« PreviousContinue »
tive country. Their definition of acts States, whether actually resident or against the safety of the state would be abiding within the same, or in any forwhatever they chose to make it. Work- eign country, who without the permising in munitions factories, failure to re- sion or authority of the government turn to the army upon call, persuading directly or indirectly commences or another not to return, and many other carries on any verbal or written corresacts or omissions might easily come pondence or intercourse with any forwithin a carefully worded definition. eign government or any officer or agent
The right of a state to punish its citi- thereof, with intent to influence the zens for crimes committed in foreign measures or conduct of any foreign countries is well recognized by the au- government, or of any officer or agent thorities in international law, and is a thereof, in relation to any disputes or right with the exercise of which, in controversies with the United States, strictness, other states have nothing to or to defeat the measures of the governdo. It is founded in the right of sover- ment of the United States,' and so forth, eignty, which in many countries has a shall be fined not more than $5000 and personal as well as territorial character. imprisoned. Section 1750 provides for Continental Europe not only asserts the punishment of the crime of perjury exclusive jurisdiction within its own when committed by a person making a territory, but also claims a right to hold false oath, affidavit, or deposition in a its subject within the grip of its laws foreign country before a secretary of wherever he may go, and to enforce legation or consul of the United States them against him when he returns. residing there; the person is to be tried, This doctrine is not peculiar to the convicted, and punished in the United states whose system is founded upon States courts in the same manner as the Roman law. The doctrine of ex- if the act were committed here. Both clusive territorial jurisdiction and the of these statutes, however, concern the corresponding doctrine that the penal functions of United States diplomatic laws of a state have no extra-territori- and consular officers, and are designed al force, must therefore be taken with
to protect those functionaries and the this important qualification. The per- government against any acts which sonal jurisdiction of a state over its might impair their efficiency. They subjects may follow them abroad and strengthen the fiction of ex-territorialexpose them to the possibility of being ity, according to which persons in the doubly punished for the same offence, diplomatic service of their country or to the risk of being punished when carry its territory with them. they return home for an act which was That the claim of European nations innocent where it was performed; and to control the actions of their subjects if the laws of their native country pro- while residing in foreign countries is vide for trials in absentia, their estates not a mere theory, is illustrated by the there may be confiscated and their action of the German government in rights of inheritance forfeited in any enacting a law on October 21, 1915, by manner the sovereign pleases.
which every German subject owning or Even the United States recognizes having a share in any merchant vessel the possibility of crimes being commit- was forbidden to sell or in any way disted by its citizens in foreign countries pose of his interest, this law applying and punishable in our courts. Accord- to German subjects residing in foreign ing to section 5335 of the Revised Stat- countries. The principle is not differutes, 'Every citizen of the United ent from that under which Germany and Austria hold their subjects, work. than of strength. The fact that Austria ing in American munitions factories, to has been obliged to mix Bohemian and be criminals or even traitors. In view other partially disaffected troops in her of the fact that any person violating armies with those of Hungarian and such a law will never dare go back to German blood, is doubtless one of the his native land, it would be a waste of reasons for the poor showing Austria breath to explain to him that the penal has made in this war. laws of a country have no extra-terri- It would be interesting to speculate torial effect.
on the influence which would be exertThus the United States is in the ed on the conduct of the war if there unfortunate position of having confer- were in Germany millions of naturalred all the privileges and immunities ized men and women of English birth, of citizenship upon multitudes of per- owning their fair share of the wealth, sons who, in spite of a perfunctory and holding many of the most important often farcical renunciation of their for- posts in church and state, in schools eign allegiance, are bound to their home and universities, constantly preaching land by ties of blood, of language, of the superiority of everything British religion, of law, of sentiment, all woven over everything German, denouncing together into character and rooted in the government, prophesying disaster, the deepest facts of human nature. And dissuading men from enlistment, mainwe face the possibility of confronting a taining secret correspondence with the nation whose perfect unity has been enemy, doing their best to infect the cemented by the blood of a hundred army with locomotor ataxia and neubattles, while our own citizenship is di- rasthenia. But (one hastens to add) it is luted with millions whose allegiance is unthinkable that Germany would ever a legal fiction. Had they not been be guilty of the imbecility of allowing clothed with citizenship, we could in so dangerous an element to intrench itthe hour of need expel them or con- self so near the sources of power and fine them in concentration camps; but authority. Our danger is the natural as citizens, until they commit some concomitant of a loose democracy, of a overt act of treason they are entitled political philosophy which refuses to to all the rights of the native-born. take thought for the morrow, and of an
It is most unlikely that any consider- unheard-of prosperity, so widespread able part of our naturalized population and long-continued as to breed an inwould in the event of war take up arms dividualism utterly blind to the deeper for our enemies; beyond a doubt the interests of society as a whole. vast majority to-day think that in such an event they would fight for their adopted country; but in a state governed by public opinion there are a The weakness of the United States thousand ways in which the arm of the as compared with other countries in the state may be paralyzed without the use mobilizing of its spiritual forces, is furof actual force. It is reported in the ther shown by the different views taken papers that the Russian government here and abroad of the right of volunhas caused the execution of two hun- tary expatriation. The attitude of the dred German officers in the Russian American government, at least of the army, whose presence there, while they legislative department, was expressed were nominally fighting for Russia, in the Act of Congress in 1868 declarwas an element of weakness rather ing it 'an inherent right of all people,'
and declaring that any “declaration, from which no process of naturalizainstruction, opinion, order, or decision tion can absolve them. Our governof any officer of this government which ment in actual practice recognizes the denies, restricts, impairs, or questions possibility that a naturalized American the right of expatriation' is 'inconsist- may owe military duties to his native ent with the fundamental principles state whose fulfillment it is very likely of this government'; and that all nat- to demand in case of his return; and uralized citizens should, while abroad, it has repeatedly endeavored in vain be entitled to receive from the United to extricate such citizens from the States the same protection of person
clutches of their former governments. and property that is accorded to na- A naturalized citizen who realizes tive-born citizens in like circumstances that his adopted country cannot and and conditions.
will not protect him against the claims This idea of the inherent right of ex- of his native government, and whose patriation, however, is not generally heart still yearns for the land of his recognized, and it requires something birth, is only half a citizen; he is as usemore than an act of Congress to give a less to his country in its hour of need as subject of a European state the right to a sword with a steel blade and a hilt of divest himself of his native allegiance clay. on becoming an American citizen. The Our country furnishes many examgovernment of the United States has ples of that curious phenomenon, dounot, as a matter of fact, attempted to ble allegiance. All persons born within extend its full protection to natural- the United States and subject to its ized citizens who have gone back to jurisdiction are declared by the Constitheir native countries and have there tution to be citizens. This is true of the been seized and compelled to perform children of non-naturalized aliens domimilitary service. The completeness of ciled here. But the children of aliens the exemption from foreign allegiance have the same nationality as their pardepends entirely upon the consent of ents, according to the laws of nearly all the foreign government to the expatria- foreign countries, and such children tion of its subjects, and European gov- are therefore subject to a double alleernments have generally not consented giance. In this way, if a German living to the emancipation of their subjects in this country chooses not to accept from obligations incurred before emi- the citizenship which we so generously gration. The extent to which these ob- urge upon him, his children born here ligations still hang over the naturalized may, when they grow up, disclaim their American is vague and difficult to state American citizenship. A young man in anything like intelligible form; and born here of alien parents may, if he even highly educated and intelligent goes to Europe for study, be forced innaturalized citizens have often been to the army, and the United States caught in the meshes of European mili- will be powerless to protect him, even tary rules on their return to their na- though he intends to return and reside tive land. It is altogether probable here. Even if the alien father be naturthat over the vast majority of the un- alized here, the minor son born here educated the old allegiance hangs like a before the father's naturalization, if he huge shadow, incapable of statement returns to his father's native country, in definite rules, portentous by reason is liable to be seized and compelled to of its very indefiniteness, and exercis- perform military service, and his Amering a dominion over the imagination ican citizenship will prove to be a mere
fiction. If a German domiciled here is but when the cannon's roar calls every so attached to the memories of the man to his duty, no man can love two fatherland as to refuse the proffer of countries: for either he will love the American citizenship, and his children one and hate the other, or else he will while growing up are diligently nur- cleave to the one and despise the other. tured in the same sentiments of loyal- A country that will not protect its citity, they cannot be relied on by the zens abroad and on the high seas is cerUnited States in time of war as Ger- tain to be despised. A man may have many and France are now relying on two citizenships in law, but not in his their subjects at home. If in addition heart of hearts. to this consciousness of divided alle- Roman citizenship commanded regiance, there are family ties and expec- spect wherever in the world it was astations of inheritance in the old coun- serted; American citizenship seems to try, it is clear that the Americanism of mean little either to the great Republic such persons, considered as an asset in which lightly bestows it or to him who time of war with Germany, must be casually accepts it. When St. Paul decharged off as worthless, if it be not an clared himself a Roman citizen and actual liability.
pealed to Cæsar, it created something of a sensation among his persecutors.
When the American flag was displayed IV
during the shelling of the Ancona, to Heretofore, most of the questions inform the Austrians that there were arising under the naturalization laws American citizens on board entitled to have had reference to the duty of the protection, it was quite naturally disUnited States to extricate its newly regarded. made citizens from difficulties into Aside from that large number of natwhich they get themselves upon return
uralized citizens who have taken the ing to their native land, or in other oath of allegiance honestly, and who countries; but the great European war fully believe they have cast off the old is forcing us to look with some anxiety ties, there is evidently a considerable upon the millions whom we have thus number who treat their naturalization invested with the privileges of citizen- as a mere convenience, glory in their ship, to see whether their duties and loyalty to some foreign country, and their privileges are reciprocal. We find would embrace the first opportunity to that many of them seem to think they betray us. Warmed at our hearth, achave conferred a favor upon the United corded all the privileges and opportuniStates by accepting its citizenship, ties of a free and too generous republic, with little or no conception of its obli- they would rejoice at a chance to sting gations. They have now two countries us. We trust they are few in number, instead of one, and are at liberty to but we have no means of knowing. We evade the burdens of one by seeking have conferred the boon of citizenship shelter under the wing of the other, with such undiscriminating recklessor to respond to that call which on the ness, we have so neglected the culture whole is most appealing. Germany and of the spirit of patriotism, we have so France are not fighting this war with dulled the sense of duty to the state, soldiers of that kind. Their armies are that the number of those ready to befilled with men whose patriotism is at tray us may be larger than we think. white heat. So long as all is peaceful The Supreme Court of Minnesota, as the quality of patriotism is not strained; late as 1909, held a man fit for citizen
ship who, though forty-six years of age, the more important. There never was did not know whether the President of a moment during our Revolution when the United States was George Washing. England could not have crushed the ton or Theodore Roosevelt, but thought Colonies had she been united and deterit was Washington; did not know where mined; what made the outcome of our the capital of the state was located, but
Civil War dubious was the presence in thought it was probably Minneapolis the North of a vast number of Southor Duluth; did not know who was gov- ern sympathizers, pouring cold water ernor of Minnesota, the state in which on the national enthusiasm and declarhe had lived for twenty-four years, or ing the war a failure. Success in our where the laws of Minnesota are made, next war may be jeopardized by the or who makes them, but guessed it presence of a large foreign unassimiwas the governor; did not know what it lated element, which, though finding means to take the oath of allegiance to freedom and prosperity among us, is this country; did not know anything anything but American. whatever about the Constitution, al- Two lessons seem very plain. The though he had heard of it; admitted first is that we must reverse our policy that if he took the oath to support the in regard to naturalization. Instead of Constitution of the United States he thrusting it upon reluctant immigrants would not know what it meant. The before they have shown any appreciacourt, with these facts in mind, consid- tion of its meaning or any desire to ered that this man was 'attached to the become genuine Americans, we should principles of the Constitution of the withhold it from the unfit, and when it United States.' With courts of last re- is mistakenly granted, we should cansort holding such views respecting the cel it as having been fraudulently obsacredness of citizenship; with presi- tained. In the era that may be apdents vetoing every proposal of Con- proaching, we dare not leave the keys gress to adopt a literacy test for immi- to our house in the hands of persons gration; with every corrupt political who, while taking advantage of our machine eager to increase the mass of hospitality, are meditating how to let stupid, ignorant, purchasable, criminal, in the enemy. We must begin to treat and generally indigestible electors, it American citizenship as a boon, to be is high time we began to look at the conferred only upon those fit to receive matter with a different eye.
it, capable of appreciating it, and willIn some countries, patriotism has be- ing to assume the sacred obligations come almost a disease; in the United that attend it. Hitherto we have deStates, since the inflated Fourth-of- graded it and rendered it contemptible July oration went out of fashion, love by bestowing it upon multitudes who of country has become almost a jest: had no conception of its meaning; and any one who uses the phrase is suspect- we have made it seem cheap and worthed of spouting. There, its abnormal less by hesitating to afford protection growth has made it the instrument of a to those entitled to claim its shelter. monstrous militarism; here, its neglect Having bestowed it as a precious thing has exposed us naked to the depreda- upon the deserving, instead of timortions of any nation which makes war ously and penuriously shirking its nathe supreme science.
tional obligations, and counting the It is the spiritual resources of a na- cost of making good its promises, we tion that give value to its material re- must make it respectable in the eyes of sources; of the two, the spiritual are the whole world.