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.
  • The ancient maxim in wartime was that we are always in the right and our enemies always in the wrong.
  • 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.
  • 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.

  • 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.
  • There were no resident ambassadors in Rome or Greece.
  • From the earliest times, the Pope had residents or legates at all European courts.
  • The merchants of one country had constant claims on the merchants of another country when:

  • They themselves were strangers in those countries.
  • 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.
  • Ferdinand of Spain established this practice.
  • This practice was soon copied.
  • Grotius' opinions are founded on the practice of ancient nations.
  • The custom of sending ambassadors preserves peace.
  • When any kind of dispute happens and the ambassador is recalled, you can have intelligence by your communication with other courts.
  • 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.
  • On the one hand were England, Holland, Hungary, Moscow etc.
  • The resident ambassadors of these nations:
  • They have power to advise and consult on matters, but not to determine any.
  • Post offices are of great importance for procuring intelligence because communication is open through all these countries, both in peace and war.
  • An ambassador’s person must:

  • If he contract debts or does any injury, a complaint must be made to his country.
  • The goods which an ambassador buys are not subject to any custom.
  • When an ambassador tries to disturb the peace by entering into conspiracies or the like, he may be imprisoned.
  • The ambassador's servants are also entitled to some considerable privileges.
  • 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.
  • Envoys were therefore sent, to:
  • Their dignity also soon advanced.
  • They continued for some time.

    A consul is a particular magistrate who is a judge of all matters relating to the merchants of his own country.

    These are the names and offices of the persons employed in the nation's foreign affairs created by the introduction of commerce.

    Thus we have considered both the laws of nature and the laws of nations.

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