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Appeals, established for the adjudication of prize causes during the War of the Revolution. In the mean time, the United States had recognized, in their treaty of alliance with France, those principles respecting the rights of neutral commerce and navigation which subsequently became the basis of the armed neutrality of the northern powers of Europe. The American government has ever since constantly recognized and respected the same principles towards those maritime States by whom they are reciprocally recognized and respected. As to all others, it continues to observe the pre-existing rules of the ancient law of nations, whilst it has ever shown itself ready to adopt measures for mitigating the practices of war, and rendering them more conformable to the spirit of an enlightened age.
The Author has also endeavored to justify the confidence with which he has been so long honored by his country in the different diplomatic missions confided to him, by availing himself of the peculiar opportunities, and the means of information thus afforded, for a closer examination of the different questions of public law which have occurred in the international intercourse of Europe and America, since the publication of the first edition of the present work. Among these questions are those relating to the exercise of the right of search for the suppression of the African slave-trade, and to the interference of the five great European powers in the internal affairs of the Ottoman Empire. The former of these questions had already been discussed by the Author, in a separate treatise, published in 1841, in which the immunity of the national flag from every species and purpose of search, by the armed vessels of another State, in time of peace, except in virtue of a special compact, was maintained by an appeal to the oracles of public law both of Great Britain and the United States, and has since been solemnly sanctioned by the treaty of Washington, 1842, and by the convention concluded, during the present year, between France and Great Britain, for the suppression of the mutual right of search conceded by former treaties. He indulges the hope that these additions to the work may be found to render it more useful to the reader, and make it more worthy of the favor with which the previous editions have been received.
ADVERTISEMENT TO THE FIRST EDITION.
The object of the Author in the following attempt to collect the rules and principles which govern, or are supposed to govern,
the conduct of States, in their mutual intercourse in peace and in war, and which have therefore received the name of International Law, has been to compile an elementary work for the use of persons engaged in diplomatic and other forms of public life, rather than for mere technical lawyers, although he ventures to hope that it may not be found entirely useless even to the latter. The great body of the rules and principles which compose this law is commonly deduced from examples of what has occurred or been decided, in the practice and intercourse of nations. These examples have been greatly multiplied in number and interest during the long period which has elapsed since the publication of Vattel's highly appreciated work; a portion of human history abounding in fearful transgressions of that law of nations which is supposed to be founded on the higher sanction of the natural law, (more properly called the law of God,) and at the same time rich in instructive discussions in cabinets, courts of justice, and legislative
assemblies, respecting the nature and extent of the obligations between independent societies of men called States. The principal aim of the Author has been to glean from these sources the general principles which may fairly be considered to have received the assent of most civilized and Christian nations, if not as invariable rules of conduct, at least as rules which they cannot disregard without general obloquy and the hazard of provoking the hostility of other communities who may be injured by their violation. Experience shows that these motives, even in the worst times, do really afford a considerable security for the observance of justice between States, if they do not furnish that perfect sanction annexed by the lawgiver to the observance of the municipal code of any particular State. The knowledge of this science has, consequently, been justly regarded as of the highest importance to all who take an interest in political affairs. The Author cherishes the hope that the following attempt to illustrate it will be received with indulgence, if not with favor, by those who know the difficulties of the undertaking
BERLIN, January 1, 1836.