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in their respective limits, have jurisdiction of suits and prosecution against consuls.


Mediation of friendly states to settle national difficulties, is a duty as much as it is to compose disputes among individuals and neighborhoods. The differing states are bound to admit mediation as a natural and efficient means of peaceable arrangement.


Arbitrament or reference of national controversies to an indifferent umpire is an obvious duty. (Vattel b. 2d, ch. 18, s. 329.) It is the great, the powerful means of preserving peace. Formerly in ages of darkness and delusion, force, trial by battle was allowed as a judicial proceeding in courts. Christianity and civilization have substituted reason for force, the decision of judicial conscience for the scimetar. Why should not the same principle be applied to the affairs of nations ? No reason can be assigned why national disputes as well as law suits should not be referred to indifferent judges to decide by the eternal principles of right and justice. This doctrine has received the sanction of mankind in all ages. Prior to the Pelloponnesian war the Athenians offered Sparta and her allies to refer their differences to national arbitrament, and the refusal of this pacific offer led the states of Greece to ruin. In modern times arbitraments are becoming common. Great Britain and the United States referred to the King of the Netherlands the settlement of the North Eastern boundary of the United States, and though the award was not executed owing to its departure from the question submitted, it greatly promoted the final settlement of this exciting subject by the treaty of Washington of 1842. Our President's instruction, given through Mr. Clay, Secretary of State, to our ministers to Panama, urged this important duty of national arbitrament. It is the policy of our republic, and all nations admit that it is right. One class of cases must of necessity be excepted from reference, all those pertaining to and forming an essential part of a nation's sovereignty cannot be submitted, as a loss of a nation's independence is national death during its continuance. Hence no nation ought to submit a question of a right of searching her vessels at sea for enemy's goods or British seamen, or a question of her common and equal right to the freedom of the seas. These and other parts of the national sovereignty must be always defended. The fundamentaltreaty of the Holy Alliance, by adopting the precepts of the Gospel as the true rule of international law, of necessity sanctions national arbitrament.


As a national mode of promoting peace, diplomatic Congresses, like that of the Holy Alliance and the Congress of Panama, ought to be encouraged in Europe and America. (Vattel b. 2d, ch. 18, s. 330.) It is true that the Holy Alliance, fearing free institutions, acted in opposition to their fundamental declaration for a time. But the truth is now apparent that freedom, intelligence and morality are the only solid basis of social order and national glory. Let the sovereigns of Europe return to their first principles, the precepts of the Gospel, and set themselves in earnest about the improvement of international law and the preservation of peace, by mediation, by arbitrament and by a general treaty for disarming, or reducing to a low and fixed standard their military and marine establishments, and wars will be of rare occurrence. The moral power of Christianity would then prevail and enforce international rights and duties, according to the moral law of nations. This was the object of the contemplated Congress of Panama.

The object of the United States in sending ministers to the Congress of Panama, as appears from their instructions, and President Adams’ communications to Congress, was to induce the the American nations to sanction the abolition of private war on the ocean, to establish free and reciprocal trade and commerce, to establish freedom of religious worship, to substitute mediation and arbitrament as far as possible for the decision of national difficulties, and to restrict to the narrowest limits the pretended belligerent right of blockade. In short the generous purpose was, as the President said in his annual Message of December, 1827, to bring “all the nations of this hemisphere to the common acknowledgment and adoption of the principles, in the regulation of their intermal relations, which would have secured a lasting peace and harmony between them, and have promoted the cause of mutual benevolence throughout the globe.” It is much to be regreted that the dissentions of the new American nations prevented the success of this noble experiment for the improvement of international law, and the establishment of the principles of peace and freedom. We trust that some American statesman at a more propitious era may revive this plan of an American diplomatic Congress for the improvement of the laws and customs that govern the great Republic of humanity.


The obvious duty of neutrality attaches to neutral nations in case of wars between other states. To be just it must be strictly impartial, and the neutral state must in no way aid either belligerent. Hence the territory and maritime curtilage of a nation must not be permitted to be used by the fleets and armies of the hostile states, nor ought the neutral, during the war, to furnish soldiers, arms, ammunition or munitions of war in neutral ships to either belligerent. Such acts would be unfavorable to peace, and would destroy the mediating influence of the neutral, and hence they are disallowed. Our American policy proclaims peace the first of national duties.


International justice is also a duty. A nation ought to demand from other states nothing unless it is clearly right, and nothing that the demandant would refuse, if a like claim were made upon it. This is the doctrine of our republic, and has been so since the commencement of the government. We acknowledge nothing unless clearly right, while we refuse to submit to wrong. This international duty calls for treaties for the arrest of foreign fugitives from justice, excepting always

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