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500 book iii: of war band their troops. If, in a time of profound peace, a prince was disposed to keep up any considerable number of forces, his neighbours tooktheir measures accordingly, formed leagues against him, and obliged him to disarm. Why has not that salutary custom been preserved? The constant maintenance of numerous armies deprives the soil of its cultivators, checks the progress of population, and can only serve to destroy the liberties of the nation by whom they are maintained. Happy England! whose situation exempts it from any considerable charge in supporting the instruments of despotism. Happy Switzerland! if, continuing carefully to exercise her militia, she keeps herself in a condition to repel any foreign enemies, without feeding a host of idle soldiers who might one day crush the liberties of the people, and even bid defiance to the lawful authority of the sovereign. Of this the Roman legions furnish a signal instance. This happy method of afree republic,—thecustomof training upall her citizenstotheartof war,—rendersthestaterespectableabroad, and saves it from a very pernicious defect at home. It would have been every-where imitated, had the public good been every-where the only object in view. Sufficient has now been said on the general principles for estimating the justice of a war. Those who are thoroughly acquainted withtheprinciples , and have just ideas of the various rights of nations, will easily apply the rules to particular cases. chapter iv Of the Declaration of War,— and of War in due form. The right of making war belongs to nations only as a remedy against injustice: it is the offspring of unhappy necessity. This remedy is so dreadful in its effects, so destructive to mankind, so grievous even to the party whohas recoursetoit,thatunquestionablythelawof natureallows of it only in the last extremity,—that is to say, when every other expedient proves ineffectual for the maintenance of justice. It is demon-§51. Declaration of war. chapter iv 501 strated in the foregoing chapter, that, in order to be justifiable in taking up arms, it is necessary—1. That we have a just cause of complaint. 2. That a reasonable satisfaction have been denied us. 3. The ruler of the nation, as we have observed, ought maturely to consider whether it be for the advantage of the state to prosecute his right by force of arms. But all this is not sufficient. As it is possible that the present fear of our arms may make an impression on the mind of our adversary, and induce him to do us justice,—we owe this farther regard to humanity, and especially to the lives and peace of the subjects, to declare to that unjust nation, or its chief, that we are at length going to have recourse to the last remedy, and make use of open force for the purpose of bringinghim to reason. This is called declaring war. All this is included in the Roman manner of proceeding, regulated in their fecial law. They first sent the chief of the feciales or heralds, called pater patratus, to demand satisfaction of the nation who had offended them; and if within the space of thirty-three days that nation did not return a satisfactory answer, the herald called the gods to be witnesses of the injustice, and came away, saying that the Romans would consider what measures they should adopt. The king, and in after times the consul, hereupon asked the senate ’s opinion; and when war was resolved on, the herald was sent back to the frontier, where he declared it.* It is surprising to find among the Romans such justice, such moderation and prudence, atatimetoowhen apparently nothing but courage and ferocity was to be expected from them. By such scrupulous delicacy in the conduct of her wars, Rome laid a most solid foundation for her subsequent greatness. A declaration of war being necessary as a further effort to terminate the difference without the effusion of blood, by making use of the principle of fear in order to bring the enemy tomoreequitablesentiments,— it ought, at the same time that it announces our settled resolution of making war, to set forth the reasons which have induced us to take up arms. This is at present the constant practice among the powers of Europe. * Livy, lib. i. cap. 31. Necessity thereof.§52. What it is to contain. 502 book iii: of war After a fruitless application for justice, a nation may proceed to a declaration of war, which...


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