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Austria, France, Italy, and Russia, 1897. From these instances it may be deduced (1) that pacific blockade is a legitimate means of constraint short of war, (2) that those states parties to the blockade are bound by its consequences, (3) that, as a matter of policy it may be advisable to resort to pacific blockade in order to avoid the more serious resort to war, and (4) that states not parties to the pacific blockade are in no way bound to observe it, though their ships cannot complain because they are required to establish their identity in the ordinary manner. To determine the nationality of a ship the so-called “right of approach” may be exercised.
$ 94. Definition Gentilis, one of the earliest writers on the laws of war, defined war in 1588 as “a properly conducted contest of armed public forces.”] The nature of such contests varied with circumstances, and wars were, accordingly, classified by early writers as public, private, mixed, etc., distinctions that now have little more than historical value.2 Wars are now sometimes classified as international and civil.
§ 95. Commencement It is now assumed that peace is the normal relation of states. When these relations become strained it is customary for one or both of the states to indicate this
16 De Jure Belli,” I., 11., “ Bellum est publicorum armorum justa contentio ;" Instr. U. S. Armies, $ 20.
Halleck, Ch. XIV.; Calvo, § 1866 ff.