that they have right on their side: the unfortunate prince and his allies flatter themselves with having the same advantage; and, as they have no common judge upon earth, there remains no other mode of deciding the contest than an appeal to arms: they, therefore, engage in a formal war.

Finally, when the foreign prince has faithfully fulfilled his engagements towards an unfortunate monarch, when he has done, in his defence, or to procure his restoration, every thing which, by the terms of the alliance, he was bound to do, — if his efforts have proved ineffectual, it cannot be expected, by the dethroned prince, that he shall support an endless war in his favour, — that he shall for ever continue at enmity with the nation or the sovereign who has deprived him of the throne. He must at length think of peace, abandon his unfortunate ally, and consider him as having himself abandoned his right through necessity. Thus, Louis XIV. was obliged to abandon James II, and to acknowledge King William, though he had at first treated him as an usurper.

§ 197. Obligation of a real alliance when the allied king is deposed.

The same question presents itself in real alliances, and, in general, in all alliances made with a state, and not in particular with a king, for the defence of his person. An ally ought, doubtless, to be defended against every invasion, against every foreign violence, and even against his rebellious subjects; in the same manner a republic ought to be defended against the enterprises of one who attempts to destroy the public liberty. But the other party in the alliance ought to recollect that he is the ally, and not the judge, of the state or the nation. If the nation has deposed her king in form, — if the people of a republic have expelled their magistrates, and set themselves at liberty, or, either expressly or tacitly, acknowledged the authority of an usurper, — to oppose these domestic regulations, or to dispute their justice or validity, would be interfering in the government of the nation, and doing her an injury (see §§ 54, &c. of this Book.) The ally remains the ally of the state, notwithstanding the change that has happened in it. However, if this change renders the alliance useless, dangerous, or disagreeable to him he is at liberty to renounce it: for, he may upon good grounds assert that he would not have entered into an alliance with that nation, had she been under her present form of government.

To this case we may also apply what we have said above respecting a personal ally. However just the cause of that king may be, who is expelled from the throne either by his subjects or by a foreign usurper, his allies are not obliged to support an eternal war in his favour. After having made ineffectual efforts to reinstate him, they must at length restore to their people the blessings of peace; they must come to an accommodation with the usurper, and for that purpose treat with him as with a lawful sovereign. Louis XIV., finding himself exhausted by a bloody and unsuccessful war, made an offer, at Gertruydenberg, to abandon his grandson, whom he had placed on the throne of Spain: and afterwards, when the aspect of affairs was changed, Charles of Austria, the rival of Philip, saw himself, in his turn, abandoned by his allies. They grew weary of exhausting their states in order to put him in possession of a crown to which they thought him justly entitled, but which they no longer saw any probability of being able to procure for him.

(124) See in general, as to the law of nations respecting treaties, post, Book IV. Chap. II. &c., page 432 to 452, 1 Chitty's Commercial Law, 38 to 47; and, as to commercial treaties in particular, 53 and 615 to 630; and see each separate treaty, 2 Chitty's Com. Law, p. 183.

1. See the French historians.

2. De Jure Belli et Pacis lib. ii. cap. xv. § 8, et sez.

3. Mohammed warmly recommended to his disciples the observance of treaties. — Ockley's History of the Saracens, vol. i.

4. De Jure Belli et Pacis, lib. ii, cap. xv. § 5.

5. The author was a native of Switzerland.

6. Digest, lib. ii. tit. xiv. de Pactis, leg. vii. § 8.

7. De Jure Belli et Pacis, lib. ii. cap. xvi. § 16.

8. See Chap. XII. § 153, of this book.

9. Law of Nature and Nations, book 8, c. 9, § 8.


§ 198. Expiration of alliances made for a limited time.

N alliance is dissolved at the expiration of the term for which it had been concluded. This term is sometimes fixed, as, when an alliance is made for a certain number of years; sometimes it is uncertain, as in personal alliances, whose duration depends on the livAes of the contracting powers. The term is likewise uncertain, when two or more sovereigns form an alliance with a view to some particular object; as, for instance, that of expelling a horde of barbarous invaders from a neighbouring country, — of reinstating a sovereign on his throne, &c. The duration of such an alliance depends on the completion of the enterprise for which it was formed. Thus, in the last-mentioned instance, when the sovereign is restored, and so firmly seated on his throne as to be able to retain the undisturbed possession of it, the alliance, which was formed with a sole view to his restoration, is now at an end. But, on the other hand, if the enterprise prove unsuccessful, — the moment his allies are convinced of the impossibility of carrying it into effect, the alliance is likewise at an end; for it is time to renounce an undertaking when it is acknowledged to be impracticable.

§ 199. Renewal of treaties.

A treaty entered into for a limited time may be renewed by the common consent of the allies, — which consent may be either expressly or tacitly made known. When the treaty is expressly renewed, it is the same as if a new one were concluded, in all respects similar to the former.

The tacit renewal of a treaty is not to be presumed upon slight grounds; for, engagements of so high importance are well entitled to the formality of an express consent. The presumption, therefore, of a tacit renewal must be founded on acts of such a nature as not to admit a doubt of their having been performed in pursuance of the treaty. But, even in this case, still another difficulty arises: for, according to the circumstances and nature of the acts in question, they may prove nothing more than a simple continuation or extension of the treaty, — which is very different from a renewal, especially as to the term of duration. For instance, England has entered into a subsidiary treaty with a German prince, who is to keep on foot, during ten years, a stated number of troops at the disposal of that country, on condition of receiving from her a certain yearly sum. The ten years being expired, the king of England causes the sum stipulated for one year to be paid: the ally receives it: thus the treaty is indeed tacitly continued for one year; but it cannot be said to be renewed; for the transaction of that year does not impose an obligation of doing the same thing for ten years successively. But, supposing a sovereign has, in consequence of an agreement with a neighbouring state, paid her a million of money for permission to keep a garrison in one of her strongholds during ten years, — if, at the expiration of that term, the sovereign, instead of withdrawing his garrison, makes his ally a tender of another million, and the latter accepts it, the treaty is, in this case, tacitly renewed.

When the term for which the treaty was made is expired, each of the allies is perfectly free, and may consent or refuse to renew it, as he thinks proper. It must, however, be confessed, that if one of the parties, who has almost singly reaped all the advantages of the treaty, should, without just and substantial reasons, refuse to renew it now that he thinks he will no longer stand in need of it, and forsees the time approaching when his ally may derive advantage from it in turn, — such conduct would be dishonourable, inconsistent with that generosity which should characterize sovereigns, and widely distant from those sentiments of gratitude and friendship that are due to an old and faithful ally. It is but too common to see great potentates, when arrived at the summit of power, neglect those who have assisted them in attaining it.

§ 200. How a treaty is dissolved, when violated by one of the contracting parties.

Treaties contain promises that are perfect and reciprocal. If one of the allies fails in his engagements, the other may compel him to fulfil them: — a perfect promise confers a right to do so. But, if the latter has no other expedient than that of arms to force his ally to the performance of his promises, he will sometimes find it more eligible to cancel the promises on his own side also, and to dissolve the treaty. He has undoubtedly a right to do this, since his promises were made only on condition that the ally should, on his part, execute every thing which he had engaged to perform. The party, therefore, who is offended or injured in those particulars which constitute the basis of the treaty, is at liberty to choose the alternative of either compelling a faithless ally to fulfil his engagements, or of declaring the treaty dissolved by his violation of it. On such an occasion, prudence and wise policy will point out the line of conduct to be pursued.

§ 201. The violation of the treaty does not cancel another.

But when there exist between allies two or more treaties, different from and independent of each other, the violation of one of those treaties does not directly disengage the injured party from the obligation he has contracted in the others: for, the promises contained in these do not depend on those included in the violated treaty. But the offended ally may, on the breach of one treaty by the other party, threaten him with a renunciation, on his own part, of all the other treaties by which they are united, — and may put his threats in execution if the other disregards them. For, if any one wrests or withholds from me my right, I may, in the state of nature, in order to oblige him to do me justice, to punish him, or to indemnify myself, deprive him also of some of his rights, or seize and detain them till I have obtained complete satisfaction. And, if recourse is had to arms, in order to obtain satisfaction for the infringement of that treaty, the offended party begins by stripping his enemy of all the rights which had accrued to him from the different treaties subsisting between them: and we shall see, in treating of war, that he may do this with justice.

§ 202. The violation of one article in a treaty may cancel the whole (126)

Some writers1 would extend what we have just said to the different articles of a treaty which have no connection with the article that has been violated, — saying we ought to consider those several articles as so many distinct treaties concluded at the same time. They maintain, therefore, that, if either of the allies violates one article of the treaty, the other has not immediately a right to cancel the entire treaty, but that he may either refuse, in his turn, what he had promised with a view to the violated article, or compel his ally to fulfil his promises if there still remains a possibility of fulfilling them, — if not, to repair the damage; and that for this purpose he may threaten to renounce the entire treaty, — a menace which he may lawfully put in execution, if it be disregarded by the other. Such undoubtedly is the conduct which prudence, moderation, the love of peace, and charity would commonly prescribe to nations. Who will deny this, and madly assert that sovereigns are allowed to have immediate recourse to arms, or even to break every treaty of alliance and friendship, for the least subject of complaint? But the question here turns on the simple right, and not on the measures which are to be pursued in order to obtain justice; and the principle upon which those writers ground their decision, appears to me utterly indefensible. We cannot consider the several articles of the same treaty as so many distinct and independent treaties: for, though we do not see any immediate connection between some of those articles, they are all connected by this common relation, viz. that the contracting powers have agreed to some of them in consideration of the others, and by way of compensation. I would perhaps never have consented to this article, if my ally had not granted me another, which in its own nature has no relation to it. Every thing, therefore, which is comprehended in the same treaty, is of the same force and nature as a reciprocal promise unless where a formal exception is made to the contrary. Grotius very properly observes that "every article of a treaty carries with it a condition, by the non-performance of which the treaty is wholly cancelled."2 He adds, that a clause is sometimes inserted to the following effect, viz. "that the violation of any one of the articles shall not cancel the whole treaty," in order that one of the parties may not have, in every slight offence, a pretext for receding from his engagements. This precaution is extremely prudent, and very conformable to the care which nations ought to take of preserving peace, and rendering their alliances durable. (127)

§ 203. The treaty is void by the destruction of one of the contracting powers.

In the same manner as a personal treaty expires at the death of the king who has contracted it, a real treaty is dissolved, if one of the allied nations is destroyed, — that is to say, not only if the men who compose it happen all to perish, but also if, from any cause whatsoever, it loses its national quality or that of a political and independent society. Thus, when a state is destroyed and the people are dispersed, or when they are subdued by a conqueror, all their alliances and treaties fall to the ground with the public power that had contracted them. But it is here to be observed, that treaties or alliances which impose a mutual obligation to perform certain acts, and whose existence consequently depends on that of the contracting powers, are not to be confounded with those contracts by which a perfect right is once for all acquired, independent of any mutual performance of subsequent acts. If, for instance, a nation has for ever ceded to a neighbouring prince the right of fishing in a certain river, or that of keeping a garrison in a particular fortress, that prince does not lose his rights, even though the nation from whom he has received them happens to be subdued, or in any other manner subjected to a foreign dominion. His rights do not depend on the preservation of that nation: she had alienated them; and the conqueror by whom she has been subjugated can only take what belonged to her. In the same manner, the debts of a nation, or those for which the sovereign has mortgaged any of his towns or provinces, are not cancelled by conquest. The king of Prussia, on acquiring Silesia by conquest and by the treaty of Breslau, took upon himself the debts for which that province stood mortgaged to some English merchants. In fact, his conquest extended no further than the acquisition of those rights which the house of Austria had possessed over the country; and he could only take possession of Silesia, such as he found it at the time of the conquest, with all its rights and all its burdens. For a conqueror to refuse to pay the debts of a country he has subdued, would be robbing the creditors, with whom he is not at war.

§ 204. Alliances of a state that has afterwards put herself under the protection of another.

Since a nation or a state, of whatever kind, cannot make any treaty contrary to those by which she is actually bound (§ 165), she cannot put herself under the protection of another state, without reserving all her alliances and all her existing treaties. For, the convention by which a state places herself under the protection of another sovereign, is a treaty (§ 175): if she does it of her own accord, she ought to do it in such a manner, that the new treaty may involve no infringement of her pre-existing ones. We have seen (§ 176) what rights a nation derives, in a case of necessity, from the duty of self-preservation.