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representative local government and was not represented in Congress—but is, whether the particular tax in question was levied in such form as to cause it to be repugnant to the Constitution. This is to be resolved by answering the inquiry, Had Porto Rico, at the time of the passage of the act in question, been incorporated into and become an integral part of the United States?
On the one hand, it is affirmed that, although Porto Rico had been ceded by the treaty with Spain to the United States, the cession was accompanied by such conditions as prevented that island from becoming an integral part of the United States, at least, temporarily, and until Congress had so determined. On the other hand, it is insisted that by the fact of cession to the United States alone, irrespective of any conditions found in the treaty, Porto Rico became a part of the United States, and was incorporated into it. It is incompatible with the Constitution, it is argued, for the government of the United States to accept a cession of territory from a foreign country without complete incorporation following as an immediate result, and therefore it is contended that it is immaterial to inquire what were the conditions of the cession, since if there were any which were intended to prevent incorporation they were repugnant to the Constitution and void. The result of the argument is that the government of the United States is absolutely without power to acquire and hold territory as property or as appurtenant to the United States. These conflicting contentions are asserted to be sanctioned by many adjudications of this court and by various acts of the executive and legislative branches of the government; both sides, in many instances, referring to the same decisions and to the like acts, but deducing contrary conclusions from them. From this it comes to pass that it will be impossible to weigh the authorities relied upon without ascertaining the subject matter to which they refer, in order to determine their proper influence. For this reason, in the orderly discussion of the controversy, I propose to consider the subject from the Constitution itself, as a matter of first impression, from that instrument as illustrated by the history of the government, and as construed by the previous decisions of this court. By this process, if accurately carried out, it will follow that the true solution of the question will be ascertained, both deductively and inductively, and the result, besides, will be adequately proven.
It may not be doubted that by the general principles of the law of nations every government which is sovereign within its sphere of action possess as an inherent attribute the power to acquire territory by discovery, by agreement or treaty, and by conquest. It cannot also be gainsaid that as a general rule wherever a government acquires territory as a result of any of the modes above stated, the relation of the territory to the new government is to be determined by the acquiring power in the absence of stipulations upon the subject. These general principles of the law of nations are thus stated by Halleck in his treatise on international law, page 126:
“A state may acquire property or domain in various ways; its title may be acquired originally by mere occupancy, and confirmed by the presumption arising from the lapse of time; or by discovery and lawful possession; or by conquest, confirmed by treaty or tacit consent; or by grant, cession, purchase or exchange; in fine, by any of the recognized modes by which private property is acquired by individuals. It is not our object to enter into any general discussion of these several modes of acquisition, any further than may be necessary to distinguish the character of certain rights of property which are the peculiar objects of international jurisprudence. (Wheaton, Elm. Int. Law, pt. 2, ch. 4, secs. 1, 4, 5; Phillimore on Int. Law, vol. 1, secs. 221–217; Grotius, de Jur. Bel. ac. Pac., lib. 2, cap. 4; Vattel, Droit des Gens, liv. 2, chs. 7 and 11; Rutherforth, Institutes, b. 1, ch. 3; b. 2, ch. 9; Puffendorf, de Jur. Nat. et Gent., lib. 4, chs. 4, 5, 6; Moser, Versuch, etc., b. 5, cap. 9; Martens, Precis du Droit des Gens, sec. 35 et seq.; Schmaltz, Droit des Gens, liv. 4, ch. 1; Kluber, Droit des Gens, secs. 125, 126; Heffter, Droit International, sec. 76; Ortolan, Domaine International, secs. 53, et seq.; Bowyer, Universal Public Law, ch. 28; Bello, Derecho Internacional, pt. 1, cap. 4; Riquelme, Derecho, Pub. Int., lib. 1, tit. 1, cap. 2; Burlamaqui, Droit de la Nat. et des Gens, tome 4, pt. 3, ch. 5.)”
Speaking of a change of sovereignty, Halleck says (pp. 76, 814):
“Ch. III, Sec. 23. The sovereignty of a state may be lost in various ways. It may be vanquished by a foreign power, and become incorporated into the conquering state as a province or as one of its component parts; or it may voluntarily unite itself with another in such a way that its independent existence as a state will entirely cease.”
“Ch. XXXIII, Sec. 3. If the hostile nation be subdued and the entire state conquered, a question arises as to the manner in which the conqueror may treat it without transgressing the just bounds established by the rights of conquest. If he simply replaces the former sovereign, and, on the submission of the people, governs them according to the laws of the State, they can have no cause of complaint. Again, if he incorporates them with his former states, giving to them the rights, privileges and immunities of his own subjects, he does for them all that is due from a humane and equitable conqueror to his vanquished foes. But if the conquered are a fierce, savage and restless people, he may, according to the degree of their indocility, govern them with a tighter rein, so as to curb their “impetuosity, and to keep them under subjection. Moreover, the rights of conquest may, in certain cases, justify him in imposing a tribute or other burthen, either a compensation for the expenses of the war or as a punishment for the injustice he has suffered from them. . . . (Vattel, Droit des Gens., liv. 3, ch. 13, 201; Curtis, History, &c., liv. 7, cap. 8; Grotius, de Jur. Bel. ac Pac., lib. 3, caps. 8, 15; Puffendorf, de Jur. Nat. et Gent., lib 8, cap. 6, § 24; Real, Science du Gouvernement, tome 5, ch. 2, § 5; Heffter, Droit International, $ 124; Abegg. Untersuchungen. &c., p. 86.)”
In American Ins. Co. v. Canter, (1 Pet. 511,) the general doctrine
was thus summarized, in the opinion delivered by Mr. Chief Justice Marshall (p. 542):
“If it (conquered territory) be ceded by the treaty, the acquisition is confirmed, and the ceded territory becomes a part of the nation to which it is annexed, either on the terms stipulated in the treaty of cession or on such as its new master shall impose.”
When our forefathers threw off their allegiance to Great Britain and established a republican government, assuredly they deemed that the nation which they called into being was endowed with those general powers to acquire territory which all independent governments in virtue of their sovereignty enjoyed. This is demonstrated by the concluding paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, which reads as follows:
“As free and independent States, they (the United States of America] have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do.”
That under the confederation it was considered that the government of the United States had authority to acquire territory like any other sovereignty, is clearly established by the eleventh of the articles of confederation.
The decisions of this court leave no room for question that, under the Constitution, the government of the United States, in virtue of its sovereignty, supreme within the sphere of its delegated power, has the full right to acquire territory enjoyed by every other sovereign nation.
In American Insurance Co. v. Canter, (1 Pet. 511,) the court, by Mr. Chief Justice Marshall, said (p. 542):
“The Constitution confers absolutely on the government of the Union the powers of making war, and of making treaties; consequently, that government possesses the power of acquiring territory, either by conquest or by treaty.”
In United States v. Huckabee, (1872) 16 Wall. 414, the court, speaking through Mr. Justice Clifford, said (p. 434):
“ Power to acquire territory either by conquest or treaty is vested by the Constitution in the United States. Conquered territory, however, is usually held as a mere military occupation until the fate of the nation from which it is conquered is determined, but if the nation is entirely subdued, or in case it be destroyed and ceases to exist, the right of occupation becomes permanent, and the title vest absolutely in the conqueror. (American Ins. Co. v. Canter, 1 Pet. 511; Hogsheads of Sugar v. Boyle, 9 Cranch, 195; Shanks v. Dupont, 3 Pet. 246; United States v. Rice, 4 Wheat. 254; The Amy Warwick, 2 Sprague, 143; Johnson v. McIntosh, 8 Wheat. 588.) Complete conquest, by whatever mode it may be perfected, carries with it all the rights of the former government, or, in other words, the conqueror, by the completion of his conquest, becomes the absolute owner of the property conquered from the enemy, nation or state. His rights are no longer limited to mere occupation of what he has taken into his actual possession, but they extend to all the property and rights of the conquered state, including even debts as well as personal and real property. (Halleck, International Law, 839; Elphinstone v. Bedreechund, 1 Knapp's Privy Council Cases, 329; Vattel, 365; 3 Phillimore's International Law, 505.)”
In Mormon Church v. United States, (1889) 136 U. S. 1, Mr. Justice Bradley, announcing the opinion of the court, declared (p. 42):
"The power to acquire territory, other than the territory northwest of the Ohio River, (which belonged to the United States at the adoption of the Constitution,) is derived from the treaty-making power and the power to declare and carry on war. The incidents of these powers are those of national sovereignty, and belong to all independent governments. The power to make acquisitions of territory by conquest, by treaty and by cession is an incident of national sovereignty. The Territory of Louisiana, when acquired from France, and the territories west of the Rocky Mountains, when acquired from Mexico, became the absolute property and domain of the United States, subject to such conditions as the government, in its diplomatic negotiations, had seen fit to accept relating to the rights of the people then inhabiting those territories.'
Indeed, it is superfluous to cite authorities establishing the right of the government of the United States to acquire territory, in view of the possession of the Northwest Territory when the Constitution was framed and the cessions to the general government by various States subsequent to the adoption of the Constitution, and in view also of the vast extension of the territory of the United States brought about since the existence of the Constitution by substantially every form of acquisition known to the law of nations. Thus, in part at least, "the title of the United States to Oregon was founded upon original discovery and actual settlement of citizens of the United States, authorized or approved by the government of the United States.” (Shively v. Bowlby, 152 U. S. 50.) The Province of Louisiana was ceded by France in 1803; the Floridas were transferred by Spain in 1819; Texas was admitted into the Union by compact with Congress in 1845; California and New Mexico were acquired by the treaty with Mexico of 1848, and other western territory from Mexico by the treaty of 1853; numerous islands have been brought within the dominion of the United States under the authority of the act of August 18, 1856, c. 164, usually designated as the Guano Islands act, re-enacted in Revised Statutes, sections 5570–5578; Alaska was ceded by Russia in 1867; Medway Island, the western end of the Hawaiian group, 1,200 miles from Honolulu, was acquired in 1867, and $50,000 was expended in efforts to make it a naval station; on the renewal of a treaty with Hawaii, November 9, 1887, Pearl Harbor was leased for a permanent naval station; by joint resolution of Congress the Hawaiian Islands came under the sovereignty of the United States in 1898; and on April 30, 1900, an act for the government of Hawaii was approved, by which the Hawaiian Islands were given the status of an incorporated territory; on May 21, 1890, there was proclaimed by the President an agreement, concluded and signed with Germany and Great Britain, for the joint administration of the Samoan Islands (26 Stat. 1497); and, on February 16, 1900, (31 Stat. —-,) there was proclaimed a convention between the United States, Germany and Great Britain, by which Germany and Great Britain renounced in favor of the United States all their rights and claims over and in respect to the Island of Tutuilla and all other islands of the Samoan group east of longitude 171° west of Greenwich. And finally the treaty with Spain which terminated the recent war was ratified.
It is worthy of remark that, beginning in the administration of President Jefferson, the acquisitions of foreign territory above referred to were largely made whilst that political party was in power, which announced, as its fundamental tenet, the duty of strictly construing the Constitution, and it is true to say that all shades of political opinion have admitted the power to acquire and lent their aid to its accomplishment. And the power has been asserted in instances where it has not been exercised. Thus, during the administration of President Pierce, in 1854, a draft of a treaty for the annexation of Hawaii was agreed upon, but, owing to the death of the King of the Hawaiian Islands, was not executed. The second article of the proposed treaty provided as follows (Ex. Doc. Senate, 55th Congress, 2d sess., Report No. 681, Calendar No. 747, p. 91):
"The Kingdom of the Hawaiian Islands shall be incorporated into the American Union as a State, enjoying the same degree of sovereignty as other States, and admitted as such as soon as it can be done in consistency with the principles and requirements of the Federal Constitution, to all the rights, privileges and immunities of a State as aforesaid, on a perfect equality with the other States of the Union.”
It is insisted, however, conceding the right of the government of the United States to acquire territory, as all such territory when acquired becomes absolutely incorporated into the United States, every provision of the Constitution which would apply under that situation is controlling in such acquired territory. This, however, is but to admit the power to acquire and immediately to deny its beneficial existence.
The general principle of the law of nations, already stated, is that acquired territory, in the absence of agreement to the contrary, will bear such relation to the acquiring government as may be by it determined. To concede to the government of the United States the right to acquire and to strip it of all power to protect the birthright of its own citizens and to provide for the well-being of the acquired territory by such enactments as may in view of its condition be essential, is, in effect, to say that the United States is helpless in the family of