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469 the LAW of NATIONS u b o o k i i i u Of War chapter i Of War,—its different Kinds,— and the Right of making War. War is that state in which we prosecute our right by force. We also understand , by this term, the act itself, or the manner of prosecuting our right by force: but it is more conformable to general usage, and more proper in a treatise on the law of war, to understand this term in the sense we have annexed to it. Public war is that which takes place between nations or sovereigns, and which is carried on in the name of the public power, andbyitsorder. This is the war we are here to consider:—private war, or that which is carried on between private individuals, belongs to the law of nature properly so called. In treating of therighttosecurity(Book II.Chap. IV.)wehaveshewn that nature gives men a right to employ force, when it is necessary for their defence, and for the preservation of their rights. This principle is generally acknowledged: reason demonstrates it; and nature herself has§1. Definition of war.§2. Public war.§3. Right of making war. 470 book iii: of war engraved it on the heart of man. Some fanatics indeed, taking in a literal sense the moderation recommended in the gospel, have adopted the strange fancy of suffering themselves to be massacred or plundered, ra- ther than oppose force to violence. But we need not fear that this error will make any great progress. The generality of mankind will, of themselves, guard against its contagion,—happy, if they as well knew how to keep within the just bounds which nature has set to a right that is granted only through necessity! To mark those just bounds,—and, by the rules of justice, equity, and humanity, to moderate the exercise of that harsh though too often necessary right,—is the intention of this third book. As nature has given men no right to employ force, unless when it becomes necessary for self-defence and the preservation of their rights (Book II. §49, &c.), the inference is manifest, that, since the establishment of political societies, a right, so dangerous in its exercise, no longer remains with private persons, except in those rencounters where society cannot protect or defend them. In the bosom of society, the public authority decides all the disputes of the citizens, represses violence, and checks every attempt to do ourselves justice with our own hands. If a private person intends to prosecute his right against the subject of a foreign power, he may apply to the sovereign of his adversary, or to the magistrates invested with the public authority: and if he is denied justice by them, he must have recourse to his own sovereign, who is obliged to protect him. It would be too dangerous to allow every citizen the liberty of doing himself justice against foreigners; as, in that case, there would not be a single member of the state who might not involve it in war. And how could peace be preserved between nations, if it were in the power of every private individual to disturb it? A right of so momentous a nature,—the right of judging whether the nation has real grounds of complaint,—whether she is authorised to employ force, and justifiable in taking up arms,—whether prudence will admit of such a step,—and whether the welfare of the state requires it,—that right, I say, can belong only to the body of the nation, or to the sovereign, her representative. It is doubtless one of those rights, withoutwhichtherecanbenosalutary government, and which are therefore called rights of majesty (Book I.§45).§4. It belongs only to the sovereign power. chapter i 471 Thus the sovereign power alone is possessed of authoritytomakewar. But as the differentrights whichconstitutethispower,originallyresident in the body of the nation, may be separated or limited according to the will of the nation (Book I. §§31 and 45), it is from the particular constitution of each state, that we are to learn where the power resides, that is authorised to make war in the name of the society at large. The kings of England, whose power is in other respects so limited, have the right of making war and peace.* Those of Sweden have lost it. The brilliant but ruinous exploits of Charles XII.1 suffici-ently warranted the states of that kingdom to reserve to themselves...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781614878728
Related ISBN
9780865974517
MARC Record
OCLC
466082934
Pages
896
Launched on MUSE
2013-06-27
Language
English
Open Access
No
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