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Congress to make offenses against the treaty rights of foreigners domiciled in the United States cognizable in the federal courts. This has not, however, been done, and the federal officers and courts have no power in such cases to intervene either for the protection of a foreign citizen or for the punishment of his slayers. It seems to me to follow, in this state of the law, that the officers of the State charged with police and judicial powers in such cases must, in the consideration of international questions growing out of such incidents, be regarded in such sense as federal agents as to make this Government answerable for their acts in cases where it would be answerable if the United States had used its constitutional power to define and punish crimes against treaty rights.
It is to be hoped that our Government will never again attempt to shelter itself from responsibility for the enforcement of its treaty obligations to protect foreigners by alleging its own failure to enact the laws necessary to the discharge of those obligations.
The most frequent occasions of appeal by citizens for protection in other countries arise upon the assertion that justice has been denied them in the courts, and this appears, unfortunately, to be a frequent occurrence. The justification of such complaints does not rest upon any obligation of another country to furnish any better or different judicial relief or procedure to foreigners than is provided for the citizens of the country itself, but it results from the fact that in many countries the courts are not independent; the judges are removable at will; they are not superior, as they ought to be, to local prejudices and passions, and their organization does not afford to the foreigner the same degree of impartiality which is accorded to citizens of the country, or which is required by the common standard of justice obtaining throughout the civilized world. When justice is denied for such reasons there is a failure on the part of the Government to perform its international duty, and a right on the part of the Government whose citizen has failed to secure justice to demand reparation.
A large proportion of such complaints are, however, without just foundation. Citizens abroad are too apt to complain that justice has been denied them whenever they are beaten in a litigation, forgetting that, as a rule, they would complain just the same if they were beaten in a litigation in the courts of their own country. When a man goes into a foreign country to reside or to trade he
submits himself, his rights, and interests to the jurisdiction of the courts of that country. He will naturally be at a disadvantage in litigation against citizens of the country. He is less familiar than they with the laws, the ways of doing business, the habits of thought and action, the method of procedure, the local customs and prejudices, and often with the language in which the business is done and the proceedings carried on. It is not the duty of a foreign country in which such a litigant finds himself to make up to him for these disadvantages under which he labors. They are disadvantages inseparable from his prosecuting his business in a strange land. A large part of the dissatisfaction which aliens feel and express regarding their treatment by foreign tribunals results from these causes, which furnish no just ground for international complaint. It is very desirable that people who go into other countries shall realize that they are not entitled to have the laws and police regulations and methods of judicial procedure and customs of business made over to suit them, or to have any other or different treatment than that which is accorded to the citizens of the country into which they have gone; so long as the government of that country maintains, according to its own ideas and for the benefit of its own citizens, a system of law and administration which does not violate the common standard of justice that is a part of international law; and so long as, in conformity with that standard, the same rights, the same protection, and the same means of redress for wrong are given to them as are given to the citizens of the country where they
On the other hand, every one who goes into a foreign country is bound to obey its laws, and if he disobeys them he is not entitled to be protected against punishment under those laws. It follows, also, that one in a foreign country must submit to the inconvenience of proceedings that may be brought in accordance with law upon any bona fide charge that an offense has been committed, even though the charge may not be sustained. Nevertheless, no violation of law can deprive a citizen in a foreign country of the right to protection from the government of his own country. There can be no crime which leaves a man without legal rights. One is always entitled to insist that he shall not be punished except in accordance with law, or without such a hearing as the universally accepted principles of justice demand. If that right be denied to the most desperate criminal in a foreign country, his own government can and ought to protect him against the wrong.
Happily, the same causes which are making questions of alien protection so frequent are at the same time bringing about among all civilized peoples a better understanding of the rights and obliga, tions created by the presence of the alien in a foreign country; a fuller acceptance of the common international standard of justice, and a gradual reduction of the local prejudices and misunderstandings which stand in the way of the alien's getting his full rights. Discussions between governments upon complaints of wrong to their citizens tend more and more to relate to questions of fact upon the determination of which accepted and settled rules can be readily applied. And in all nations the wisdom and sound policy of equal protection and impartial justice to the alien is steadily gaining acceptance in the remotest parts and throughout even the least instructed communities.
THE UNITED STATES AND LIBERIA 1
To most persons in the United States the name of Liberia represents, if it means anything at all, the somewhat inglorious outcome of the dream of a few high-minded but impractical men, that they could solve the great question of slavery in the United States by transporting its negro population back to the shores of Africa. This aspect of the matter is so firmly lodged in the popular consciousness that the story of the intimate connection of the United States not only as a people but as a government in the founding of the negro republic comes as a surprise. Liberia is in fact the only colony which the United States ever established, and though political dependence, always vague, ceased many years ago, it has a rightful claim upon the sympathy and succor of the mother country.
To understand aright the newly awakened interest in the affairs of the Republic of Liberia we must recount with some detail the more than half-forgotten history of the relations existing between the people and the Government of the United States and the negro commonwealth. Such a recital will bring to light some rather unique colonial and international relations, and will, we believe, show the present concern of the United States with the welfare of Liberia to be no gratuitous meddling, but the revival of a deep and fundamental interest which though generally dormant has been for nearly a century one of our political traditions.
In the history of Liberia we see the reflex of the great struggle with slavery which dominated the first century of our national existence. Its inception in the second decade of the nineteenth century belongs to the period where the question of slavery was still largely academic, when the statesmen and thinkers of the slave States deplored its existence and discussed plans for gradual emancipation. Liberia is the product of Southern philanthropy, not the outcome of the militant type of anti-slavery sentiment which arose
1 The writer of this article was chairman of the American Commission to Liberia in 1909. — Ed.
later in the Northern States. It owes its origin in large measure to the efforts of the Government to suppress the importation of slaves, and thus reflects another phase of the struggle against slavery. During the fiercer struggle of later years, the colonization idea appears as an olive branch held out by men of milder temperament to the more eager combatants on both sides of the contest. After the final appeal to arms, and the settlement of the question once for all, the people of the United States forgot Liberia, and the relatively few at best who had sought the welfare of the negro in his original home, turned their thoughts to other problems which confronted the reunited nation. But Liberia has not forgotten the land of its origin, and has time and again pleaded with the United States for sympathy and support. Nor have these ever been denied, a fact which in the present juncture of affairs encourages her in the hope that they may be extended in even greater measure.
In the early days of the nineteenth century there was a large body of public opinion in the slave-holding States which was far from enamored with the institution of human slavery. This was especially true in Maryland and Virginia, where it found a practical expression in the not infrequent emancipation of slaves, especially by testamentary disposition. By this means there arose a not insiderable body of free negroes who were plainly out of place in commonwealths whose laws, social traditions, and economic order, were based upon the antithesis of freeman and slave, which in this case meant white and black. The free negro was looked upon by many as the peaceful Indians were regarded, as in the body politic yet not a part of it. It was partly the desire to better the condition of the free negro, partly no doubt the fear that his presence might be a harmful influence among the blacks held in bondage, which first suggested the idea that he be sent back to Africa where he belonged.
The idea of a sort of expiatory repatriation of the African had been preached in the United States before the Revolution. In
2 See Ferguson, John. Memoirs of the Life and Character of the Rev. Samuel Hopkins, D. D. Boston, 1830. Hopkins' idea was mainly that of missionary effort to Christianize Africa, to be conducted by negroes trained for that purpose in America. Out of it grew, it is said, the notion of a permanent settlement of our American blacks in Africa.