« PreviousContinue »
EARLY DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND MEXICO.
By WILLIAM R. MANNING, Adjunct Professor of Latin-American History in the University of Texas. (The Albert Shaw Lectures on Diplomatic History, 1913.) The Johns Hopkins Press, Baltimore. 1916.
In view of the present relation between the United States and Mexico, any contribution to their earlier diplomacy is timely. In this volume under review, the author has undertaken to give a comprehensive history of American diplomatic relations with Mexico previous to 1830. No particular crisis is described as the theme of central interest. No group of related diplomatic episodes leads up to a final logical conclusion. Indeed the volume is simply the discussion of several rather unrelated incidents, each of which is fairly complete in itself. Perhaps after all the author intended nothing more than this, for in the preface he designates which of the chapters had appeared previously in print in various publications, indicating at once the topical treatment he has followed. This treatment may add interest to the separate chapter, but it detracts from the unity and coherence of the work as a whole. Were it not for the first and rather unimportant chapter, the volume might be entitled with equal propriety, “Joel Poinsett's Mission in Mexico.” This title would at least indicate the only unifying factor common to all the episodes described.
Turning to the separate topics treated, one finds the more interesting ones to be those relating to Cuba, the Santa Fé trail, commercial relations, and the boundary issue. In the first of these discussions (Chapter IV, "Cuba Saved to Spain"), much is said about American relations with England, France, Spain, and Russia, about Cuba, Mexican relations being of secondary importance. Indeed one wonders why this chapter was included in the volume, unless to fill up space. It is practically the same as chapter V of J. M. Callahan's “Cuba and International Relations" (extra volume XXI of the Johns Hopkins University Studies). It must be pointed out, however, that Professor Manning's chapter contains a wealth of citations to authorities, being in this respect free from the great defect of Professor Callahan's work.
Chapter V, on “Diplomacy Concerning the Opening of the Santa Fé trail," describes the attempt of the United States to secure the co-operation of Mexico in the survey of a road from Missouri to Santa Fé. Following the passage of an act by Congress early in 1825, the United States undertook to mark out this road to the Arkansas river (generally recognized as the international boundary). This work commenced July 17, 1825 (instead of “June 17"), and was completed the following September. The negotiations to secure Mexican construction of the road from the Arkansas river to Santa Fé ended in failure.
The chapter on "Obstacles in the Way of Concluding a Commercial Treaty” (Chapter VII), might be interesting were it boiled down. The author takes forty-seven pages to say that the chief obstacle was Mexican dilatoriness. The negotiations leading to the treaty (never ratified) are described with wearisome detail,—which, however, might be justified were the treaty with an important commercial nation and were it finally ratified.
Chapter IX on "Texas and the Boundary Issue" is one of the chief contributions of the volume. The boundary treaty, like the commercial treaty, remained unratified when Poinsett left Mexico.
The authorities from which Professor Manning has gathered his mate rial are fully described in chapter XI. They include many manuscripts from the archives of Mexico and Washington, as well as the chief published documents and the various secondary works. Constant reference to these is made in his foot-notes. It may be said, however, that while the volume is apparently based chiefly upon source material, part of which has been little used in previous studies on the same topics, little of importance has been unearthed which was unknown before. Perhaps it is well to know that this new material does not change the conclusions heretofore generally accepted.
TREATIES, THEIR MAKING AND ENFORCEMENT. Second Edition. By SAMUEL
B. CRANDALI., Ph. D., of the Bar of New York and of the District of Columbia. John Byrne & Co., Washington, D. C. 1916.
The first edition of this work appeared in 1904, in the Columbia University Studies on History, Economics and Public Law. In its present form not only have recent events and developments been taken fully into consideration, but many of the topics treated have received a much more elaborate discussion, and there has been added as an appendix a digest of decisions of American courts construing treaties, arranged by countries and treaties, which will prove of great value to the investigator. This edition contains thus approximately twice as much matter as the original.
In an introductory chapter the general principles of treaty-making are presented, the discussion of the sanction of treaties being one of the clearest and best that the reviewer remembers to have seen. The body of the work is then divided into three parts. Part I relates to "The United States," and is subdivided into the period “Prior to the Constitution," and that "Under the Constitution." This latter is again divided into a number of chapters on "The Making of Treaties,” and others on “The Execution or Enforcement of Treaties." Part II deals with "Foreign States," and Part III to a general discussion of “The Operation of Treaties as between States." Much the larger portion of the work has to do with the United States. The special problems which our federal system and the constitutional requirement of the Senate's ratification of treaties present are fully discussed and the rules worked out by the courts are clearly stated. There is a mass of historical information which must prove of considerable utility to the student of diplomatic history. The work is done in a thoroughly scientific and scholarly fashion, and evinces a profound study and familiarity on the part of the author with the entire subject. The references to cases as well as to the writings of publicists are copi. ous and fortify the author's conclusions at every point. As a work of reference it will doubtless long remain a principal authority in this field.
It is of interest to observe the author's views concerning the breach of treaties, at this time when the European war has thrown so much doubt upon their binding force and worth. “It is,” the author asserts, "in the desire of each nation to maintain its standing with other nations that treaties have their chief sanction," and he quotes Twiss approvingly in the statement, that "The sanction of the positive law of nations is found in the isolation of the state which disregards it.” His conclusion is that “The pains with which nations, as well as all individuals with self-respect, attempt to explain away charges of breach of faith but shows the force of the sanction. No nation can long maintain treaty relations and a standing with other nations, and persistently refuse to abide by its promise. Seldom indeed would the sanction prove ineffectual were the fact of the breach to be determined by an independent and impartial tribunal recognized as such by the parties.” Controversies over the interpretation and enforcement of treaties would seem to the author to be of the nature of justifiable disputes which could well be left to some international tribunal for adjudication.
FOUILLEE, A., CHARMONT, J., Duguit, L., AND DEMOGUE, R. (Translated
from the French by Mrs. Franklin W. Scott and Joseph P. Chamberlain). Modern French Legal Philosophy. Modern Legal Philosophy Series, Volume VII. The Boston Book Co., Boston. 1916.
This volume is especially welcome at this time, when interest in European conceptions of law and the state has been so greatly stimulated by the war. It is significant, too, that this book presents the most recent French thought on the philosophy of law; indeed, three of the four authors, although long professors in representative French universities, have produced much of their work during the last five years. Throughout the book are abundant references to contemporary French periodicals.
The authors, although voicing different schools of thought, are distinguishably French in their viewpoints. The book is therefore likely to interest the average American reader, who has always shown a marked intellectual sympathy with French thought, especially with its practical philosophy of the state. In purely legal concepts, we may be more English than French; but in the realm of philosophy, we are more French than English,-instance Bergson.
While the book is one in its purpose and organization, it is really four volumes in one, by four of the greatest modern authorities on French legal philosophy. Part I, which presents a brief survey of that philosophy, deals with the general characteristics of French legal thought from the psychological and historical standpoints (Fouillée), as well as presenting a review of the principal modern schools, including Positivism, Idealism, Solidarism, and Pragmatism (Charmont). Part II, which comprises the bulk of the volume, is less homogeneous. It deals with three problems: first, the synthesis of Idealism and Naturalism (Fouillée); second, the theory of objective law anterior to the state (Duguit), and, third, an analysis of fundamental notions, being the first two-hundred pages of Demogue's latest and most important treatise, published in 1911.
The selections from the works of the authors represented are well chosen and arranged for the purposes of the book. The translation has been critically edited and is eminently readable. The average reader will be greatly aided in gaining a preliminary perspective of the volume by the introduction by Arthur W. Spencer, of the Editorial Committee, who gives a terse account of the authors and appends a list of their contributions to the literature of law.
It is becoming more evident, with every succeeding volume of the Modern Legal Philosophy Series, that its publication is a most fortunate event for us Americans, who have heretofore confessedly lacked familiarity with foreign literature on the law and have almost totally neglected the philosophy of law. The editors deserve much' praise for the successful publication of the first seven volumes of a series so pertinent at a time when legal conceptions are undergoing fundamental revision and reconstruction.
WOOD (H. G.) and MOORE (D. C.). Limitations of Actions. 2 Vols. Matthew
Bender & Co., Albany, N. Y., 1916. RIDDELL (W. R.). The Legal Profession in Upper Canada at Early Periods,
The Law Society of Upper Canada, Toronto, 1916. MODERN FRENCH LEGAL PHILOSOPHY. Modern Legal Philosophy Series. The
Boston Book Co., Boston, 1916. CLAPP (E. J.). Economic Aspects of the War. Yale University Press, New
Haven, 1915. WALGREN (J. A.). Federal Employers' Liability Act. Practitioners Manual.
T. H. Flood & Co., Chicago, 1916. CRANDALL (S. B.). Treaties: Their Making and Enforcement. 2nd Ed. John
Byrne & Co., Washington, D. C., 1916. MCBAIN (H. L.). The Law and the Practice of Municipal Home Rule. Colum
bia University Press, New York, 1916. CHAMBERLAIN (C. F.). Treatise on the Modern Law of Evidence. Vol. V.
Media of Proof. Howard C. Joyce, Editor. Matthew Bender & Co., Albany,
N. Y., 1916. WRIGHTINGTON (S. R.). Law of Incorporated Associations. Boston: Little,
Brown & Co., 1916. BURDICK (C. K.). Cases on the Law of Public Service. Little, Brown & Co.,
Boston, 1916. HAVEY (R. S.) and BRADFORD (E. W.). Manual of the Federal Trade Com
mission. John Byrne & Co., Washington, D. C., 1916.
All communications for the editor should be sent to
JOHN D. Lawson,
St. Louis, Mo.