Page images

book that the subject of treaties, on which Vattel was the greatest living exponent in his age, is treated at length. It is not possible to deal with his special branch of law here, but Vattel's treatment of it •is not likely to be forgotten. His advocacy of arbitration is likewise of very real importance, and may be of more value in the future than during the last century and a half.

The Third Book deals with war, which Vattel defines as "cet etnt dans lequel on poursuit son droit par la force." Public war comes within the law of nature. Nature gives men a right to employ force when it is necessary for their defense, and for the preservation of their rights. But, as we have seen, society takes upon itself this duty and so has, for the time being, extinguished the right of private war. Thus the sovereign power alone has the right to make war. For this purpose he has the right to raise troops, and every citizen is bound to serve and defend the State so far as he is capable. No person is naturally exempt from taking up arms in defense of the State. But war must be just. The right of making war belongs to nations only as a remedy against injustice. Here once more Vattel gives us the ideal for the real. He knew well enough that wars on behalf of right and justice have been rare enough. He tells us of no remedy against unjust war. The only remedy is that great Republic of which Wolff dreamed and which today is again in the minds of men. But so insistent is Vattel on the necessity of maintaining peace that he insists on the necessity of a formal declaration of war—a res pacnitentiae, so to speak. It is noticeable that this jurist gives us no lengthy discussion of the vexed problems of neutrality. His definition of contraband is, however, of real value: "Les choscs qui sont d'un usage particulier pour la guerre, et dont on empeche le transport chez I'ennemi, s'appellent marchandises de contrebande." He goes on to deal with the rights of nations iu war forbidding assassination and the use of poison; with faith between enemies, acquisition by war, the right of postliminium, the rights of private persons in war; and, lastly, convention in war. The Fourth and last book deals with the Restoration of Peace and Embassies. The question of the asylum offered by an ambassador's house is discussed with care.

Le Droit Des Gens is certainly a work of the first magnitude. It modernized the whole theory and business of International Law, brought it out of the study into the field, the mart, the councilchamber, and the palace. The law of nations was no longer a mystery. One of its most brilliant practical exponents became its popularizes He did, indeed, much for nations, for he imposed upon them theories of moral rational development up to which it became, in a sense, necessary for them to live. The ideals which he placed before the nations of the world, high though they were, might possibly have been higher. Vattel was a practical man, and he brought his doctrines into the domain of practical life. To have done this is in itself an achievement that will immortalize his name. But Vattel was far more than a practical man. He was a thinker of great distinction and of great honesty, and he possessed what few thinkers of that age possessed—a profound religious faith. If he has no other lesson for our age he has this: that the limits of human speculation are narrow, while the range of faith is infinite, and that man may choose the range of faith with perfect reasonableness for the purpose of determining his conduct.


The Monroe Doctrine: An Interpretation. By Alrert Bdshnell Hart, Ph. D., Litt. D., LL. D. Boston: Little, Brown & Co. 1916.

This timely treatise from the prolific pen of the Professor of the Science of Government in Harvard University will doubtless long remain the most authoritative and comprehensive discussion of the Monroe Doctrine. The field covered is indeed broader than the title; the entire area of the diplomatic and international relations of the United States in so far as they have to do with Latin-America is brought under review. Excursions are even made into the regions of the Pacific and the far east. It is, likewise, something more than a mere "interpretation" for it contains a mass of facts not easily found elsewhere. Coming as it does at a time when our foreign relations are commanding universal attention, this volume ought to have a very wide reading.

The work is divided into seven parts. The first deals with "The Original Monroe Doctrine," and portrays very fully the underlying conditions both in Europe and America which led to the conception and enunciation of the Monroe Doctrine in 1823. The share which John Quincy Adams had in the formulation of the doctrine is emphasized. And its Teal meaning and interpretation at the time it was promulgated are elucidated. In Part II, the period from 1827 to 1869, is covered under the general caption, "Variations of the Monroe Doctrine." The earlier years of this epoch, down to 1844, was a time when foreign affairs were quiescent and the Monroe Doctrine slumbered, but with the accession of President Polk there begins a very active era of international relations. The Monroe Doctrine was revived in a new and expanded form to serve as the warrant for the imperalistic designs of the American government in Oregon, in Mexico, in Cuba, and on the isthmus. Succeeding Polk, each administration down until the civil war revamped the Monroe Doctrine to its own purposes. During the secretaryship of state of Seward, 1861-69, all reference to the doctrine is carefully excluded from dispatches and official utterances; and, yet, curiously enough, it was just at this time, when France was endeavoring to set up an empire in Mexico under the Archduke Maximilian, that the single important case in our whole subsequent history occurred when the original Monroe Doctrine was thoroughly apropos. Part III is entitled "The American Doctrine," and is a historical survey of the period from 1869 to 1915. Under the secretaries of state in Grant's, Hayes', and Garfield's administrations there was an assertion of a new doctrine of "paramount interest," of American hegemony, in South America. This culminated under Cleveland in 01-" ney's extravagant statement that "Today the United States is practically sovereign on this continent, and its fiat is law upon the subjects to which it confines its interposition." Intervention in Cuba, and the SpanishAmerican war; the supercesslon of the Clayton-Bulwar treaty by the Hay-Pauncefote treaty, whereby we secured a free hand to build the

Panama canal, are likewise expressions of this new doctrine of paramount interest. The development of the American doctrine under Roosevelt was most important. Delinquent Latin-American republics were warned that they must not expect protection for misdeeds against the wrath of European powers, so long as their punishment should not take the form of seizure of territory. But since pacific blockades and similar forms of pressure are always liable to result in territorial conquest, the United States must assume a certain responsibility for bankrupt and delinquent states in this hemisphere. Pursuant to this principle, what amounts practically to a protectorate was established over San Domingo, and more recently, over Nicaragua and Haiti. Part IV discusses "Present Day Doctrines,"—the Latin-American doctrine, the Drago and Calvo doctrine, the German doctrine, and Pacific and Asiatic doctrines, as they are more or less directly related to the expanded Monroe Doctrine. "Present World Conditions" is the subject of Part V. The territorial changes, the growth of population, the development of commerce, as influencing factors in the general problem of American foreign policy, are outlined and the doctrine of American protectorates is somewhat fully examined. Part VI contains the author's proposal of a doctrine for the future, a "doctrine of permanent interest," which shall constitute the basis of our policy with regard to Latin-America. A strong plea is made for military preparedness against eventualities which threaten this policy based on fundamental and permanent interest. The last section of the book is devoted to "Materials on the Monroe Doctrine," in which a good working bibliography is supplied of all the most important books dealing with the subject or in which it is in any way treated.

The value of the work is much enhanced by the introduction of numerous excerpts from the official sources. One has the feeling that the author is at all times thorough master of his material. It is written in a most interesting style and scintillates with pungent phrase and epigram. Thus it is declared that "The Monroe Doctrine is not an utterance, nor a series of utterances, but a frame of mind." Of the different variations of the Monroe Doctrine, the author says that "Almost all of them [later presidents and secretaries of state] appealed back to Monroe, just as people who know everything turn to the encyclopedia to confirm their infallibility." And specifically of Polk's doctrine, he says: "If Polk sinned, he sinned without the angel-guardianship of James Monroe." Of the doctrine of the two spheres, which was an integral part of the original Monroe Doctrine, it is said that "The attempts to look upon the round world through a pair of spectacles in which the two glasses have different focuses was never successful and is now entirely out of date." Again the statement is made that "The eventual participation of America in the world's affairs was as inevitable as the flow of lava down the slope of a volcano." The author's views on preparedness are revealed by the assertion that "Without a different kind and degree of military preparation on our part, the time may come when Brazil will pronounce a new doctrine forbidding European nations to meddle with the feeble United States."

Law Of Wills And Administration. By James ScnoulEr, LL. D. 5th edition, 2 vols. 1. Wills. 2. Executors and Administrators. Matthew Bender & Co. Albany, N. Y. 1915.

The previous editions of the well known work have been at the time of their publication reviewed in these columns. The present work is a combination of the author's treatises on Wills and on Executors and Administrators which have received the approbation of the legal profession and which are well known to every book-buying lawyer in the country. It is enough to say that here the two previous books have been entirely rewritten and the cases brought down to date in Mr. Schouler's most careful and accurate manner.

Voting Trusts. A chapter in Recent Corporate History. By Harry A.

CusHino, of the New York Bar. The Macmillan Co., New York. 1915.

The author points out in his first sentences that the history of American Corporations may be divided into the early period when corporate organization appeared chiefly in the development of banks and insurance companies and the later period of railroads and mercantile enterprises carried out by great corporations. In the first period when a bank became insolvent all you had to do wa3 to wind it up, sell its assets and distribute the proceeds among its creditors, and go out of business. But when a railroad became embarrassed this could not be done; there was still the road itself which could not be abandoned, and the saving of which required the concerted action of either the former owners, new investors or both. So in the case of large mercantile corporations financial embarrassment could not properly be met merely by writing off an investment, for as in the case of the railroad there existed a property or business of value which ought not to be sacrificed and which might under proper conditions be managed with a good chance of ultimate success.

This condition in our time has been marked by the introduction and refinement of the reorganization agreement or readjustment agreement. And as an incident of these and after the pooling agreement had been found insufficient there gradually came into being the Voting Trust agreement by the stockholders' transfer of their certificates absolutely to trustees on their undertaking to deliver back stock certificates on the expiration of the trust and in the meantime to distribute to the holders of trust certificates the amount of any dividends paid upon the stock. The development of this simple arrangement has been marked, however, by a great variety of detailed provisions and by the application of such trusts to many concerns of substantial importance. Mr. Cushing discusses these questions under the heads of (1) The Significance of Voting Trusts; (2) The Contents of Voting Trusts; (3) The Law of Voting Trusts, and in the 4th part gives the exact words of the Voting Trust agreements and certificates made use of by some of the great railroads and industrial corporations which have met financial or other troubles during late years— for example the Chicago Great Western Railroad; the Equitable Life Assurance Co., the General Motors Co., the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, the Standard Oil Co., the International Harvester Co., the Erie Railroad, the St. Louis & Iron Mountain Railroad. The author has chosen a subject new to most people and writes as one who understood it in all its details.

« PreviousContinue »