« PreviousContinue »
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.
OF THE DIVISION OF STATES.
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 es tablished 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 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 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 French
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 shoresif, 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?"
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
populated regions, and by this process the industrial power and wealth of the latter will be greatly augmented without injury to any nation. In pursuance of this policy our republic encouraged the opponents of our independence to remain in the country at the close of the revolution. By the treaty of peace of 1783, the United States waved all future confiscations and prosecutions against American Tories. Our rapid progress and unparalleled prosperity show that we have followed the laws of nature.
Ferdinand, of Arragon, was honored by the Pope with the name of Catholic, for conquering the Moors and expelling most of them from Spain at the commencement of the sixteenth century. His successors completed the exile of the unhappy Moors. This cruel and atrocious act, and the banishment of the Jews by Ferdinand, banished from Spain a numerous, industrious and wealthy class of citizens, and gave a death blow to the prosperity of that fine country. The Mexican Republic, in 1829, by a decree of Congress, drove most of the Spaniards out of the Mexican territory. This proceeding, cruel, inhuman and unwise, seems like a retribution of Divine Providence upon Spain for her wicked example under Ferdinand and his successors, and it has produced the same evil in Mexico as in the mother country. France and England have at times lost population and wealth by exiling Huguenots, Puritans and others.
Another mode by which nations have sought to extend their territorial limits and jurisdiction is by colonization. The ancient Phænicians, a com.. mercial and enterprising people, planted colonies in Greece, at Carthage, and on various islands of the Mediterranean. Rome sent colonies to Africa and other conquered provinces, and Greece colonized Asia Minor and the shores of the Mediterranean and Euxine seas. On the discovery of America several European nations sent out expeditions to discover and appropriate the new continent and adjacent islands. A first discovery, and the erection of the flag of a nation, were claimed to give title as against all other Europeans. This chimerical and absurd pretension gave way to the more rational doctrine that prior actual settlement and colonization perfected the title of the colonizing nation. The indefinite extent of these colonies and their conflicting claims led to long and bloody wars, involving the colonies and mother countries. England and France were long rivals in North America, which terminated by the ascendancy of British power at the close of the French war and