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FREDERICK VAN DYNE, LL, M.,
ABSISTANT SOLICITOR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE OF THE
THE LAWYERS' CO-OPERATIVE PUBLISIIING CO.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the Year nineteen hundred three, by
FREDERICK VAN DYNE,
E. R. ANDREWS PRINTING COMPANY, Rochester, N. Y.
In the more restricted meaning of the term, a citizen is a person who has the right to vote for public officers and on public measures, and who is qualified to hold offices in the gift of the people.
But this definition is too narrow, for minors—who are not permitted to vote and women—who are allowed to exercise the franchise in only a few of the states—are citizens. In the broad sense of the word, citizens are the people,” the members of the state or nation, including men, women, and children. In the United States they are the sovereign power.
There are two kinds of citizenship in this country,—state and national, each distinct from the other. A person may be a citizen of a state, and not a citizen of the United States. He may he a citizen of the United States without enjoying the rights and privileges conferred by state citizenship. To be a citizen of the United States, it is only necessary that a person be born or naturalized in the United States. To be a citizen of a state, a man must reside within the state. United States citizenship does not give the right to vote. The Constitution does not guarantee a citizen this right. The right to vote is a right conferred and regulated by state laws. Even in regard to the choice of Representatives in Congress and electors of President of the United States, this matter is left entirely in the hands of the states. And in many of the states the franchise is granted to persons not sitizens, either of the state or of the United States. For in
stance, in New Hampshire the ballot is given to male inhabitants of the state, and in Alabama and some other states, to male aliens who have declared their intention to become citizens. A state may go to extraordinary lengths in determining the qualifications of its voters. It can establish an educational or property qualification. It can restrict the right to either sex, or give it to both. The United States circuit court, in United States v. Anthony, in 11 Blatchf. 205, Fed. Cas. No. 14,459, asserted that a state might provide, without violating any right derived from the Constitution of the United States, that no person having gray hair, or who has not the use of all his limbs, shall be entitled to vote. But the Constitution declares that no citizen of the United States can be excluded from the enjoyment of the franchise on account of "race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”
Citizenship, always a matter of importance, involving, as it does, the political relationship between the individual and the sovereign state to which he belongs, has become of increasing importance in the United States with the development of this nation as a world power. The wonderful expansion of our commerce which has marked the past decade, and the recent additions to our territory, have made inevitable a broader contact with the nations of the world, and have complicated the relations of our citizens with the governments and citizens of other countries.
This has made necessary to the statesman, to the lawyer, to the capitalist, and to the intelligent student, a clearer understanding of the correlative rights and duties of citizenship,—the right of the citizen to claim at the hands of the government protection of person and property abroad, and the right of the government to require from the citizen the performance of the duties per taining to citizenship.
Within the past five years the question whether, under our law, children born in the United States to alien parents are citizens of the United States,-a question productive of much discussion, and on which, at an earlier period, considerable difference of opinion existed,—has been authoritatively settled by a decision of the Supreme Court of the United States. United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649, 42 L. ed.890, 18 Sup. Ct. Rep. 456. And the various novel and important questions raised by our recent acquisitions of territory are exhaustively discussed by the same court in the Insular Cases, 182 U. S. 1-244, 45 L. ed. 1041–1088, 21 Sup. Ct. Rep. 743.
An experience of ten years in dealing with the multiform questions relative to the subject, which arise in the work of the Department of State, has emphasized the great need of a comprehensive and convenient reference work on the subject of citizenship of the United States. The law of citizenship is now only to be found scattered through the acts of Congress, the decisions of the courts, and the rulings of the Executive as they appear in state papers and diplomatic correspondence, many of the latter being unpublished and inaccessible. From these various sources the writer has sought to gather and arrange in a logical and convenient form, under one index, the law relating to the subject. The work has not been done with a view to establishing any preconceived notion of what the law should be, but with the design of showing what the law actually is.
This work will treat only of Federal citizenship. WASHINGTON, D. C., December, 1903.
FREDERICK VAN DYNE.