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can be limited in its exercise only by the equal correspondent rights of other states, growing out of the same primeval right of self-preservation.” This is a general principle to be carried into ef. fect by each state according to its organic law. What consequences are incident to a union of states or their division ? It is an obvious principle that, where two nations make a treaty or incur a debt, and a change of rulers or a division of the state or its union with another sovereign state occurs, no change of debt or duty arises. In case of division each part remains subject to the treaties, debts and duties existing at the time of separation, and that upon a union of one state with another, like the proposed one of Texas with the United States, the debts of the incorporated State would be assumed by the new State thus formed. (See Vattel B. 2, Ch. 13, S. 203 and 204.) These rules of justice result from the self-evident proposition that a party to a contract can only be discharged by performance or the consent of the other contracting party. Mr. Adams, Secretary of State of the United States in 1818, in giving the President's instructions to Mr. Everett, Charge de Affaires at Holland, says: “No principle of international law can be more clearly established than this, that the rights and obligations of a nation in regard to other states are independent of its intermal revolutions of government. It extends even to the case of conquest. Upon the principle that a nation is responsible for the acts of its government de facto, France under Louis the 18th, paid an immense sum of money to indemnify the allies and their citizens for losses occasioned by the Emperor Napoleon and those acting by his authority. Among other cases of indemnity the city of Hamburg was paid for the money and effects of the Bank of Hamburg seized by Davoust during his military occupation of that fair city. France admitted the same doctrine by her treaty with our Republic of 1831, signed on our part by our eminent statesman, William C. Rives, by which she stipulated to pay to the United States twenty-five millions of francs for unlawful seizures, confiscations and destruction of vessels and cargoes, to be distributed among American citizens entitled to the same. A nation seizing by its government foreign property of neutrals, is equitably bound to pay for it. From our examination of a nation, its division, union and acts by a government de facto, we deduce these obvious conclusions as principles of public law, that national sovereignty resides in the people and not in the existing administration of a State, and that no part of it can be transferred to another nation without the express authority of the people given in the mode pointed out by their fundamental law; that the union of any two or more states into one transfers all existing international rights and duties, to such new state; that in all other international transactions a nation may acquire and create rights and duties by its existing administration.


By the same process the power and limits of a nation may be contracted. A nation by a solemn act of original sovereignty done in the mode established by the constitution of the country, may divide the nation, organize one or more national sovereignties as the people shall in a constitutional form ordain. The new states are subject to the debts and treaty obligations of the old state, as a contract cannot be changed without assent of both parties. Neither the government of a country nor any state composing it, can rightfully dismember or divide a nation. A constitutional government like that of the United States cannot be divided, added to or changed except by an amendment adopted in the manner prescribed in the constitution of the United States.


The inhabitants of a State may lawfully be add

ed to by naturalizing foreigners abandoning their native countries. As all men are born free and equal, with the inherent, inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, it follows that any citizen or subject of any country may withdraw himself, his family and his effects from his native land and unite himself to any foreign State in such form as its laws require. A permament residence in the new State, and abjuring all allegiance to the old, are ordinarily pre-requisites to the change of citizenship. Vattel says: “A nation or the sovereign who represents it, may grant a stranger the quality of a citizen by admitting him into the body of the political society.” The code Napoleon declares that naturalization of a Frenchman in a foreign country destroys his citizenship at home and his character as a Frenchman. The words are, “La qualité de Français se perdra par la naturalization acquise en pays étranger.” This has been the settled policy of our Republic as shown by many acts of Congress. Naturalization then is a natural, legal and humane principle by which all men may change their residence and allegiance in pursuit of happiness. By this act all right and duties of the old citizenship are abandoned, and those of the new State are acquired and assumed. This right of expatriation is laid down by Mr. Webster, Secretary of State, in his letter to Lord Ashburton in August, 1842, in these words: “A question of such serious importance ought now to be put at rest. If the United States give shelter and protection to those whom the policy of England annually casts upon their shores—if, by the benign influences of their government and institutions, and by the happy condition of the country, those emigrants become raised from poverty to comfort, finding it easy even to become landholders, and being allowed to partake in the enjoyment of all civil rights—if all this may be done, (and all this is done, under the countenance and encouragement of England herself,) is it not high time, my lord, that, yielding that which had its origin in feudal ideas as inconsistent with the present state of society, and especially with the intercourse and relations subsisting between the old world and the new, England should, at length, formally disclaim all right to the services of such persons, and renounce all control over their conduct 7”

As a consequence of this doctrine all countries may rightfully encourage immigration from foreign States, by giving lands to settlers, or selling them cheaply, and receiving all exiles from abroad. The two latter modes are adopted by the United States from a sound policy as well as humanity. It is agreeable to nature that overpopulated countries should pour their surplus people into sparsely

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