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1364. TREATIES of alliance or federation may constitute, as already appears, a relation less close than that of entire concurrence in actual war. Nations may contract for a general combination in a war either offensive or defensive, or they may contract only for such combination under contingencies or conditions which may not have arisen; the contract may be for limited assistance or subsidy in a war with any nation, or with a particular nation, in certain eventualities, with a stipulated naval or military force, and with conditional increase or diminution under other circumstances.
1365. Whatever be the effect of these treaties, the contracting parties are bound to perform them. Nations are assumed to be acquainted with the treaties and conventions existing between others, as well as those to which they are parties ; although it does happen that there are sometimes secret stipulations not in conformity with international faith.
1366. Each of two bellicose nations making their preparations has to consider the position of other nations, whether any of them are bound by treaties of alliance, or of subsidy or assistance, which may qualify the neutrality which it would be their duty otherwise to observe. For if his contemplated adversary A. has contracted with nation B. for the aid of 20,000 troops, and with nation C. for the assistance of twenty ships of war, and limited stores in ammunition and arms, he must be content to encounter those forces of B. and C. confederated with his enemy, and to fight their vessels which convey such contraband of war; and yet in all other respects to regard B. and C. as his friends, or to abstain from the contest, or he must prepare for battle with all the forces of the confederation. The contract of a nation to supply munitions of war does not protect its subjects in resisting the search for, and seizure of, contraband. The subjects must observe strict neutrality.
1367. It is possible that inconsiderate treaties may have involved a prince in intricate complications; they may entangle him in the obligation to afford limited assistance to each of the contending parties. If so, the fuith of treaty must not be violated. But his troops are not to confront each other in battle, like the divided bands of hired condottieri. Are his own regiments to encounter each other in the deadly charge ? Are his own crews to board and destroy his own vessels ? Necessity requires that he should only aid, with the amount of the difference in forces, that one of the contracting nations which was entitled to demand the most extensive assistance; and if the amount stipulated to each be equal, he performs his contract by remaining absolutely neuter.
1368. A neutral under such conventions with one of the belligerents violates his neutrality by affording an assistance in excess of what he is bound to afford. But so long as he confines his assistance to the quota which he bas contracted to furnish, in soldiers, ships, or supplies, the belligerent, whatever his damage, is not entitled to complain. As to the military outfit, the confederate is an ally of the belligerent he aids, and an enemy of the adversary; in all other respects he is the friend of both. The expedition which he furnishes in vessels and men is an element of the war, a part of his confederate belligerent's force, to assault and slaughter the adverse belligerent's forces, and to encounter the hazard of destruction and defeat; in all other respects the confederate is a neutral, and all his amicable relations with both of the belligerents remain undisturbed. The condition of a confederate is ever a precarious state.
1369. Under the head of confederacy must also be ranked the conventions containing stipulations by which the con
tracting Powers secure to each other any privileges inconsistent with their strict neutrality towards other Powers, in the eventuality of a war in which either of the contracting parties may be engaged, such as transit across their territories or maritime dominions ; to advance against, or pursue, or to retreat, or take refuge from the adverse belligerent; permission to hire or enlist soldiers or sailors; to fit out or arm, or increase the armaments of vessels of war; to supply with arms, to introduce and sell prizes in its ports; or any military advantage or convenience which is to be denied to the adversary; in fact, any stipulation inconsistent with the normal condition of a strictly neutral nation.
Such conditions constitute valid qualifications of neutrality, and must be respected by the belligerents, on the ground that they are known conditions on which they enter upon hostilities. Therefore secret conventions of that character are unlawful, especially if made on the eve of, and in anticipation of, a war.
1370. But nations are not bound by the classifications of authors. They are not obliged to abstain from considering the justice of the war, or how their interests may be affected, although they are bound to act as if both belligerents were justified, so long as they continue neutral. Each nation may on the outbreak, or at any period of the war, declare that she will assist, or permit her subjects to assist, one of the belligerents; and that she will not assist, or permit her subjects to assist, the other. She has a right to assert the freedom of her commerce, and to declare that, in defiance of the cruisers of either belligerent, her merchant ships shall traverse the ocean unquestioned and unsearched, and that they shall enter the blockaded ports uninterrupted and unassailed. She has a right to interdict the interference of the ships of war of either belligerent, or of both. The belligerents must accept the conditions under penalty of additional warfare. Neither of them has a better right to quarrel than all other nations have, separately or combined, to determine and to alter the attitude they will assume, and the extent to which they will endure the disturbance occasioned by the quarrel.
1371. The neutralization of a country or district differs from neutrality. It is a condition in which the country or place is put by compact between several nations. The state of each neutralized country depends upon the special terms of the compact of its neutralization. It in general loses some of the powers of independent action, and is compensated by the protection of the Powers which have taken part in that compact, and often by the privilege of immunity from hostilities. Of course, it cannot by any compact be deprived of the right of self-defence against insult or invasion.
1372. Switzerland is placed in this condition by the final Act of the Congress of Vienna, March 20, 1815, and the declaration signed at Paris on November 20, 1815; by which England, Austria, France, Russia, and Prussia recognized the perpetual neutrality of Switzerland, and guaranteed the integrity and inviolability of her limits as then settled.
1373. The perpetual neutrality of Belgium was, on its severance from the Netherlands, secured by the five great Powers of Europe, and made an essential condition of her independence.
1374. In 1815, the Congress of Vienna declared the city of Cracow, with its territory, a perpetually free, independent, and neutral state, under the joint protection of Austria, Prussia, and Russia, on certain conditions. How these conditions have been observed, or how the protection has been afforded, and whether the subsequent treatment of this city is in accordance with the law of nations or the spirit of the declaration, are subjects beyond the limits of this treatise.
1375. The Black Sea has been, as already stated, placed in a state of neutrality as a part of the ocean, with the exclusion of any considerable maritime force.
1376. Turkey is not in precisely the situation of a neutralized nation, but her position is rendered peculiar by the treaty from which extracts have been already given.
1377. By the treaty between England and the United States, April 19, 1850, as to the then projected ship-canal across the Isthmus of Central America, it was stipulated (art. 2) that vessels of Great Britain or the United States traversing the canal should, in case of war between the contracting parties, be exempted from blockade, detention, or capture by either of the belligerents; and it was agreed that this provision should extend to such a distance from the two ends of the canal as it might thereafter be found expedient to establish. The 5th article provides for the protection of the canal, and that it shall be for ever open and free, on equal terms. The 8th article provides that, should a railway be constructed, it should be protected and open on equal terms to subjects of all nations.
SECTION 1. RIGHTS AND DUTIES.
1378. The war has broken forth, and each nation has determined, at least temporarily, the position it will assume. The rights and duties of the neutrals with reference to the