The Status of the Law of Nations In Early American Law

The Status of the Law of Nations In Early American Law

It should be clear who a Nation/State belongs to and who it does not belong to…
[Sylvester, supra note 55, at 67; see also Stewart Jay, The Status of the Law of Nations in Early American Law, 42 VAND. L. REV. 819, 823 (1989) (“In ascertaining principles of the law of nations, lawyers and judges of that era relied heavily on continental treatise writers, Vattel being the most often consulted by Americans. An essential part of a sound legal education consisted of reading Vattel, Grotius, Pufendorf, and Burlamaqui, among others.”).]

Below is what Vattel and the Law of Nations has to say…
“The law of nations is the law of sovereigns. It is principally for them, and for their ministers, that it ought to be written. All mankind are indeed interested in it; and, in a free country, the study of its maxims is a proper employment for every citizen; but it would be of little consequence to impart the knowledge of it only to private individuals, who are not called to the councils of nations, and who have no influence in directing the public measures. If the conductors of slates, if all those who are employed in public affairs, condescended to apply seriously to the study of a science which ought to be their law, and, as it were, the compass by which to steer their course, what happy effects might we not expect from a good treatise on the law of nations! We every day feel the advantages of a good body of laws in civil society: — the law of nations is, in point of importance, as much superior to the civil law, as the proceedings of nations and sovereigns are more momentous in their consequences than those of private persons….”

“…But fatal experience too plainly proves how little regard those who are at the head of affairs pay to the dictates of justice, in conjunctures where they hope to find their advantage. Satisfied with bestowing their attention on a system of politics which is often false, since often unjust, the generality of them think they have done enough when they have thoroughly studied that. Nevertheless, we may truly apply to states a maxim which has long been acknowledged as true with respect to individuals, — that the best and safest policy is that which is founded on virtue. Cicero, as a great master in the art of government as in eloquence and philosophy, does not content himself with rejecting the vulgar maxim, that “a state cannot be happily governed without committing injustice;” he even proceeds so far as to lay down the very reverse of the proposition as an invariable truth, and maintains, that “without a strict attention to the most rigid justice, public affairs cannot be advantageously administered.”

Providence occasionally bestows on the world kings and ministers whose minds are impressed with this great truth. Let us not renounce the pleasing hope that the number of those wise conductors of nations will one day be multiplied; and in the interim let us, each in his own sphere, exert our best efforts to accelerate the happy period.”~[Emmerich de Vattel, The Law of Nations]

From: The Law of Nations; Preliminaries: (This is what “States should be attain­ing” and this will give you a clue about what “all indi­vid­uals in a State” should be striv­ing for.)

§ 4. In what light nations or states are to be considered.
Nations being composed of men naturally free and independent, and who, before the establishment of civil societies, lived together in the state of nature, — Nations, or sovereign states, are to be considered as so many free persons living together in the state of nature.

It is a settled point with writers on the natural law, that all men inherit from nature a perfect liberty and independence, of which they cannot be deprived without their own consent. In a State, the individual citizens do not enjoy them fully and absolutely, because they have made a partial surrender of them to the sovereign. But the body of the nation, the State, remains absolutely free and independent with respect to all other men, and all other Nations, as long as it has not voluntarily submitted to them.

§ 10. Society established by nature between all mankind
Man is so formed by nature, that he cannot supply all his own wants, but necessarily stands in need of the intercourse and assistance of his fellow-creatures, whether for his immediate preservation, or for the sake of perfecting his nature, and enjoying such a life as is suitable to a rational being. This is sufficiently proved by experience. We have instances of persons, who, having grown up to manhood among the bears of the forest, enjoyed not the use of speech or of reason, but were, like the brute beasts, possessed only of sensitive faculties. We see moreover that nature has refused to bestow on men the same strength and natural weapons of defence with which she has furnished other animals — having, in lieu of those advantages, endowed mankind with the faculties of speech and reason, or at least a capability of acquiring them by an intercourse with their fellow-creatures. Speech enables them to communicate with each other, to give each other mutual assistance, to perfect their reason and knowledge; and having thus become intelligent, they find a thousand methods of preserving themselves, and supplying their wants. Each individual, moreover, is intimately conscious that he can neither live happily nor improve his nature without the intercourse and assistance of others. Since, therefore, nature has thus formed mankind, it is a convincing proof of her intention that they should communicate with, and mutually aid and assist each other.

Hence is deduced the establishment of natural society among men. The general law of that society is, that each individual should do for the others every thing which their necessities require, and which he can perform without neglecting the duty that he owes to himself: (4) a law which all men must observe in order to live in a manner consonant to their nature, and conformable to the views of their common Creator — a law which our own safety, our happiness, our dearest interests, ought to render sacred to every one of us. Such is the general obligation that binds us to the observance of our duties: let us fulfil them with care, if we would wisely endeavour to promote our own advantage. (5)

From: The Law of Nations; Book 1:
§ 14. Of the preservation and perfection of a nation.
He who no longer exists can have no duties to perform: and a moral being is charged with obligations to himself, only with a view to his perfection and happiness: for to preserve and to perfect his own nature, is the sum of all his duties to himself.
The preservation of a nation is found in what renders it capable of obtaining the end of civil society; and a nation is in a perfect state, when nothing necessary is wanting to arrive at that end. We know that the perfection of a thing consists, generally, in the perfect agreement of all its constituent parts to tend to the same end. A nation being a multitude of men united together in civil society — if in that multitude all conspire to attain the end proposed in forming a civil society, the nation is perfect; and it is more or less so, according as it approaches more or less to that perfect agreement. In the same manner its external state will be more or less perfect, according as it concurs with the interior perfection of the nation,

§ 21. A nation ought to perfect itself and the state.
The second general duty of a nation towards itself is to labour at its own perfection and that of its state. It is this double perfection that renders a nation capable of attaining the end of civil society: it would be absurd to unite in society, and yet not endeavour to promote the end of that union.
Here the entire body of a nation, and each individual citizen, are bound by a double obligation, the one immediately proceeding from nature, and the other resulting from their reciprocal engagements. Nature lays an obligation upon each man to labour after his own perfection; and in so doing, he labours after that of civil society, which could not fail to be very flourishing, were it composed of none but good citizens. But the individual finding in a well-regulated society the most powerful succours to enable him to fulfil the task which Nature imposes upon him in relation to himself, for becoming better, and consequently more happy — he is doubtless obliged to contribute all in his power to render that society more perfect.
All the citizens who form a political society reciprocally engage to advance the common welfare, and as far as possible to promote the advantage of each member. Since then the perfection of the society is what enables it to secure equally the happiness of the body and that of the members, the grand object of the engagements and duties of a citizen is to aim at this perfection, This is more particularly the duty of the body collective in all their common deliberations, and in everything they do as a body. (18)

End Law of Nations; Below Citizen defined..

Section 1; 14th Amendement;
“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, AND SUBJECT to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”Definition of subject
1 : one that is placed under authority or control: such asa : vassalb (1) : one subject to a monarch and governed by the monarch’s law (2) : one who lives in the territory of, enjoys the protection of, and owes allegiance to a sovereign power or state

subject (v.)
late 14c., “to make (a person or nation) subject to another by force,” also “to render submissive or dependent,” from Medieval Latin subiectare “place beneath,” frequentative of Latin subicere “to make subject, subordinate” (see subject (n.)). Meaning “to lay open or expose to (some force or occurrence)” is recorded from early 15c. (implied in subjected). Related: Subjecting.
subject (n.)
early 14c., “person under control or dominion of another,” specifically a government or ruler, from Old French sogit, suget, subget “a subject person or thing” (12c., Modern French sujet), from noun use of Latin subiectus “lying under, below, near bordering on,” figuratively “subjected, subdued,” past participle of subicere, subiicere “to place under, throw under, bind under; to make subject, subordinate,” from sub “under” (see sub-) + combining form of iacere “to throw” (see jet (v.)). In 14c., sugges, sogetis, subgit, sugette; form re-Latinized in English 16c.

Meaning “person or thing regarded as recipient of action, one that may be acted upon” is recorded from 1590s. Grammatical sense is recorded from 1630s, from Latin subjectum “grammatical subject,” noun use of the neuter of the Latin past participle. Likewise some restricted uses in logic and philosophy are borrowed directly from Latin subjectum as “foundation or subject of a proposition,” a loan-translation of Aristotle’s to hypokeimenon. Meaning “subject matter of an art or science” is attested from 1540s, probably short for subject matter (late 14c.), which is from Medieval Latin subjecta materia, a loan translation of Greek hypokeimene hyle (Aristotle), literally “that which lies beneath.”

allegiance (n.)
“ties or obligations of a citizen or subject to a government or sovereign,” late 14c., formed in English from Anglo-French legaunce “loyalty of a liege-man to his lord,” from Old French legeance, from liege (see liege (adj.)). Corrupted in spelling by confusion with the now-obsolete legal term allegeance “alleviation, mitigation” (for which see allay (v.)). General figurative sense of “recognition of claims to respect or duty, observance of obligation” is attested from 1732. French allégeance in this sense is said to be from English.

liege (adj.)
c. 1300, of lords, “entitled to feudal allegiance and service,” from Anglo-French lige (late 13c.), Old French lige “liege-lord,” noun use of an adjective meaning “free, giving or receiving fidelity” (corresponding to Medieval Latin ligius, legius), a word of uncertain origin. Perhaps from Late Latin laeticus “cultivated by serfs,” from laetus “serf,” which probably is from Proto-Germanic *lethiga- “freed” (source also of Old English læt “half-freedman, serf;” Old High German laz, Old Frisian lethar “freedman;” Middle Dutch ledich “idle, unemployed”), from PIE root *le- (2) “let go, slacken” (see let (v.)). Or the Middle English word might be directly from Old High German leidig “free,” on the notion of “free from obligation to service except as vassal to one lord,” but this reverses the notion contained in the word.

From late 14c. of vassals, “bound to render feudal allegiance and service.” The dual sense of the adjective reflects the reciprocal relationship it describes: protection in exchange for service. Hence, liege-man “a vassal sworn to the service and support of a lord, who in turn is obliged to protect him” (mid-14c.).

word-forming element attached to verbs to form abstract nouns of process or fact (convergence from converge), or of state or quality (absence from absent); ultimately from Latin -antia and -entia, which depended on the vowel in the stem word, from PIE *-nt-, adjectival suffix.
Definition of -ance
1 : action or process furtherance : instance of an action or process performance
2 : quality or state : instance of a quality or state protuberance
3 : amount or degree conductance

I can keep going with this.. Corpus Juris Secundem Citizen defined backs this up also..

Interesting how they established freedom by enslaving everyone else…


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