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VII. Verox's MEMOIRS

.. 175 Mémoires d'un Bourgeois de Paris. Par le Dr. L. TEROX. Comprenant la fin de l'Empire, la Restauration, la Monarchie de Juillet, et la République jusqu'au Réta

blissement de l'Empire. VIII. The Pacific RAILROAD . .

. 211 1. Report of the Secretary of War, on the several Pacific Railroad Explorations, and accompanying Documents.

2. A Bill to provide for the Establishment of Railroad and Telegraphic Communication between the Atlantic States and the Pacific Ocean, and for other purposes. Re

ported by Mr. McDougal. IX. AMERICAN POETRY.

. 236 1. The Poets and Poetry of America. By Rrfts Wilmot GeiswOLD.

2. The Poetical Works of AuguSTINE DUGANNE. X. GERMAN EMIGRATION TO AMERICA

.248 1. Geschichte und Zustände der Deutschen in Amerika. Von FRANZ LÖHER.

2. Aussichten für gebildete Deutsche in Nord-Amerika.

Von Franz LÖHER. XI. CRITICAL NOTICES

268 NEW PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED

288

ERRATUM.
Page 175, line 2, for J. Véron read L. VEROX.

NORTH AMERICAN REVIEW.

No. CLXX.

JANUARY, 185 6.

ART. I. - Elements of International Law, by HENRY WHEATON,

LL.D. Sixth Edition. With the last Corrections of the Author, Additional Notes, and Introductory Remarks, containing a Notice of Mr. Wheaton's Diplomatic Career and of the Antecedents of his Life. By William Beach LawRENCE, formerly Chargé d'Affaires of the United States at London. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company. 1855. 8vo.

This is a greatly improved edition of a work now become classical in both hemispheres. The first edition of Mr. Wheaton's Elements of International Law - the first elementary compend of the entire subject of the law of nations in our language - appeared in London, in 1836. It was reprinted in Philadelphia the same year, and shortly afterwards reviewed in this journal.* A third edition was published at Philadelphia in 1844. Editions in the French language, prepared by the learned and lamented author, with his latest revisions and emendations, were published at Leipzig and Paris in 1848 and in 1852-3, so that the present highly improved edition, published under the able superintendence of Mr. W. Beach Lawrence, is the sixth of this standard work. So rapid a succession of editions of a work of this kind is of itself a sufficient testimony to its value. The leading journals of Europe, both English and Continental, have been emphatic in its praise, and the authority of our countryman as a wise and safe expounder of the public law is established by the general consent, abroad and at home, of those most competent to form an opinion on the subject. We scarce know another instance of a reputation so solid and so generally admitted, which has been as promptly built up as Mr. Wheaton's in a' great department of moral science. When it is considered how much of the professional intellect of the nineteenth century has been employed, at the bar and on the bench, in defining the rules of the public law, what vast interests public and private have been affected by the application of those rules during the great wars of the French Revolution, and how many able men have undertaken as text-writers to discuss the principles on which questions affecting those interests have been adjudicated by the tribunals, it may well be deemed a rare distinction for our honored countryman, to have won for himself the reputation of the leading elementary writer in this department, — at once the earliest and the ablest commentator on the Law of Nations in the English language.

* North American Review, Vol. XLIV. p. 16. VOL. LXXXII. — NO. 170. 1

The last hundred years may be well regarded as a Seculum Mirabile of public law; more and greater questions having presented themselves for discussion and adjudication, than in the whole period which had elapsed from the consolidation of the modern European system down to the seven years' war. It is sufficient for the justification of this remark to refer to the rule of '56, to the right of colonies to assert their independence and of foreign states to recognize it, to the armed neutralities, to the questions of the provision trade and of contraband which grew up in 1793 and the following years, to the doctrines asserted in the Orders in Council and the French Decrees, to the general readjustment of the balance of power by the Congress of Vienna, to the right of search attempted to be set up in time of peace for the suppression of the African slave trade, to the extent and limitation of the right of intervention in the concerns of other states, and now lately to the new principles of neutral trade, which have received the sanction of the belligerent powers during the present war.

In reference to most of these questions the United States have been the power most deeply concerned, as they have often been the only neutral power, and at all times the neutral whose interests were of the greatest magnitude. To this circumstance it is no doubt to be ascribed, that the professional mind of the country has shown itself so well prepared for the discussion of questions of public law, and that the tribunals of the United States exhibit on the bench and at the bar a greater array of names that have shed light on this department of jurisprudence, than any other country. What country in Europe can produce within one generation six names as distinguished in this department as those of Marshall, Story, Kent, Webster, Pinkney, and Wheaton, not to name some who still live?

One other general remark forces itself upon us. Of all the principles of public law asserted by the great powers of Europe during the last century, enforced by their courts of admiralty, and maintained by their governments, even by the aid of the ultima ratio regum, by far the most important were those by which the British and French governments, through their Orders in Council and Decrees, sought to extend their jurisdiction over the neutral trade of the world, and to compel all nations to range themselves on one side or the other of the mighty contest they were waging with each other. After a diplomatic juggle between the two great powers, of which history will not readily produce the parallel, these conflicting orders and decrees produced a destructive war between the United States and Great Britain; the two nations in the civilized world connected by the strongest bonds of natural affinity, commercial interest, and general sympathy. This war, like all other wars between powerful states, was attended by a frightful sacrifice of property and life. That the decrees of France were mere acts of despotic power, resting on no basis of justice and right, was always maintained by England, as the counterpart of this proposition was always maintained by France. A“ Declaration on the Orders in Council,” dated Westminster, April 21, 1812, states that the government of France perseveres in “ the assertion of principles and in the maintenance of a system, not more hostile to the maritime

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