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ports occupied by the blockading powers and to land their cargoes, provided they were not intended for the Greek troops in the interior. The ships of the neutral and blockading powers were to be visited by the ships of the international fleet.
This, though infringing the rights of neutrals, was less radical than the first definite pacific blockade of the French at Vera Cruz in 1838, where the vessels of the third powers were captured and confiscated.
Attitude of the United States as to pacific blockade.The United States declared with respect to this blockade, and has taken the position as a general one, that it does not acquiesce in
any extension of the doctrine of pacific blockade which may adversely affect the rights of states not parties to the controversy, or discriminate against the commerce of neutral nations."
In regard to the blockade of Venezuelan ports in 1902 by Germany and Great Britain this enunciation of the position of the United States was repeated.
The blockade of the Venezuelan forces was stated to be a warlike blockade, and a notice was published to that effect on December 20, 1902, for the information of neutrals.
Moore says that it may be observed that the United States did not take the ground that there could not be such a thing as a pacific blockade, for it stated that it could not acquiesce “in any extension" of the doctrine of pacific blockade so as to affect “the rights of states not parties to the controversy.”
It can thus be seen that without admitting the pacific blockade to be a legal means of restraint or reprisal short of war, the tendency of writers and of states is to favor its exercise in a manner not to involve the third powers or to antagonize their interests. Localized, as it should be, in its field of operations it is far better than actual war, especially a European war, which would be likely to be a widely spread calamity.
GENERAL QUESTIONS AS TO WAR.-ARMED FORCES OF THE
Definition of war.—War can be defined as a contest, existing or declared, between two or more nations or belligerents through their armed forces for the purpose of securing the submission of one side to the wishes of the other. Properly speaking, a contest between a state and a party of individuals, or acts of armed forces performed by one state against another by way of reprisals or intervention, are not acts of war unless resisted in a similar manner or met by a declaration that such acts are considered by the offended state as acts of war.
General questions as to war.—“The independent societies of men, called states," says Wheaton, "acknowledge no common arbiter or judge, except such as are constituted by special compact. The laws by which they are governed is deficient in those positive sanctions which are annexed to the municipal code of each distinct society. Every state has therefore a right to resort to force, as the only means of redress for injuries inflicted
upon it by others, in the same manner as individuals would be entitled to that remedy were they not subject to the laws of civil society. Each state is also entitled to judge for itself what are the nature and extent of the injuries which will justify such a means of redress.” 1
" The right of making war, as well of authorizing reprisals or other acts of vindictive retaliation, belongs, in every civilized nation, to the supreme power of the state. The exercise
of the right is regulated by the fundamental laws or municipal constitution in each country, and may be delegated to its inferior authorities in remote possessions, or even to a commercial corporation," * such, for example, as the British East India Company of times past, or the British South African Company of the present time, exercising as they do and did, to an extent certain sovereign rights with respect to foreign states or savage communities.
The war-making power.—But with respect to the United States no such rights can be delegated. The exercise of the war-making power is vested in Congress alone, and the President has no constitutional right or authority to order aggressive hostilities to be undertaken.
As Secretary Cass said to Lord Napier in 1857, in regard to a combined expedition into China, “Our naval officers have the right-it is their duty, indeed—to employ the forces under their command not only in self-defense but for the protection of our citizens when exposed to acts of lawless outrage, and this they have done, both in China and elsewhere, and will do again when necessary, but military expeditions into the Chinese territory cannot be undertaken without the authority of the national legislature.” The Boxer expeditions of 1900 were not considered as a violation of this policy. The condition of Peking was regarded as one of virtual anarchy, requiring action for the rescue and protection of American officials, citizens and property. At the same time the policy was announced as one of a preservation of Chinese territorial and administrative entity.
Effect of war upon states and individuals.—The effect of war upon the relations of all states is to change them radically. The contending parties become what are known as belliger
2 Wheaton. 2a Circular of the United States, July 3, 1900.