Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

(4) A nation whose conduct is a menace to its neighbors may be assailed by them, and compelled to alter its policy so as to remove the menace. The case is analogous to that of abatement of nuisances by private action. The doctrine of laissez faire gives to my neighbor the right to conduct his business in the way he thinks best. But if he drop a stone on the highway, in front of my house, I am entitled to remove it by force.1

(5) The intervention of organized bodies of men from a neutral state on the side of either belligerent in a pending war, is prohibited by international law. It should be remembered, however, that a neutral state may say: "I will not put. a strict watch on my subjects in this relation; to attempt to close my ports for this purpose would impose an intolerable burden and expense; but if harm is done by any negligence in this respect, I will be liable to the injured state for the damage." A state, also, may impose a tighter curb on its subjects in this respect than does the law of nations. The same observations apply, mutatis mutandis, to the permission by a neutral sovereign to fit out armed vessels in his ports for belligerent use."

(6) It is within the international power of a state, or a league

1 Lord Bacon thus forcibly puts the doctrine stated in the text: "Neither is the opinion of some of the schoolmen to be received, that a war cannot justly be made but upon a precedent injury or provocation; for there is no question but a just fear of imminent danger, though there be no blow given, is a lawful cause of a war." Essay on Empire. And see supra, § 146.

It is only on this ground that the interference of France, Russia, and England between Turkey and Greece, resulting in the independence of Greece, can be sustained. The continuance of the struggle between Turkey and Greece, it was said, imperilled the peace of the Levant.

2 See infra, §§ 241 et seq.

Sir R. Phillimore (op. cit., i. 555) credits the United States with taking the lead in enunciating sound principles of international law in the statutes of 1794 and 1818. It was not until 1819 that the British statute was passed. So little, indeed, was this statute respected in England, that though there were several English expeditions organized to take part in wars pending in Portugal, in Spain, and in Poland, "no public prosecution of an offender against the provisions of the statute," according to Sir R. Phillimore, "appears to have been formally conducted, by order of the government, in a court of justice, until the period of the recent American civil war; that is, nearly fifty years after the passing of the act."

of states, to guarantee the independence of another state whose continued independent existence may be regarded as essential to international peace.

(7) Intervention may properly take place at the request of both parties to a civil war.1

(8) Recognition of the independence of an insurgent is not by itself intervention.2

(9) Intervention can no longer be defended on the ground that it is necessary to maintain the balance of power. The United States form by far the most powerful nation in America, and could overrun at any time Mexico and the countries immediately to the south of Mexico; yet this would not justify an offensive alliance between these countries against the United States. Great Britain is unquestionably master of the seas, yet this would not justify a combination of other powers to wage war on Great Britain. It is only when a great power uses its preponderance of strength to crush its neighbors that a war by them against it can be sustained. If the balance of power is to be perfectly preserved by war, war would never cease, since the slightest preponderance obtained on one side would require from the other rectification by renewal of war. It was in part on these grounds that the United States refused in 1852 to unite with France and England in a convention binding the three governments to renounce forever the intention of annexing the island of Cuba. The proposition was urged by the English ministers "both on account of their own interests, and on account of those friendly states in South America as to the present distribution of power' in the American seas." 973 The United States government replied that such an alliance contravened its settled policy. It also refused in 1861, on the same ground, to enter into alliance with England, France, and Spain for the purpose of obtaining re

This was given by France and England as the excuse for intervening between Holland and Belgium, though the request to intervene was with drawn by Holland before the act of intervention.

2 Supra, § 140.

3 It is now known that Mr. Adams's administration, when Mr. Clay was secretary of state, opened negotiations for the purchase of Cuba. Phill., op. cit., i. 601.

[ocr errors]

dress for injuries supposed to have been sustained by the contracting parties.1

Objections to Euro

pean inter

(10) But intervention may justly take place to ward off intervention; in other words, there may be cases in which a sovereign may be justified in saying to another sovereign. proposing to interfere in a war, civil or otherwise, "if you intervene in this quarrel, I will intervene to keep you off.” § 175. At the congress of Verona, which was the culmination of the Holy Alliance, it was proposed by Austria, Russia, and Prussia, that there should be an intervention by France in Spanish affairs, for the vention in purpose of assisting the Spanish king in putting America. down the liberal movement in his domains. England presented a solemn protest against such intervention; and as it was not unlikely that this interference would be extended to the suppression of the revolt of the Spanish colonies in America, this led to a suggestion by the British ministry that the United States should remonstrate against such interference. In response to this suggestion, Mr. Monroe, then president, in his message of 1823, declared, speaking for the United States," that we could not view any interposition for the purpose of oppressing them (the South American states which had revolted from Spain, and whose independence, we,

1 The recapitulation by Sir R. Phillimore of the various reconstructions of Europe in recent times will be found peculiarly interesting. See Phill., op. cit., i. 589 et seq.

2 Among more recent illustrations of war to preserve the balance of power may be enumerated the quadruple alliance of England, France, Spain, and Portugal in 1834 to expel Don Carlos from Spain, and the alliance of 1854 between England, France, and Turkey for the purpose of defending Turkey against Russia. As to the first of these alliances, it placed on the Spanish throne a dynasty utterly worthless and incapable of holding the kingdom on which it was forced. As to the second, it added vastly to England's debt, and

produced a lavish expenditure of life in the siege of Sebastopol, from which it is difficult now to see any good result. It did not prevent Russia from fighting a single-handed war with Turkey in 1879, and making what conquests she pleased; and even supposing the independent existence of Turkey as a European power was thereby prolonged, that prolongation can only be temporary.

Mr. Seward's argument against British and French intervention in the late civil war will be found in his letter to Mr. Adams of Aug. 18, 1862. 5 Seward's Works, 352 et seq.

3 For "Monroe Doctrine" in Australia, see London Spectator, Dec. 8, 1883, p. 1575.

In

in common with Great Britain, had acknowledged), or controlling, in any manner, their destiny by any European power, in any other light than as a manifestation of an unfriendly disposition towards the United States." The proposed intervention in South America by the allied sovereigns having been thus opposed by the United States as well as by Great Britain, was not further pressed; and, under such circumstances, a resolution offered in the house of representatives, protesting against such intervention, was withdrawn. Mr. Monroe, in his message, declared, in addition, that the American continents, by the free and independent conditions which they have assumed and maintained, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European power. Mr. J. Q. Adams was then secretary of state, and was responsible for this portion of the message. 1825, when president, he addressed a special message to congress in reference to the Panama Congress, in which he states that "an agreement between all the parties represented at the meeting, that each will guard by its own means against the establishment of any future European colony within its borders, may be found desirable:" And he then gave the following significant exposition of Mr. Monroe's declaration: "This was more than two years since announced by my predecessor to the world as a principle resulting from the emancipation of both the American continents." The house of representatives was at the time, however, in strong opposition to Mr. Adams's administration, and was peculiarly indisposed to unite in approving of so distinctively adminis Ktration measure as the congress of Panama. With this was mingled a growing distrust in the permanency of the govern ments of the various South American republics with which it was proposed to combine. But whatever may have been the motives, the house expressed an emphatic disapproval of the administration project. The United States, so it was resolved by a party majority, "ought not to become parties" with the South American governments" to any joint declaration for the purpose of preventing the intenterence of any of the European powers with their independence or form of govern

ment; or to any compact for the purpose of preventing colonization upon the continent of America." In 1848 the question was again brought up by Mr. Polk, then president, who in a message to congress stated that the government of Yucatan had offered the protectorship of that country successively to Great Britain, the United States, and Spain, and called on congress to take measures to prevent any part of the American continent from being subjected to the control of any Enropean power. The Yucatan movement towards a protectorship, however, was so ephemeral that no congressional action towards its prevention was necessary, and it became also plain that congress as a body was not disposed to pass any measure tending to affirm the position taken by Mr. Polk. The debate in the senate was marked by a masterly speech on intervention, by Mr. Calhoun, in the course of which he stated, as one who had been a member of Mr. Monroe's cabinet, that the position taken by Mr. Polk goes infinitely beyond Mr. Monroe's declaration. It puts it in the power of other countries on this continent to make us a party to all their wars," since, whenever any such power becomes involved in internal warfare, and the weaker side appeals to us for and we would be bound, according to Mr. Polk's doctrine, "to give them support for fear the offer of the sovereignty of the country may be made to some other power and accepted." "To lay down the principle." justly remarks Dr. Woolsey, when commenting on Mr. Polk's message, "that the acquisi tion of territory on this contineat, by any European power, cannot be allowed by th United States, woulig far beyond any measure dictated by the system of belee of power, for the rule of self-preservation is not apple in our case; we fear no neighbors. To lay down ti principle that no political systems alike our own, no change from republican forms to those of reachy, can be red by the Americans, would be a stop ad arce of the congresses at Laybach and Verona, fr thy a prebop el action to their political fabrics, we do no Bresist attempts of European the oustiem of states on this side of ica sin andustosition to interference. Anyjusties the ystem which arbitrary govern

powers

the v

thi

[ocr errors]
« PředchozíPokračovat »