The Government Class Book eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 386 pages of information about The Government Class Book.

Sec.12.  Consuls are not entitled to the privilege enjoyed by ministers, but are subject to the laws of the country in which they reside.  Their principal duties have been described. (Chap.  XL, Sec.9.) The office of consul has been found to be one of great utility; hence, every trading nation has a consul in every considerable commercial port in the world.  As in the case of ministers, consuls carry a certificate of their appointment, and must be acknowledged as consuls by the government of the country in which they reside, before they can perform any duties pertaining to their office.

Chapter LXV.

Offensive and Defensive War; just Causes and Objects of War; Reprisals; Alliances in War.

Sec.1.  Wars are offensive and defensive.  The use of force to obtain justice for injuries done, is offensive war.  The making use of force against any power that attacks a nation or its privileges, is defensive war.  A war may be defensive in its principles, though offensive in its operation.  For example:  one nation is preparing to invade another; but before the threatened invasion takes place, the latter attacks the former as the best mode of repelling the invasion.  In this case, the party making the attack acts on the defensive. (Sec.10.) The contending parties are called belligerents.  The word belligerent is from the Latin bellum, war, and gero, to wage or carry on.  Nations that take no part in the contest, are called neutrals.

Sec.2.  War ought never to be undertaken without the most cogent reasons.  In the first place, there must be a right to make war, and just grounds for making it.  Nations have no right to employ force any further than is necessary for their own defense, and for the maintenance of their rights.  Secondly, it should be made from proper motives, the good of the state, and the safety and common advantage of the citizens.  Hence, there may be, according to the law of nations, just cause of war, when it would be inexpedient to involve the nation in such a calamity.

Sec.3.  The numerous objects of a lawful war may be reduced to these three:  (1.) To recover what belongs to us, or to obtain satisfaction for injuries. (2.) To provide for our future safety by punishing the offender. (3.) To defend or protect ourselves from injury by repelling unjust attacks.  The first and second are objects of an offensive war; the third is that of a defensive war.

Sec.4.  Injury to an individual citizen of a state, by the subjects of another state, is deemed a just cause of war, if the persons offending, or the government of the state to which they belong, do not make reparation for the injury; for every nation is responsible for the good behavior of its subjects.  But, although this would, according to the law of nations, afford justifiable cause of war, neither the honor nor the true interest of a nation requires that war should always be made for so slight a cause.

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The Government Class Book from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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