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require recognition by other States in order to render it perfect and complete. So long, indeed, as the new State confines its action to its own citizens, and to the limits of its own territory, it may well dispense with such recognition. But if it desires to enter into that great society of nations, all the members of which recognize rights to which they are mutually entitled, and duties which they may be called upon reciprocally to fulfil, such recognition becomes essentially necessary to the complete participation of the new State in all the advantages of this society. Every other State is at liberty to grant, or refuse, this recognition, subject to the consequences of its own.conduct in this respect; and until such recognition becomes universal on the part of the other States, the new State becomes entitled to the exercise of its external sovereignty as to those States only by whom that sovereignty has been recognized.
§ 7. Identity of a
The identity of a State consists in its having the same origin or commencement of existence; and its difference from all other States consists in its having a different origin or commencement of existence. A State, as to the individual members of which it is composed, is a fluctuating body; but in respect to the society, it is one and the same body, of which the existence is perpetually kept up by a constant succession of new members. This existence continues until it is interrupted by some change affecting the being of the State.1 If this change be an internal revolution, merely altering the municipal constitution and form of government, ed by interthe State remains the same; it neither loses any of its tion. rights, nor is discharged from any of its obligations.2
The habitual obedience of the members of any political society to a superior authority must have once existed in order to constitute a sovereign State. But the temporary suspension of that obedience and of that authority, in consequence of a civil war, does not necessarily extinguish the being of the State, although it may affect for a time its ordinary relations with other States.
1 Grotius, de Jur. Bel. ac Pac. lib. ii. cap. 9, § 3. Rutherforth's Inst. b. ii. c. 10, §§ 12, 13. Heffter, Das Europäische Völkerrecht, § 24.
2 Grotius, lib. ii. cap. 9, § 8. Rutherforth, b. ii. c. 10, § 14. Puffendorf, de Jur. Nat. et Gent. lib. viii. cap. 12, §§ 1-3.
Conduct of foreign
Until the revolution is consummated, whilst the civil States to- war involving a contest for the government continues, other nation other States may remain indifferent spectators of the controversy, still continuing to treat the ancient government as sovereign, and the government de facto as a society entitled to the rights of war against its enemy; or may espouse the cause of the party which they believe to have justice on its side. In the first case, the foreign State fulfils all its obligations under the law of nations; and neither party has any right to complain, provided it maintains an impartial neutrality. In the latter, it becomes, of course, the enemy of the party against whom it declares itself, and the ally of the other; and as the positive law of nations makes no distinction, in this respect, between a just and an unjust war, the intervening State becomes entitled to all the rights of war against the opposite party.1
Parties to civil war
If the foreign State professes neutrality, it is bound entitled to to allow impartially to both belligerent parties the free rights of exercise of those rights which war gives to public eneagainst each mies against each other; such as the right of blockade, and of capturing contraband and enemy's property.2 But the exercise of those rights, on the part of the revolting colony or province against the metropolitan country, may be modified by the obligation of treaties previously existing between that country and foreign States.3
tity of a
§ 8. Iden- If, on the other hand, the change be effected by exterState, how nal violence, as by conquest confirmed by treaties of affected by peace, its effects upon the being of the State are to be violence. determined by the stipulations of those treaties. The conquered and ceded country may be a portion only, or the whole of the vanquished State. If the former, the original State still continues; if the latter, it ceases to exist. In either case, the conquered territory may be incorporated into the conquering State as a province, or it may be united to it as a coordinate State with equal sovereign rights.
1 Vattel, Droit des Gens, liv. ii. ch. 4, § 56. Martens, Précis du Droit des Gens, liv. iii. ch. 2, §§ 79-82.
2 Wheaton's Rep. vol. iii. p. 610.- United States v. Palmer. Vol. iv. The Divina Pastora. Id. p. 502.- The Nuestra Signora de la Caridad. 3 See Part IV. ch. 3, § 3. Rights of War as to Neutrals.
9. By the joint effect of inter
nal and ex
Such a change in the being of a State may also be produced by the conjoint effect of internal revolution and foreign conquest, subsequently confirmed, or modified ternal vio and adjusted by international compacts. Thus the lence conHouse of Orange was expelled from the Seven United treaty. Provinces of the Netherlands, in 1797, in consequence of the French Revolution and the progress of the arms of France, and a democratic republic substituted in the place of the ancient Dutch constitution. At the same time the Belgic provinces, which had long been united to the Austrian monarchy as a coördinate State, were conquered by France, and annexed to the French republic by the treaties of Campo Formio and Luneville. On the restoration of the Prince of Orange, in 1813, he assumed the title of Sovereign Prince, and afterwards King of the Netherlands; and by the treaties of Vienna, the former Seven United Provinces were united with the Austrian Low Countries into one State, under his sovereignty.
Here is an example of two States incorporated into one, so as to form a new State, the independent existence of each of the former States entirely ceasing in respect to the other; whilst the rights and obligations of both still continue in respect to other foreign States, except so far as they may be affected by the compacts creating the new State.
In consequence of the revolution which took place in Belgium, in 1830, this country was again severed from Holland, and its independence as a separate kingdom acknowledged and guaranteed by the five great powers of Europe, Austria, France, Great Britain, Prussia, and Russia. Prince Leopold of SaxeCobourg having been subsequently elected king of the Belgians by the national Congress, the terms and conditions of the separation were stipulated by the treaty concluded on the 15th of November, 1831, between those powers and Belgium, which was declared by the conference of London to constitute the invariable basis of the separation, independence, neutrality, and state of territorial possession of Belgium, subject to such modifications as might be the result of direct negotiation between that kingdom and the Netherlands.2 (a)
1 Wheaton's Hist. Law of Nations, p. 492.
2 Wheaton's Hist. Law of Nations, pp. 538-555.
(a) [The annexation of Texas to the United States, consummated by the
§ 10. Province or
colony asserting its
If the revolution in a State be effected by a province or colony shaking off its sovereignty, so long as the independence of the new State is not acknowledged ence, how by other powers, it may seem doubtful, in an inter
national point of view, whether its sovereignty can be considered as complete, however it may be regarded by its own government and citizens. It has already been stated, that whilst the contest for the sovereignty continues, and the civil war rages, other nations may either remain passive, allowing to both contending parties all the rights which war gives to public enemies; or may acknowledge the independence of the new State, forming with it treaties of amity and commerce; or may join in alliance with one party against the other. In the first case, neither party has any right to complain so long as other nations maintain an impartial neutrality, and abide the event of the contest. The two last cases involve questions which seem to belong rather to the science of politics than of international law; but the practice of nations, if it does not furnish an invariable rule for the solution of these questions, will, at least, shed some light upon them. The memorable examples of the Swiss Cantons and of the Seven United Provinces of the Netherlands, which so long levied war, concluded peace, contracted alliances, and performed every other act of sovereignty, before their independence was finally acknowledged, — that of the first by the German empire, and that of the latter by Spain, go far to show the general sense of mankind on this subject. The acknowledgment of the independence of the United States of America by France, coupled with the assistance secretly rendered by the French court to the revolted colonies, was considered by Great Britain as an unjustifiable aggression, and, under the circumstances, it probably was so.1 But had the French court conducted itself with good faith, and maintained an impartial neutrality between the two belligerent parties, it may be doubted whether the treaty of commerce, or even the
admission of the former as a State of the Federal Union, on 29th December, 1845, was a case, so far as foreign powers are concerned, of the complete merger of the sovereignty of the former Republic of Texas in that of the United States.]
1 Wheaton's Hist. Law of Nations, Pt. iii. § 12, pp. 220-294. Ch. de Martens, Nouvelles Causes célèbres du Droit des Gens, tome i. pp. 370-498.
eventual alliance between France and the United States, could have furnished any just ground for a declaration of war against the former by the British government. The more recent example of the acknowledgment of the independence of the Spanish American provinces by the United States, Great Britain, and other powers, whilst the parent country still continued to withhold her assent, also concurs to illustrate the general understanding of nations, that where a revolted province or colony has declared and shown its ability to maintain its independence, the recognition of its sovereignty by other foreign States is a question of policy and prudence only.
This question must be determined by the sovereign Recognilegislative or executive power of these other States, and tion of its not by any subordinate authority, or by the private ence by judgment of their individual subjects. Until the inde- eign States. pendence of the new State has been acknowledged, either by the foreign State where its sovereignty is drawn in question, or by the government of the country of which it was before a province, courts of justice and private individuals are bound to consider the ancient state of things as remaining unaltered.1 (a)
1 Vesey's Ch. Rep. vol. ix. p. 347. — The City of Berne v. The Bank of England. Edward's Adm. Rep. vol. i. p. 1. The Manilla, Appendix IV., Note D. Wheaton's Rep. vol. iii. p. 324.— Hoyt v. Gelston. Idem. p. 634.- The United States v. Palmer.
(a) [It belongs exclusively to the political department of the government to recognize or to refuse to recognize a government in a foreign country, claiming to have displaced the old and established a new one. Kennett v. Chambers, Howard's Rep. vol. xiv. p. 38. Quant à la simple reconnaisance, un état étranger n'est point en droit de juger de la légitimité, il doit done uniquement s'attacher à la seule possession et traiter comme indépendant le gouvernment de fait. Garden, Traité Complet de Diplomatie, tom. i. p. 273.
President Jackson, in his special message of 21st December, 1836, in relation to the recognition of Texas, thus refers to the principles on which the United States have proceeded in the acknowledgment of the independence of new States:
"All questions relative to the government of foreign nations, whether of the old or of the new world, have been treated by the United States as questions of fact only, and our predecessors have cautiously abstained from deciding upon them, until the clearest evidence was in their possession, to enable them not only to decide correctly, but to shield their decision from every unworthy imputation. In all the contests that have arisen out of the revolutions of France, out of the