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granted to it, it matters not whether under compulsion or no, without encroaching on the sovereignty of its suzerain. It is not forgotten that an attempt has been made by some writers on International Law to make abstract sovereignty a divisible quality by including vassal, protected, tributery, confederated, indeed all States bound as it is termed by an unequal alliance in an arbitrary class which they have termed semi-sovereign (mi-souverain, halbsouveran).* The word if a proper one would seem to apportion sovereignty between the States, but it is obviously an incorrect term.f Heffter (sec. 19), points out that it is vague, and presents even a kind of “contre sens; Wheaton, calls it a solecism; Austin (pp. 258-9) considers the epithet “to import that the governments marked with it are sovereign and subject at once," and he gives it as his opinion that “there is no such political mongrel as a government sovereign and subject ;” and Phillimore (Vol. I. Art. lxxvi) speaks of States being so designated with “admitted impropriety of expression.” It is plain that its use has led to confusion, for the writers who adopt it with greatest confidence disagree as to the meaning to be attached to it. Their general opinion is that it describes the possession by the States so named of all interior rights, but a modification only as some say, a complete absence according to others, of the external or international rights. Twiss, on the other hand, considers that the term suggests a subordination of position rather than a modification of the manner in which the foreign relations are maintained, and Sir Robert Phillimore, in his judgment in the case of
Moscr, Europäischen Völcker-Rechts, Buch, I., sec, 26. Martens, sec, 20. Klüber, sec. 24. Ortolan, I., p. 42. Heffter, sec. 19. Tuiss, sec. 24. Bluntschli, art. 92. Calvo, sec, 62.
† With greater propriety of expression Hertius speaks of “ quasi-regna." Neyron of “Etats du second ordre," and Réal of States governed by “princes. sujets." The latter insists that “La souveraineté est une et indivisible, La partager c'est détruire,” IV., iii., 20.
p. 77) said
The Charkich, (L,R. 4, A. & E, at that he was “inclined to think that the sovereign of a “State in the latter category” (half sovereignty) “may be “entitled to require from foreign States the consideration “and privileges which are unquestionably incident to the “sovereign of a State who is in the former category (Sovereignty absolute and pure). Whichever of these meanings attaches to the word it is submitted that it is a term not applicable to non-sovereign vassal States, if it is intended by it to derogate from the possession of entire sovereignty by the suzerain in respect to its vassal state.
It is hardly necessary to state that the conditions peculiar to feudal vassalage which have been shown to attach to nominal vassalages must also attach to the more onerous vassalages. The observations, therefore, which have been made with reference to the duties, respect, fidelity and service, of nominally vassal states in regard to their suzerains, and the effect of such duties in partially restraining the exercise of rights, equally apply to those vassalages not merely nominal, and need not be repeated. The duties owing to the peculiar relationships are the same, and their effect in restraining rights must be also the same where at least the suzerain has allowed the vassal to exercise those rights at all.
The next question is, what rights can be reserved by the suzerain without the vassal State being indistinguishable from the other dominions of the suzerain; what rights must be reserved without the vassalage becoming simply nominal and the vassal entirely sovereign. It is difficult, considering the question upon principle, to specify any one of what are called the sovereign rights of a State, which may not justly be reserved by the suzerain. It is true that some limited power, at all events of interior government must be allowed the vassal, or the name would cease to convey any meaning, but there would
appear to be no limit either upon principle or in practice to the partial or complete reservation of any particular right or rights.
What rights must be reserved to maintain more than a nominal vassalage is somewhat more difficult to determine. It is submitted, however, that they must be not only some, but all the external or international rights of sovereignty. No instance can be cited in which a State subject to vassalage has or has had the general right of war, neutrality, and peace; of alienation of territory; of legation or embassy, without possessing them all, and being ipso facto a sovereign State, subject to no vassalage other than nominal.
It may be well here to cite instances in proof of the statements herein put forward. Examples in the Middle Ages of vassalages merely nominal, and which did not derogate from the possession of any of the rights of sovereignty can be freely given. Whether any exist at the present time or are likely yet to be formed is doubtful. The numerous feudatories of the Papal See at various times, such Arragon, England, Naples (from the Ith century to 1818), Sicily, Poland, Sardinia and many others * were all kingdoms and sovereign: Scotland, as already shown, was
time a sovereign kingdom, vassal of England, and may have been also of Norway. Some at least of the States subject to the Roman Empire of the Gerinans were also of this class. The rights exercised by the German States vassal to the Empire varied at different periods, and their extent was frequently disputed. Prior to the Peace of Westphalia, indeed, their rights were so doubtful that it is almost impossible to determine their international position. It
* See Bodin, lib. I., ch. ix., 195.
† It is stated by Bodin that the terms of Vassalage to Norway were faith and homage, and the payment of ten marks of gold on a new king coming to the throne.--Bodin, lib. I., ch, ix., 165.
seems to be admitted that they were not, up to that date, possessed of sovereign power, and that the German Emperors insisted on their right to regulate the foreign relations. They would seem to be at that time, therefore, non-sovereign vassal States, having no international status. If they did at any time exercise any one of the external rights of sovereignty—as, for instance, by sending public Ministers to Foreign States-it may well be that this was allowed, not on any principle, but owing rather to foreign intrigue and desire to weaken the Empire on the part of the nation admitting such Minister. After the Peace of Westphalia, on the other hand, the German States enjoyed, as a consequence of the Imperial capitulations,* the right to form offensive and defensive alliances amongst themselves and with foreign Powers (which shows they could exercise the right of peace, neutrality, and war), and the right of sending and receiving public Ministers ;t in fact, all the rights of Sovereignty. They were, therefore, merely nominal vassals of the Empire. Vattel, indeed (IV., sec. 59), refers to them as “a Republic of Sovereigns.” It is not forgotten that the judges of the several States were under the supreme jurisdiction of the Chamber of Wetzla ; but the Chamber being formed, in fact, by the States themselves, the jurisdiction cannot be considered a sign of subjection to the suzerain, but rather as an arrangement for the constitution of a common appellate court.
Examples of vassal States, on the other hand, possessing none of the external rights of sovereignty, but all or only some of the internal rights, may also easily be multiplied. Normandy, Bretagne, and Flanders # were all vassal to
* Paix d'Osnabrück, art. VIII. Paix de Münster, secs. 62, 63. See Schoell Traités de Paix, Tom. I.. pp. 89, 113.
† Vattel, II., sec. 154. Bluntschli, art. 76 (1).
| Before Francis I. renounced his rights in favour of Charles V., by the Treaty of Madrid, A.D. 1515.- Merlin, Art. “Bar.," p. 8. See also Bodin p. 172.
the Crown of France before their union to that kingdom ; they certainly were not privileged to exercise any international rights, but they did exercise some rights of internal government. It is said that they were in constant and peaceable possession of the right of making laws; they did not possess every interior right however, notably that of sinal jurisdiction, for all the judgments given in their “Parliaments" were subject to appeal to the “Parliaments” of the King. *
To come to more recent times, the State of Kniphausen, in North Germany, at least subsequently to 1825, was a State vassal to the Duchy of Oldenburg, and possessed many interior rights, such as judicial power and the rights entailed by having a free commercial flag ; but again no international rights. The Sovereignty was exercised by the Duke of Oldenburg, and this included all the rights with respect to foreign relations.Ş Of the internal rights, that of legislation was wanting, at least in its entirety; the Federal Acts of the German Confederation being expressly binding on the State.
Egypt, Moldo-Wallachia, Servia, Greece, may also be referred to as States which at some time possessed all rights not international, while they all at other times were restrained from exercising some of them To take Egypt first, as being one of the most important. In 1840 (it is hardly necessary consider the position of the country prior to that date, but it may be mentioned that it is epitomised in Sir Robert
Merlin, Art, “ Bar.,” p. 6, &c. † Prior to the dissolution of the Roman Empire of Germany it was a fief of that Empire, it then became an independent sovereignty until occupied by Napoleon I, and transferred by him to Russia,
| See the Convention between the Duke of Oldenburg and Count Bentinck. Herslet, Map of Europe by Treaty, I., 722,
§ Art, II, and IX, of the Convention. || Ibid, art. III.