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"sinon par notre ordre, lui a prêté l'Italie, sont des faits qui n'ont plus désormais qu'un intérêt histo'rique, sur lesquels il serait sans intérêt de revenir, "et qu'on peut abandonner au jugement sévère de "l'équitable postérité" (i).
III. The evils which result from this state of things are not transient; they tend to render permanently insecure the mutual relations of independent States.
Much of the energy, freedom, and vigour which have animated, as well as the arts and sciences which have embellished and enriched Christendom may be traced to the free competition and emulation arising from the existence of States of no considerable territorial grandeur, but members of a commonwealth which proclaimed that "Russia and Geneva had "equal rights" (k).
The prevailing notion, unhappily not confined to Europe, that a State must seek territorial aggrandisement as a condition of her welfare and security is a vulgar relapse into barbarous times, and fraught with future misery to the world (7). Hence the great evil of enormous standing armies, perpetual menaces to the liberties of mankind; hence the miserable palliations of wrong and robbery under the specious titles of "rectification of frontiers" and the like.
Hence the contempt for the feelings and wishes of the inhabitants of territories, incorporated like brute animals, by brute (m) force, into the "rectified" State.
(i) La France nouvelle, par M. Prevost-Paradol, ch. iii. p. 373. (k) Pt. ii. ch. i. of this volume.
(1) Mackintosh, Memoirs, vol. ii. p. 214.
(m) "La force matérielle, la force brutale, la guerre, puisqu'il faut l'appeler par son nom." Chambre des Députés, 31 janvier 1848.-Guizot, Hist. parl, de la France, t. v. p. 555.
"D'un premier mal naîtraient une foule de maux. "Reconnaissons donc que l'injustice est un mauvais "fondement, sur lequel le monde politique ne saurait "bâtir que pour sa ruine" (n).
This mode of annihilating the liberties of free men did not, speaking only of modern times, it must be admitted, begin with these later German wars. It was the radical vice and the dissolving element of the conventions which closed the European wars against France, 1814-15.
The transference of provinces and kingdoms from one potentate to another, without the consent of the transferred inhabitants, was strongly condemned at the time by the wisest statesmen and jurists of the British Parliament (o). Subsequent events have proved the wisdom as well as the justice of this condemnation.
IV. The rights of the people thus denied in Germany have been recognized in another part of the European Continent in a very remarkable manner. The kingdom of Italy, created during the interval of which we are speaking, has been founded upon the basis of consulting the will of the inhabitants; and while these pages are being written the remaining dominions of the Pope and Rome herself are, according to the suffrage of their inhabitants, being united to this kingdom.
V. The means of ascertaining the wish of the people are open to considerable doubt and difficulty. The invention of the plébiscite is capable of being
(n) Mémoire raisonné by Talleyrand, in 1814, against the dismemberment of Saxony.
(0) Ch. xiv. of this volume.
used as an engine of despotism as well as of freedom. If Italy has acquired province after province, and city after city, by this instrument, by the same she has lost and France has acquired Nice and Savoy-an acquisition from which she has derived no real benefit, and incurred much odium, and which she made (p) in opposition to the warning and wishes of her ally Great Britain. I may be allowed to put in contrast with this mistaken policy the cession, by England, in 1863, with the consent of the Great Powers, of the Ionian Islands to Greece-an act in which real homage was paid to the principle of consulting the wishes and feelings of the subjects of acquired territory.
In a civil war (q) the stronger party will not allow the wish of the weaker party to be so ascertained, nor, if ascertained, pay attention to it, and the intervention of a third Power for the purpose of securing and giving effect to this expression of opinion, such as the Prince of Orange in the English, the King of France in the American, or the King of Sardinia in the Italian revolution, cannot take place without the existence of a war between this third Power and the other belligerent in the civil contest.
I suppose it would not be denied that, in the recent American civil war, the Southern States would have
(p) Lord Russell to Lord Cowley, July 5, 1859: "Her Majesty's Government have learned with extreme concern that the question of annexing Savoy to France has been in agitation. . . . If Savoy should be annexed to France, it will be generally supposed that the left bank of the Rhine, and the 'natural limits,' will be the next object; and thus the Emperor will become an object of suspicion to Europe, and kindle the hostility of which his uncle was the victim."—Ann. Reg. 1860, p. 243.
(9) Pt. iv. ch. i. of this volume.
separated themselves from the Northern if the expression of the wishes of the inhabitants, by a vote of universal suffrage or a plebiscite, could have enabled them to effect this disunion, even when the civil war first broke out, and the Government of Washington declared its steadfast intention of not interfering with the status of slavery in the Southern States.
VI. The application of the doctrine of INTERVENTION to Turkey (r) has produced events of great importance during the interval mentioned.
Turkey has been formally, and in a manner to place the question beyond all doubt, admitted, by the Treaty of Paris, into the family of States which are bound, not only, as all States are, by the principles of PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL LAW, but by those usages and customs which constitute what may be considered the Positive Law of Christian Communities. The object of the Treaty of Paris is to secure, "through effectual and reciprocal guarantees, the independence and integrity of the Ottoman Empire" (s). This result is the subject of a common Guarantee (t). The Plenipotentiaries declare that "the Sublime Porte is admitted to participate in the "advantages of the Public Law and system (concert) "of Europe" (u). This proposition must receive, as to PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL LAW, some obvious limitation from the very nature of Mohammedanism : though it be true that this religion is professed by a
(r) Pt. ii. ch. i. of this volume.
(t) Article vii.
(u) Art. vii. of the Treaty of Paris, 30 March, 1856.
comparatively small number of the subjects of European Turkey; but the proposition holds good as to PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL LAW; and the fact which it affirms marks an important epoch in the History of the Progress of International Jurisprudence. For if Turkey has acquired the Rights, she has also subjected herself to the Duties of a civilized Community. How long this new condition of things, so utterly at variance with the former traditions and habits of Christendom, may endure, is a speculation without the province of this work. It is to be remarked, however, even in this place, that this condition is the more complicated because the same Treaty which recognizes this quasi-Christian status (a) of the Turkish Empire, contains the following most singular provision, which might almost seem intended at once to recognize and to prohibit the Right of INTERVENTION by the Powers of Christendom on behalf of their co-religionists:
"His Imperial Majesty the Sultan having, in his "constant solicitude for the welfare of his subjects, "issued a firman which, while ameliorating their "condition without distinction of religion or of race, "records his generous intentions towards the Chris"tian population of his Empire, and wishing to give "a further proof of his sentiments in that respect, "has resolved to communicate to the Contracting "Parties the said firman, emanating spontaneously from his Sovereign Will.
"The Contracting Powers recognize the high value "of this communication. It is clearly understood
(1) The Sultan has even received from the Queen of England the essentially Christian Order of the Garter.