Chapter 3: The Rights of Neutral Nations
Third, we next show what is due to neutral nations from the belligerent powers.
The rule of justice with respect to neutral nations is,
However, a neutral bottom will not protect the enemy's goods.The bottom's hostility does not forfeit the neutral power's goods.
- that they should suffer no injury as they have offended no party.
- In a war between France and England, the Dutch should have the liberty of trading to both countries, as in peacetime, because they have injured neither party.
- They can trade to any part of the country without molestation, unless when they:
- carry contraband goods, or
- are going to a besieged town.
The ancient maxim in wartime was that we are always in the right and our enemies always in the wrong.
- There is some difference between the practice of ancient and modern nations with respect tothe ius postliminii or the recovery of what was lost.
On this account, if a Carthaginian had sold to a Roman a Roman ship taken in war, the former owner took it back whenever he could, because it was unjustly taken from him on the above principle.
- Whatever is taken from the enemy is justly taken.
- Whatever is taken from us is unjustly taken.
- Now it is quite the opposite.
- We consider everything done in war as just and equitable.
- We do not demand nor take back any captures made in it.
- If an English ship were taken by the French and sold to the Dutch and came to a British harbour, the former British owner has no claim to her.
- For he had lost all hopes of it, when it had gone into the enemy's possession.
There is a very great difference in the conduct of belligerent nations towards a neutral nation in a land war, from what it is in a sea war.
When an army retreats and the conqueror pursues into a neutral nation, it often becomes the seat of war unless it has power to hold out both army and conqueror.
- This is more the effect of policy than humanity.
- Little or no satisfaction is given for damages;
- But in a sea war, a ship taken from the most inconsiderable neutral power is always restored because it injures their commerce more to take their ships than anything else
- But I think this is unsatisfactory because a land war hurts commerce more.
- The real reason is that a small country cannot assert its neutrality in a land war, but it can do so in a sea war.
- A small fort can oblige the greatest nation to respect its harbour's neutrality.
Chapter 4: The Rights of Ambassadors
When nations came to have a lot of business one with another, it became necessary to send messengers between them.
Anciently, there was little commerce between nations.
- They were the first ambassadors.
There were no resident ambassadors in Rome or Greece.
- Ambassadors were only sent on particular occasions.
- They were what we now call 'ambassadors extraordinary'.
- They returned home after their business was transacted.
From the earliest times, the Pope had residents or legates at all European courts.
- Their duty was just to conclude peace, make alliances, etc.
- Resident ambassadors were first employed in the beginning of the 17th century, by Ferdinand, King of Spain.
- Even the word 'ambassador' comes from the Spanish verb, ambassare, to send.
- The very same reason that makes embassies now so frequent, induced the Pope to use this method.
- He had business in all the European countries.
- Most of his revenue was collected from them.
- They were continually attempting to infringe the right he claimed.
- He found it necessary to have a person constantly residing at their courts, to see that his privileges were preserved.
- The Pope derived several advantages from this custom.
The merchants of one country had constant claims on the merchants of another country when:
They themselves were strangers in those countries.
- commerce was introduced into Europe, and
- the privileges of every country were settled, regarding the duties payable on goods in another country.
It became necessary to have one of their countrymen constantly residing at the courts of different nations to protect the rights of his fellow-subjects.Anciently, there was little intercourse with different nations.
- They would be very readily be injured.
- They often think themselves so.
Ferdinand of Spain established this practice.
- There was no need for resident ambassadors.
- But now, there is something to adjust between dealers almost everyday.
- Some person of weight and authority should be there.
- He should have access to the court, to prevent any quarrel.
This practice was soon copied.
- It initially gave great jealousy to the neighbouring nations to keep ambassadors residing at their courts.
- He pretended to have no right to do this.
- He found means of keeping his ambassador there, by:
- sending an ambassador on a certain occasion, and
- starting different questions.
Grotius' opinions are founded on the practice of ancient nations.
- It immediately became the universal custom of the European princes.
- It was reckoned a great affront not to send one.
The custom of sending ambassadors preserves peace.
- He declares against resident ambassadors.
- He calls them resident spies.
- But if he had lived in the present age, he would have found that extensive commerce renders it impossible to preserve peace in a month, unless grievances are redressed by a man of authority, who:
- knows the country's customs of the country, and
- is capable of explaining what injuries are really done.
When any kind of dispute happens and the ambassador is recalled, you can have intelligence by your communication with other courts.
- By giving intelligence, it prevents one country from being invaded by another without notice.
- Your ambassador there will be informed, because ambassadors generally are acquainted with all the business in Europe.
One country might attain some kind of preeminence by its ambassador's influence and assiduity.
Every sovereign had enough to do within his own dominions.
- For a long time, no attention was given to it.
- That balance of power has been recently so much talked of.
- It was never heard of before.
On the one hand were England, Holland, Hungary, Moscow etc.
- He has little attention on foreign powers.
- Before the institution of residents, they had little intelligence.
- But ever since the beginning of the 16th century, the European nations were divided into two great alliances.
The resident ambassadors of these nations:
- On the other, were France, Spain, Prussia, Denmark, Sweden, etc.
- In this way, a kind of alliance was kept up.
- Sometimes one nation left one side and another joined it, as at present Prussia is with England, and Hungary on the other side.
- This kind of system was established in Italy around the 15th century among the great families there.
They have power to advise and consult on matters, but not to determine any.
- hinder any one country from domineering over another by sea or land, and
- are formed into a kind of council similar to that of the Amphictyons in ancient Greece.
Post offices are of great importance for procuring intelligence because communication is open through all these countries, both in peace and war.
- By combining, they can threaten any one country which:
- pretends to superiority, or
- makes an unreasonable demand.
- It makes commerce easy and gives notice of every movement.
An ambassador’s person must:
If he contract debts or does any injury, a complaint must be made to his country.
- be sacred, and
- not subject to any of the courts of justice in the country where he resides.
The goods which an ambassador buys are not subject to any custom.
- When the Dutch arrested the Russian ambassador in 1718, it was complained of as a violation of the laws of nations.
When an ambassador tries to disturb the peace by entering into conspiracies or the like, he may be imprisoned.
- A sovereign would be exempted from taxes, so must his ambassador who represents him
The ambassador's servants are also entitled to some considerable privileges.
- His house is considered as an asylum for offenders:
- by way of compliment, and
- to keep up an ambassador's dignity.
- However, he must:
- be cautious of this privilege, and
- extend his authority only to the protection of debtors and small delinquents
- Because the right will be broken through if he harbours those guilty of capital crimes.
- If they have contracted debts, they may be arrested.
- But this is never done voluntarily.
All the words that signify those persons employed by one court at another are derived from the Spanish language.
Ambassadors were obliged to keep up much ceremony.
- The Spanish court was then the most ceremonious in the world.
- Spanish dress was everywhere affected.
Envoys were therefore sent, to:
- They were hindered in the prosecution of their business.
- A man that has to negotiate matters of the highest importance could not spend much time in the endless ceremony of paying and returning visits.
Their dignity also soon advanced.
- whom less ceremony was due, and
- those that could be addressed on any occasion.
- It incapacitated them to transact business.
They continued for some time.
- They were called resident ambassadors ordinary.
- They were inferior to the ambassadors extraordinary.
- Below this rank is the minister.
- He resides in the country on account of his own business.
- He can transact any little business of his country.
A consul is a particular magistrate who is a judge of all matters relating to the merchants of his own country.
- He takes care to do them justice in those places where it may not be very accurately administered.
These are the names and offices of the persons employed in the nation's foreign affairs created by the introduction of commerce.
- It has now become absolutely necessary.
Thus we have considered both the laws of nature and the laws of nations.