« ПретходнаНастави »
Captures made under their commissions must be treated by us like other captures. Their legality cannot be determined in our courts unless made in violation of our acts of neutrality."
And in a still later case in the same court, in which the same question was discussed with great learning and ability by distinguished counsel, the
“ Another objection has been urged against the admission of this vessel to the privileges and immunities of a public ship, which may as well be disposed of in connection with the ques. tion already considered. It is, that Buenos Ayres has not yet been recognized and acknowledged as a sovereign, independent government by the executive or legislature of the United States, and therefore is not entitled to have her ships of war recog. nized by our courts as national ships.
“We have, in former cases, repeatedly had occasion to express our opinion on this point. The government of the United States has recognized the existence of a civil war between Spain and her colonies, and has avowed a determination to remain neutral between the parties, and to allow to each the same rights of asylum, and hospitality, and intercourse. Each party is therefore deemed by us a belligerent nation, having, so far as concerns us, the sovereign rights of war, and entitled to be respected in the exercise of those rights. We cannot interfere, to the prejudice of either belligerent, without making ourselves a party to the contest, and departing from the position of neutrality. All captures made by each must be considered as having
· The Divina Pastor, 4 Curtis, S. C. Decisions, 345; 4 Wheat.
the same validity; and all the immunities which may be claimed by public ships in our ports, under the law of nations, must be considered as equally the right of each, and as such, must be recognized by our courts of justice until Congress shall prescribe a diferent rule. This is the doctrine heretofore asserted by this court, and we see no reason to depart from it."
Thus it will be seen, that so far as mere precedent is concerned, considered apart from the circumstances which induced it, that which has been established by the government, and enforced by the judiciary of the United States, might sustain the position taken by Great Britain.
But though such a precedent, of the recognition Legislative of a revolting people as lawful belligerents, were no binding
precedents of a sufficient justification of the course pursued by authority. Great Britain toward the nation by which the precedent was established, it is not here pretended, that such, or any number of precedents, could impose an imperative law of action upon nations, or that Great Britain, under the existing circumstances, would not be entirely justified in the eyes of the civilized world, in a departure from such a precedent.
The annals of the world furnish no parallel to the The rebellion present atrocious combination to overthrow the constitutional government of the United States. In all to U. States those cases to which reference has been made, and unprecedented indeed, in every instance recorded in history, of a cumstances in people revolting against a government of which it the history of forms a part where the revolt has assumed propor. istiug proco
against the government of
nations, no ex.
1 The Santissima Trinidad, 5 Curtis, S. C. Decisions, 268; 7 Wheat. 283.
dent can indi- tions entitling it to be regarded as something other gation of na- than the transient aberrations of a deluded mob, knowledge the there have existed circumstances, of more or less Ta wille bellis significance, which commended the revolt to the
sympathies of Christian nations.
The impartial reader of history will seek in vain for the record of such a revolt, that may not fairly be referred to some direct, pressing, urgent cause, or, at least, in which the leading spirits of the movement were not themselves in perfect accordance, in their assignment of the reasons which impelled them to resistance. But in this unnatural rebellion, against as mild, and benignant, and beneficent a govern. ment as ever existed upon earth, is presented the extraordinary spectacle of grave and apparently well-considered public documents, prepared for submission to the judgment of the world, emanating from the two prominent conspirators in the revoltone calling himself the president, and the other the vice-president of the Confederate States—in which each sets forth elaborately what he considers the aggregation of causes which have induced the attempt to overthrow the government, so utterly discordant, so diametrically differing, each from the
er, that one who should, for the first time, read the manifestos, without any previous information of current events, might suppose them to refer to different nations and a different people.
It is quite safe to declare that rebellion to be causeless, in which it is scarcely possible to find any two prominent insurrectionists agreeing in their assignment of the causes which have produced it.
It is quite safe to declare that rebellion to be causeless, that is raised against a government, which,
from its commencement, to the dawn of revolt, has been controlled and administered, in all its departments, in the interests of those by whom the rebellion has been incited. And it is quite safe to declare that rebellion to be causeless which has no other avowed basis than a pretended apprehension of a future indisposition of the government to protect the peculiar rights in the peculiar property of the revolting people—which, if successful, can have no other end than to leave those rights so utterly without all protection, that their eventual annihilation would be inevitable.
Revolting people of other nations have risen to throw off the yoke of the oppressor—to free themselves from an odious thraldom—to cast away the burdens heaped upon them by an iron despotism, and to go forth an independent people. Never be. fore, in the world's history, was a rebellion against a constituted government resorted to with the avowed and sole purpose and object of encouraging, protecting, extending, and perpetuating human slavery, and making the perpetual bondage of a race the chief corner-stone of the social and political fabric.
Considerations such as these, might well have justified Great Britain in declaring that such recognitions of a revolted people as lawful belligerents, which have hitherto been made by nations, before their independence was acknowledged, fur. nish no precedent for a case like this.
OF THE LEGAL OBLIGATIONS OF BELLIGERENTS AND
War terminates commerce between belligerents.
THE existence of war between nations immediately terminates all legal commercial intercourse between their citizens or subjects. This principle is of a character so obviously just, resulting from the very nature of war itself, and having its source in that natural reason and natural justice which are alike binding on the whole community of the civilized world, that all the great writers who have treated of the law of nations have assumed it as in. controvertible. There is no such thing, as has been justly said, as a war for arms and a peace for commerce. The existence of war places each individual citizen of the respective belligerent nations in a con. dition of common hostility. By it, all treaties, all civil contracts, all rights of property, are terminated or suspended. Its existence confers the power, if it does not impose the duty, on every citizen to attack
The foundation of this doctrine.
Grotius, Lib. III., c. iv., $8; Bynkershoek, Lib. I., cü.: Vattel, Lib. III., c. iv.; Valin, Lib. III, Tit. 6, Art. 3.