Page images

with the Swiss Cantons of Berne and Zurich, in consequence of which they united with France, in 1738, in offering the joint mediation of the three powers to the contending political parties by which the tranquillity of the republic was disturbed. The result of this mediation was the settlement of a constitution, which giving rise to new disputes in 1768, they were again adjusted by the intervention of the mediating powers. In 1782, the French government once more united with these Cantons and the court of Sardinia in mediating between the aristocratic and democratic parties; but it appears to be very questionable how far these transactions, especially the last, can be reconciled with the respect due, on the strict principles of international law, to the just rights and independence of the smallest, not less than to those of the greatest States.

The present constitution of the Swiss Confederation was also adjusted, in 1813, by the mediation of the great allied powers, and subsequently recognized by them at the Congress of Vienna as the basis of the federative compact of Switzerland. By the same act the united Swiss Cantons guarantee their respective local constitutions of government.

So also the local constitutions of the different States composing the Germanic Confederation may be guaranteed by the Diet on the application of the particular State in which the constitution is established; and this guarantee gives the Diet the right of determining all controversies respecting the interpretation and execution of the constitution thus established and guaranteed.3

And the Constitution of the United States of America guarantees to each State of the federal Union a republican form of government, and engages to protect each of them against invasion, and, on application of the local authorities, against domestic violence.

1 Flassan, Histoire de la Diplomatic Française, tom. v. p. 78, tom. vii. pp. 27; 297.

2 Acte Final du Congrès de Vienne, art. 74.

3 Wiener Schluss-Acte, vom 15 Mai, 1820, art. 62. Corpus Juris Germanici, von Mayer, tom. ii. p. 196.

4 Constitution of the United States, art. 3.

to the


en This perfect independence of every sovereign State, pendence of in respect to its political institutions, extends to the every State" in respect choice of the supreme magistrate and other rulers, as choice of its well as to the form of government itself. In hereditary

governments, the succession to the crown being regulated by the fundamental laws, all disputes respecting the succession are rightfully settled by the nation itself, independently of the interference or control of foreign powers. So also in elective governments, the choice of the chief or other magistrates ought to be freely made, in the manner prescribed by the constitution of the State, without the intervention of any foreign influence or authority.1

$ 16. Ex- The only exceptions to the application of these geneceptions

out ral rules arise out of compact, such as treaties of allimpact ance, guarantee, and mediation, to which the State itself or other just right whose concerns are in question has become a party; or of intervention. formed by other powers in the exercise of a supposed right of intervention growing out of a necessity involving their own particular security, or some contingent danger affecting the general security of nations. Such, among others, were the wars relating to the Spanish succession, in the beginning of the eighteenth century, and to the Bavarian and Austrian successions, in the latter part of the same century. The history of modern Europe also affords many other examples of the actual interference of foreign powers in the choice of the sovereign or chief magistrate of those States where the choice was constitu. tionally determined by popular election, or by an elective council, such as in the cases of the head of the Germanic Empire, the King of Poland, and the Roman pontiff; but in these cases no argument can be drawn from the fact to the right. In the particular case, however, of the election of the pope, who is the supreme pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church, as well as a temporal sovereign, the Emperor of Austria, and the Kings of France and Spain have, by ancient usage, each a right to exclude one candidate.

1 Vattel, Droit des Gens, liv. i. ch. 5, $$ 66, 67.
2 Klüber, Droit des Gens moderne de l'Europe, Pt. II. tit. 1, ch. 2, § 48.


The quadruple alliance, concluded in 1834 between 616. France, Great Britain, Spain, and Portugal, affords a ruple alli.

ance of 1834, remarkable example of actual interference in the ques- between

France, tions relating to the succession to the crown in the two Great Brilatter kingdoms, growing out of compacts to which they gal, and were parties, formed in the exercise of a supposed right of Spain. interference for the preservation of the peace of the Peninsula as well as the general peace of Europe. Having already stated in another work the historical circumstances which gave rise to the quadruple alliance, as well as its terms and conditions, it will only be necessary here to recapitulate the leading principles, which may be collected from the debate in the British Parliament, in 1835, upon the measures adopted by the British Government to carry into effect the stipulations of the treaty.

1. The legality of the order in council permitting British subjects to engage in the military service of the Queen of Spain, by exempting them from the general operation of the act of Parliament of 1819, forbidding them from enlisting in foreign military service, was not called in question by Sir Robert Peel and the other speakers on the part of the opposition. Nor was the obligation of the treaty of quadruple alliance, by which the British government was bound to furnish arms and the aid of a naval force to the Queen of Spain, denied by them. Yet it was asserted, that without a declaration of war, it would be with the greatest difficulty that the special obligation of giving naval aid could be fulfilled, without placing the force of such a compact in opposition to the general binding nature of international law. Whatever might be the special obligation imposed on Great Britain by the treaty, it could not warrant her in preventing a neutral State from receiving a supply of arms. She had no right, withont a positive declaration of war, to stop the ships of a neutral country on the high seas.

2. It was contended that the suspension of the foreign enlistment law was equivalent to a direct military interference in the domestic affairs of another nation. The general rule on which Great Britain had hitherto acted was that of non-interference. The only exceptions admitted to this rule were cases where the necessity was urgent and immediate; affecting, either on account of vicinage, or some special circumstances, the safety or vital interests of the State. To interfere on the vague ground that . British interests would be promoted by the intervention; on the plea that it would be for their advantage to see established a particular form of government in Spain, would be to destroy altogether the general rule of non-intervention, and to place the independence of every weak power at the mercy of its formidable neighbors. It was impossible to deny that an act which the British government permitted, authorizing British soldiers and subjects to enlist in the service of a foreign power, and allowing them to be organized in Great Britain, was a recognition of the doctrine of the propriety of assisting by a military force a foreign government against an insurrection of its own subjects. When the Foreign Enlistment Bill was under consideration in the House of Commons, the particular clause which empowered the king in council to suspend its operation was objected to on the ground, that if there was no foreign enlistment act, the subjects of Great Britain might volunteer in the service of another country, and there could be no particular ground of complaint against them; but that if the king in council were permitted to issue an order suspending the law with reference to any belligerent nation, the government might be considered as sending a force under its own control.

Lord Palmerston, in reply, stated :- 1. That the object of the treaty of quadruple alliance, as expressed in the preamble, was to establish internal peace throughout the Peninsula, including Spain as well as Portugal; the means by which it was proposed to effect that object was the expulsion of the infants Don Carlos and Dom Miguel from Portugal. When Don Carlos returned to Spain, it was thought necessary to frame additional articles to the treaty in order to meet the new emergency. One of these additional articles engaged His Britannic Majesty to furnish Her Catholic Majesty with such supplies of arms and warlike stores as Her Majesty might require, and further to assist Her Majesty with a naval force. The writers on the law of nations all agreed that any government, thus stipulating to furnish arms to another, must be considered as taking an active part in any contest in which the latter might be engaged; and the agreement to furnish a naval force, if necessary, was a still stronger demonstration to that effect. If, therefore, the recent order in council was objected to on the ground that it identified Great Britain with the cause

r the inte alleged as te s, impugne

of the existing government of Spain, the answer was, that, by the additional articles of the quadruple treaty, that identification had already been established, and that one of those articles went even beyond the measure which had been impugned.

2. As to what had been alleged as to the danger of establishing a precedent for the interference of other countries, he would merely observe; that in the first place this interference was founded on a treaty arising out of the acknowledged right of succession of a sovereign, decided by the legitimate authorities of the country over which she ruled. In the case of a civil war proceeding either from a disputed succession, or from a prolonged revolt, no writer on international law denied that other countries had a right, if they chose to exercise it, to take part with either of the two belligerent parties. Undoubtedly it was inexpedient to exercise that right except under circumstances of a peculiar nature. That right, however, was general. If one country exercised it, another might equally exercise it. One State might support one party, another the other party; and whoever embarked in either cause must do so with their eyes open to the full extent of the possible consequences of their decision. He contended, therefore, that the measure under consideration established no new principle, and that it created no danger as a precedent. Every case must be judged by the considerations of pru. dence which belonged to it. The present case, therefore, must be judged by similar considerations. All that he maintained was, that the recent proceeding did not go beyond the spirit of the engagement into which Great Britain had entered, that it did not establish any new principle, and that the engagement was quite consistent with the law of nations.

1 Wheaton's Hist. Law of Nations, pp. 523-538

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »