restricted access Chapter II - Treaties of Peace
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chapter ii 655 Finally, if the enemy obstinately rejects equitable conditions, hehimself forces us to continue our progress till we have obtained a complete and decisive victory, by which he is absolutely reduced and subjected. The use to be made of victory has been shewn above (Book III. Chap. VIII. IX. XIII.). When one of the parties is reduced to sue for peace, or both are weary of the war, then thoughts of an accommodation are entertained, and the conditions are agreed on. Thus peace steps in, and puts a period to the war. The general and necessary effects of peace are the reconciliation of enemies, and the cessation of hostilities on both sides. It restores thetwo nations to their natural state. chapter ii Treaties of Peace. When the belligerent powers have agreed to lay down their arms, the agreement or contract in which they stipulate the conditions of peace, and regulate the manner in which it is to be restored and supported, is called the treaty of peace. The same power who has the right of making war, of determining on it, of declaring it, and of directing its operations, has naturally that likewise of making and concluding the treaty of peace. These two powers are connected together, and the latter naturally follows from the former . If the ruler of the state is empowered to judge of the causes and reasons for which war is to be undertaken,—of the time and circumstances proper for commencing it,—of the manner in which it is to be supported and carried on,—it is therefore his province alsotosetbounds to its progress, to point out the time when it shall be discontinued, and to conclude a peace. But this power does not necessarily include that of granting or accepting whatever conditions he pleases, with a view to peace. Though the state has intrusted to the prudence of her ruler the general care of determining on war and peace, yet she may have limited§7. Peace the end of war.§8. General effects of peace.§9. Definition of a treaty of peace.§10. By whom it may be concluded. 656 book iv: restoration of peace; embassies his power in many particulars by the fundamental laws. Thus Francis the First, king of France, had the absolute disposal of war and peace: and yet the assembly of Cognac declared that he had no authority to alienate any part of the kingdom by a treaty of peace. (See BookI.§265.) A nation that has the free disposal of her domestic affairs, and of the form of her government, may intrust a single person or anassemblywith the power of making peace, although she has not given them that of making war. Of this we have an instance in Sweden, where, since the death of Charles XII.3 the king cannot declare war without the consent of the states assembled in diet; but he may make peace in conjunction with the senate. It is less dangerous for a nation to intrust her rulers with this latter power, than with the former. She may reasonably expect that they will not make peace till it suits with the interest of the state. But their passions, their own interest, their private views, toooften influence their resolutions when there is question of undertaking a war. Besides, it must be a very disadvantageous peace indeed, that is not preferable to war; whereas, on the other hand, to exchange peace for war, is always very hazardous. When a prince who is possessed only of limited authority has a power to make peace, as he cannot of himself grant whatever conditions he pleases, it is incumbent on those who wish to treat with him on sure grounds, to require that the treaty of peace be ratified by the nation, or by those who are empowered to perform the stipulations contained in it. If, for instance, any potentate, in negotiating a treaty of peace with Sweden, requires a defensive alliance or guaranty as the condition, this stipulation will not be valid, unless approved and accepted by the diet, who alone have the power of carrying it into effect. The kings of England are authorised to conclude treaties of peace and alliance; but they cannot, by those treaties, alienate any of the possessions of the crown without the consent of parliament. Neither can they, without the concurrence of that body, raise any money in the kingdom: wherefore, whenever they conclude any subsidiary treaty, it is their constant...


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Subject Headings

  • International law.
  • War (International law).
  • Natural law.
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