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business ; or the usage may be national, embracing the whole territory of a state and its people. Or it may be international, as between the inhabitants of different independent countries and their governments.
The result in point of truth is, that there are in reality not three, but only two kinds or sorts, or branches, or departments of international law. First, common and consuetudinary, founded on or arising from the co-existence and other essential physical, material, and mental, and concomitant or consequent juridical relations of independent nations or states to each other, and from the subsequent events in their intercourse, and their uni-lateral acts, affecting each other without any union of wills or joint consent, as proved and established, not by presumed or tacit consent, but by a long-continued, uniform, and uninterrupted succession or series of acts, or usages of nations, with reference to or affecting each other. Secondly, conventional international law, arising from and formed by express consent, declared in public treaties or national conventions, construed liberally as bonce fidei contractus, according to the long-established rules of legal interpretation.
In assigning a title to this chapter, we have intentionally abstained from giving the subject of which it treats the denomination adopted by some of the latest writers on the law of nations, such as Professor Heffter of the university of Berlin, in 1844, and Dr Wheaton in the last edition of his Elemens du Droit International, published at Leipsic in 1848—namely, the “Right of Intervention;" for we humbly conceive no such primitive or primary absolute right of intervention exists among sovereign independent nations. And it may be worth while shortly to inquire, whether there is any ground for recognising such a right of intervention : first, in point of legal or juridical principle; secondly, in point of usage and traditional authority; thirdly, in point of general expediency.
First, then, such a pretended original or primitive and positive right of intervention will be found, upon inquiry, to be inconsistent with the fundamental principles of the law of sovereign states, as universally recognised. In general, no such right of intervention can exist with regard to those matters which it belongs to each state to arrange, in virtue of its freedom and independencenamely, the constitution and administration of its internal government. No state can legally impose upon another any particular constitution, or promote or oppose