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of opinion may arise “upon the construction* of the text of an article as it stands” Hence the judgment is left free, unbiassed, and independent of the trammels of translation. The plan, thus chalked out, has been pursued as far as the materials of the collection would admit.
Immediately accompanying the Treaties and Conventions such official documents are inserted in the body of the work, as have an intimate connexion with the subject : for example, the correspondence of the Emperor of Russia, on the St. Peters
** Treaties, conventions, agreements, are all public engagements, in regard to which there is but one, and the same right, and the same rules.
“ The promises, the conventions, all the private contracts of the sovereign, are naturally subject to the same rules as those of private persons. If there arises any difficulty on this account, it is equally conformable to prudence, to the delicacy of sen. timent that ought to be particularly conspicuous in a sovereign, and to the love of justice, to cause them to be decided by the tribunals of the state: this is the practice of all the states that are civilized and governed by laws.
“ In concessions, conventions, and treaties, in all contracts, as well as in the laws, it is impossible to foresee and point out all the particular cases that may arise : we appoint, we ordain, we agree upon certain things, and express them in a general view; and though the expressions of a treaty should be perfectly clear, plain, and determinate, the true interpretation would still consist, in making, in all the particular cases that present themselves, a just application of what has been decreed in a general manner. But this is not all, conjunctures vary and produce new kinds of cases, that cannot be brought within the terms of the treaty, or the law; but by inductions drawn from the general views of the contracting powers, or of the legislature. Contradictions, and inconsistences, either real or apparent, present themselves with respect to different articles; and the question is, to reconcile them, and to shew the part that ought to be taken.-Vattel.
Vide The case of his imperial Majesty's Award, under the first article of the Treaty of Ghent.-Vol. I, p. 298.
See, also, the case of United States, v. Percheman.—7 Peters' R. 51, on the construction of the Treaty with Spain, in 1819_and
The Award of the King of the Netherlands, as Arbitrator under the Fifth Article of the Treaty of Ghent, on the subject of the N. E. Boundary.-Vol. I, p. 320.
burg Convention of the soth June, 1822—the decisions under the
12th July, fourth and sizıh articles of the Treaty of Ghent, respecting the Boundary—the grants annulled by the Spanish Treaty of February 22, 1819. These official papers, among others, follow the respective Conventions to which they refer; so that they may be, at once, consulted, without turning to the pages in another part of the work.
In the collection of South American Treaties, concluded with the United States, will be found, the Conventional Law upon which we have founded our political intercourse with these new and rising nations.* The basis, upon which they were negotiated
* The letter, promulgated by the Pope, granting to the Spanish crown, so large a portion of the American hemisphere, is worthy of notice—ihe compiler alludes to the Bull of Alexander VI., by which he gives to Ferdinand and Isabella, king and queen of Castile and Arragon, the New World discovered by Christopher Columbus : “ Motu proprio, says the Pope, non ad vestram, vel alterius pro
vobis “ nobis oblatæ petitionis instantiam, sed de nostra meraliberalitate, et ex certa scientia,
de apostolicæ potestatis plenitudine, omnes insulas et terras firmas, inventas, et “ inveniendas, detectas et detegendas versus occidentem et meridiem,” (drawing a line from one pole to the other, at an hundred leagues to the west of the Azores) “ auctori“ tate omnipotentis dei nobis in beato Petro concessa, ac vicariatus Jesu Christi, qua “ fungimur in terris, cum omnibus illarum dominiis, civitatibus, &c. vobis hæredibusque
successoribus vestris Castellæ et Legionis regibus in perpetuum tenore præsen“ tim donamus, concedimus, assignamus, vosque et hæredes ac successores præfatos “ illorum Dominos cum plena, libera et omnimoda potestate, auctoritate et jurisdictione “ facimus, constituimus et deputamus." The Pope excepts only what might be in the possession of some other Christian prince, before the year 1493. As if he had the greatest right to give what belonged to nobody, and especially what was possessed by the American nations, he adds:-Ac quibuscunque personis cujuscunque dignitatis, “ etiam imperialis et regalis, status, gradus, ordinis, vel conditionis sub excommuni“ cationis latæ sententiæ pæna, quam eo ipso, si contra fecerint, incurrant, districtius “ inhibemus ne ad Insulas, et Terras Firmas inventas et inveniendas, detectas, et de“ tegendas, versus occidentem et meridiem—pro mercibus habendis, vel quavis ali a “ de causa accedere præsumant absque vestra, ac hæredum et successorum vestrorum “ prædictorum licentia speciali, &c. Datum Romæ apud S. Petrum anno 1493, nonas “ Maji, Pontific nostri anno 1o."-Leibnitii Codex Juris Gent. Diplomat., 203.
on our part is worthy of observation. The first was concluded with the republic of Colombia, in accordance to the general instructions to Richard C. Anderson, the first Minister Plenipotentiary to that republic. These instructions framed prior to entering on the negotiation which resulted in the ratification of the above treaty, are important as containing a review of the principles upon which the United States, were governed in the conclusion of that instrument.
“ The only object,” says the Secretary of State (Mr Adams) to Mr Anderson, " which we shall have much at heart in the negotiation,will be the sanction, by solemn compact, of the broad and liberal principles of independence, equal favors, reciprocity. With this view I recommend to your particular attention the preamble, and first four articles of the first treaty of amity and comnierce between the United States and France, concluded on the 6th of February, 1778. The preamble is believed to be the first instance on the Diplomatic Record of Nations, upon which the true principles of all fair commercial negotiations, between Independent States were laid down and proclaimed to the world. That preamble was to the foundation, of our commercial intercourse, with the rest of mankind, what the Declaration of Independence was to that of our internal Government. The two instruments were parts of one and the same system, matured by long and anxious deliberation of the founders of this Union in the ever memorable Congress of 1776; and as the Declaration of Independence was the fountain of all our municipal institutions, the preamble to the Treaty with France laid the corner stone for all our subsequent transactions of intercourse with foreign nations. Its principles should be, therefore, deeply im. pressed upon the mind of every statesman and negotiator of this
Union, and the first four articles of the Treaty with France contain the practical exposition of those principles, which may serve as models for insertion in the projected Treaty, or in any other, that we may hereafter negotiate, with any of the rising Republics of the South.” Further—" Let Colombia look to commerce and navigation, and not to empire, as her means of communication with the rest of the human family. These are the principles upon which our confederated Republic is founded, and they are those upon which we hope our sisters of the southern continent will ultimately perceive it to be for their own welfare, no less than for that of the world, that they should found themselves."
A clear and forcible writer has remarked that our diplomacy may be termed, altogether, of a commercial character; at least, its legitimate origin being in commerce, our treaties, for the most part,
have consisted of arrangements for the regulation of trade and navigation. In this particular course of negotiation the United States have, in modern times, taken the lead, though they cannot lay claim to the honour of having been the authors of the system, which, indeed, may be traced back to the Congress of Utrecht, an æra, remarkable, in the commercial history of the world, for the excellence and liberality of the maritime principles and regulations there consecrated by treaty stipulations. But, even, if the United States were not the first to convert diplomacy to purposes of commerce, or, (a more recent invention) to propose the principle of reciprocity as the basis of commercial conventions, they are certainly entitled to the applause of having first resisted the arbitrary features of the English navigation laws. The war of the revolution was itself, in some degree, connected with commerce, and the United States having become
independent, soon after the establishment of the Federal Government declared their determination of trading only on equal terms. They assailed, and, finally, with success, the navigation laws of the mother country, by countervailing duties; and as they were the earliest foes of that system, they have reaped the first and greatest benefits from its partial downfall.
In the collection of Foreign Treaties, and in the Appendic will be found the Declarations of Independence, and the principal part of the Diplomatic Law of the South American States: under the latter head is included a list of Conventions, not printed at large in the work, being simply models of those inserted with the necessary variations in the phraseology. The various commercial treaties with the Powers of Europe, by which their national independence was recognized, and the several Conventions between the individual States of South America, their treaties of " Perpetual Union, League, and Confederation,”
Friendship and Alliance,” of “ Commerce and Navigation,” &c., form, it is believed, the body of Diplomatic Law of the South American States, so far as official documents have promulgated their conventions. The aim of this collection being to present the Conventional Law of America, at large, must certainly confer additioğal value on this Code.
The Law enacted by the United States “fixing the compensation of public Ministers and Consuls ;” the Law respecting the “Privileges of Foreign Ministers ;" the acts “concerning Consuls and Vice Consuls,” and the “ Deposite of Foreign Consular Papers,” are inserted at large. The various laws relating to discriminating duties on tonnage, &c. to Navigation, to passenger vessels, to British American and West India Intercourse, to Piracy, and to the regulation of our foreign trade, are also added.