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facto and as to foreign nations de jure the organ of the nation and capable of binding and representing it in all inter-national transactions. As to foreign nations no treaty, act or contract of the existing administration of a country can be repudiated or annulled by any succeeding administration on pretence of want of legitimacy, or upon any other ground drawn from the domestic law or policy of the country. This sound and salutary principle was grossly violated by Ferdinand the 7th of Spain in repudiating the bonds issued by the Spanish government under the sanction of the Cortez, and other acts of that body during his absence from the kingdom or his inability to act. Legitimate kings, as they deem themselves, have often disclaimed responsibility for acts done by usurping rulers of their kingdoms to the injury of other nations. This doctrine is contrary to reason and common sense, and if allowed it would in cases of disputed succession disable a nation from maintaining its international rights and performing its duties to other states. It is plain that as to foreign nations every de facto government of a country is one de jure, and that its acts bind the nation. The contrary doctrine arose from the feudal system under which kings claimed to own the people of their kingdoms, and they sold, assigned or transferred them by deeds and testaments as vassals upon their sovereign domains to whomsoever they would. Out of this degrading doctrine, by the aid of tithe-bribed priests, grew the pretended divine right of kings and royal legitimacy, a blasphemous libel upon the Almighty and an insult to humanity. Perpetual allegiance to the king, his heirs and assigns on the part of natives of his kingdom was a degrading consequence of this absurd and monstrous assumption, and perpetual fealty of subjects to their sovreigns was laid down as a fundamental principle. This cunning device of royalty and papacy is condemned by reason and revelation, and Great Britain and France at this day with their elected lines of royalty show that the days of legitimacy and divine right of kings are numbered. A nation then is a sovereign body politic having at all times capacity to act by its exisiting government in all international transactions. This doctrine has been practically established by public acts and treaties in Europe. When a new community claims to join the family of nations and asks a recognition of its independence, the only question is as to the actual sovereignty and permanent organization of the new state and its ability to perform national duties. Mr. A. H. Everett our Envoy at the Spanish court, by letter to the Secretary of State for Fo

reign affairs of Spain, of January 20th, 1826, placed the reorganization of the new states of South America on this ground. Mr. Upshur, Secretary of State of the United States, in 1843, in a letter to General Almonte, Mexican Minister at Washington, reiterates and reasserts the doctrine that our Republic regards only governments de facto. The Secretary speaking of Texas says, “It is due, however, to the frankness which it is the desire of the United States to display in all their dealings with other countries, that the undersigned should make to the Mexican Minister the following explicit declaration : “Near eight years have elapsed since Texas declared her independence. During all that time Mexico has asserted her right of jurisdiction and dominion over that country, and has endeavored to enforce it by arms. Texas has successfully resisted all such attempts, and has thus afforded ample proof of her ability to maintain her independence. This proof has been so satisfactory to many of the most considerable nations of the world, that they have formally acknowledged the independence of Texas and established diplomatie relations with her. Among these nations the United States are included; and indeed they set the example which other nations have followed. Under these circumstances, the United States re

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gard Texas as in all respects an independent na-
tion, fully competent to manage its own affairs,
and possessing all the rights of other independent
nations. The Government of the United States,
therefore, will not consider it necessary to consult
any other nation in its transactions with the Gov.
ernment of Texas.” This is the guiding principle
of our Republic, as laid down by President Mon-
roe in 1822, through Secretary Adams, and it was
followed in recognizing the Mexican and South
American Republics as independent nations, while
Spain was pursuing her hopeless plans for their re-
conquest. The recognitions of Texas was upon
the same principle.
Vattel concurs in these views, and he maintains
that the sovereignty resides in the nation itself
and that the form of government and the execu-
tive power and its succession may be changed at
the will and by the decision of the nation “with a
view to the public welfare,” and he bases his
doctrine on the maxim, “salus populi suprema
lex.” Speaking of the claim of legitimacy and
hereditary succession he says, “This pretended
proprietary right attributed to princes is a chimera
produced by the pretended law of inheritance with
respect to private persons.”
Vattel, B. 1st, Ch. V., S. 69, speaking of sove-
reignty being inherent in a nation and not in the

prince or executive says, “Every true sovereignty is unalienable in its nature,” and he denies that a prince or any national officers can, without a special authority, assign the nation's sovereignty to another, as the nation alone can do it. (See B. 1, Ch. 21, S. 263,264 and 265, and B. 2, Ch. 12, S. 160.) Puffendorf says, “A prince hath no manner of power to transfer or give away his kingdom by his own single authority, and his subjects are not at all obliged by such an act, if made.” We now have described a nation and its organ of international communication. A nation is accountable not only for all acts of the executive government, but for the acts of individuals in pursuance of its direction or which are approved and assumed by it. Mr. Lee, Attorney General of the United States, in an opinion addressed to the Secretary of State, December 29th, 1797, lays down this doctrine in these words: “It is as well settled in the United States as in Great Britain, that a person acting under a commission from a sovereign of a foreign nation, is not amenable for what he does in pursuance of his commission, to any judicial tribunal in the United States.” Mr. Webster, Secretary of State of the United States, in a letter to Mr. Fox, the British Minister, in reference to the destruction of the Caroline,

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