Слике страница
PDF
ePub

a year later that these proposals were carried into effect. Great Britain and Italy joined with Germany in the presentation of an ultimatum, December 7, 1902, and the following day diplomatic relations were severed. The events which followed are familiar. The Venezuelan gunboats were seized and a blockade of the Venezuelan coast was entered into, with the result that President Castro finally capitulated and in a note sent by the American Minister to the State Department, December 31, 1902, declared that he recognized in principle the claims of the allied Powers. 122 His proposal to arbitrate was accepted with certain reservations, and by February 16, 1903 the blockade was raised. Mixed commissions settled all questions but that of preferential payment, which was submitted to The Hague. 123

Since the Venezuelan case, we have had two minor cases arising, that of Deebs against Colombia, which resulted in payment of indemnity for injuries sustained by him in a revolution, and again the final decision against Colombia in the Cerutti affair. 124 Doubtlessly, the recent Nicaraguan, Venezuelan and Mexican imbroglios will give rise to important claims of responsibility.

It remains for us to review the Latin American situation. On the whole, despite the monotonous reiteration of opinions of nonresponsibility, the development has been steadily toward increasing liability. Statutory and constitutional provisions have alike proven unavailing to stem the tide of international progress and opinion, and the unusual number of cases resulting in an assumption of liability have furnished the law with tremendous precedent. It is difficult to prophesy what will be the future development in Latin America. It is not impossible that the increasing tendency to arbitrate will bring an adjustment of many former difficulties. Certainly, in view of the present attitude of the Powers, this method presents itself as the most satisfactory solution of an embarrassing situation. But whatever course the Latin American states may in the future pursue, they can hardly continue to repudiate the theory of responsibility, which is now an integral part of international law, without reflecting on their international prestige. 122 For. Rel. 1903, p. 803.

123 Ibid., p. 823. 134 The question of responsibility was not important in this case.

In conclusion, I should like to say something about the development of the law of international responsibility in the practice of China and of the United States. My study of the cases involving these states is, unfortunately, not yet completed, but I may be able to indicate some of the general tendencies.

In China, outrages against aliens have been confined largely to mob violence based on a deep-seated anti-foreign sentiment. This feeling expressed itself originally in various forms of government oppression, especially during the eighteenth century, when the spoliations of AngloSaxon adventurers brought a reversal of the early pro-foreign policy of the government. The hostility of the ruling classes communicated itself to the populace, and mob outbreaks against foreigners began to occur with some regularity in the latter twenties of the nineteenth century, when European operations in China were still confined to the activities of the great mercantile companies. The growth of commercial relations with China seems rather to have enhanced than to have diminished the prejudices against aliens. And events like the Opium War of 1840, and again the campaigns which culminated in the treaties of Tientsin, cannot have increased the liking of the Chinese people for the alien intruders. Up to the time of the last mentioned treaties, the outbreaks were sporadic and acknowledgments of responsibility were invariable. The Chinese authorities, however, insisted that rules of international law were not for them. On the other hand, the European states were equally certain that only thus were the relations between Orient and Occident to be amicably adjusted. This was, of course, an unwarranted assumption, and the international law which was administered was much at variance with the principles which governed the relations among European states.

After the treaties of Tientsin the Europeanization of China proceeded more rapidly, but at the same time the anti-foreign sentiment, under the tutelage of secret political clubs, grew more aggressive, and, beginning with the fearful Tientsin massacre of 1870, we have a long series of almost annual outrages which culminated finally in the European intervention in the Boxer troubles. Next to the Venezuelan affair of

1903, there has been a no more pronounced and spectacular vindication of the international responsibility of states. Since 1900, however, there have been further instances of outrages upon aliens and it does not appear that any change is imminent.

I have already remarked upon the peculiar character of the international law which was administered in China in the early nineteenth century. This was due not only to the singular policy of aloofness insisted upon by the imperial government, but also to the fact that extended extraterritorial jurisdiction was exercised in China by all the important Powers. After the year 1858, these influences became of less importance, at least as regards the present problem, and the law of responsibility appears to have followed the same line of development as in other parts of the world. Indeed, the Chinese Government appears to have expressly recognized these principles when, on various occasions, it had reason to demand the responsibility of the United States for injuries sustained by its subjects, the result of mob outbreaks. We may, therefore, say that in general the principle of responsibility is firmly established in the international law which has developed from Chinese precedents.

We have already had occasion to observe in some detail the practice of the United States. Two facts stand out with some prominence; the United States has always been ready to press claims for injuries to its own citizens abroad, and has been uniformly successful in obtaining acknowledgments of liability; on the other hand, this same government has invariably repudiated the principle of responsibility when similar claims have been made upon it and in most instances an indemnity has been granted.

This same tendency we have noted elsewhere but in no state has it been so conspicuous as in our own country. This is due, perhaps, to the traditional belief that responsibility must first be denied before an indemnity may be paid. Most of the indemnities paid by the United States have been paid in this fashion and have been carefully classified as expressions of spontaneous liberality. Thus, the Spanish claims in 1850, the Italian lynching cases and the Chinese cases were all of this sort.

There is little excuse for the inconsistencies practiced by the United States. We have seen that indemnities once paid have invariably had

the effect of an expression of responsibility, no matter how they may have been limited or designated. This has also been the case in this country, and many of the cases which were settled on the spontaneous liberality principle have since been cited in support of the principle of absolute liability. The continuance of the policy of the United States does not reflect a great deal of credit on the statesmen who insist upon it and its only effect is to obscure the real international law.

JULIUS GOEBEL, JR.

BOARD OF EDITORS OF THE AMERICAN JOURNAL

OF INTERNATIONAL LAW

CHANDLER P. ANDERSON, New York, N. Y.
CHARLES NOBLE GREGORY, Washington, D.C.
Amos S. HERSHEY, Indiana University.
CHARLES CHENEY HYDE, Northwestern University.
GEORGE W. KIRCHWEY, Columbia University.
ROBERT LANSING, Washington, D. C.
John BASSETT MOORE, Columbia University.
GEORGE G. WILSON, Harvard University.
THEODORE S. WOOLSEY, Yale University.

Editor in Chief JAMES BROWN Scott, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace,

Washington, D. C.

Secretary of the Board of Editors and Business Manager of the Journal

GEORGE A. FINCH, 2 Jackson Place, Washington, D. C.

EDITORIAL COMMENT

THE WAR IN EUROPE

The great European conflagration which has been predicted for a number of years, and as to the causes, results and conduct of which volumes have been written, has at last come upon the world with amazing rapidity, when it was apparently least expected, and with inexpressible fury. Within less than two weeks from the time when it was first known that a possible casus belli existed between Austria and Servia, growing out of or induced by the assassination of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his wife at Serajevo on June 28th last, not only were those two nations involved in armed conflict but they had brought into the maelstrom of war four other great Powers and two lesser ones. Within a few more days a fifth Power had indicated its purpose to take

« ПретходнаНастави »