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the two countries, and they alone can authorize it.
A cession of a nation's sovereignty by the executive
or the treaty-making power would be void for
want of authority. All nations possess the inhe
rent power and right of altering or modifying their
governments or abolishing them, and hence the
faculty of uniting one or more nations under a new
political organization to be agreed on by the people
themselves of the uniting nations, belongs to all and
may be rightfully exercised. No other nation ha
a right by the moral law of nations to oppose such
union made by agreement or purchase, any more
than my neighbor has to prevent me from buying
a farm or increasing my possession by gift from or
contract with adjacent proprietors. (See Vattel
3d B., Ch. 3, S. 42.)

Our distinguished civilian, Wheaton, in his Elements of International Law, thus affirms a na. tion's right to augment its territory, population and wealth by peaceful and just acquisition :

“The right of every independent nation to increase its national domains, wealth, population and power by all innocent and lawful means, such as the pacific acquisition of new territory, the discovery and settlement of new countries, the extension of its navigation and fisheries, &c., is an incontrovertible right of sovereignty generally recog. nized by the opinion and usage of nations. It

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this, regard

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 trea. ties, debts and duties existing at the time of separation, and that upon a union of one state with an. other, 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 inter

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nal 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 unlaw. ful seizures, confiscations and destruotion of ves. sels and cargoes, to be distributed among American citizens entitled to the same. A nation seiz. ing 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 vation 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.

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 dismem. ber or divide a nation. A constitutional government like that of the United States cannot be divid. ed, 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 added to by naturalizing foreigners abandoning their


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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 permanent 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 bim 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 :

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