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she makes, within one year after the said dissolution, the declaration to which the following article refers.” (Rodriguez, American Con

stitutions, I. 199–200.) I wish here to express my special appreciation of the excellent and useful

work just cited, being a compilation of the political constitutions of the independent nations of America, with notes and appendices, by Dr. José Ignacio Rodriguez, the learned chief translator and librarian of the International Bureau of the American Republics.



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In some of the opinions given under this head, it is difficult to escape the conclusion that the word “expatriation " may have been employed in the sense of forfeiture of the right to national protection, instead of in the full sense of change of home and allegiance. Much confusion has resulted from the failure to keep this distinction in mind.

There is no mode of renunciation by a citizen of his citizenship prescribed. But if he emigrates, carries his family and effects along with him, manifests a plain intention not to return, takes up his permanent residence abroad, and assumes the obligation of a subject to a foreign government, this would imply a dissolution of his previous relations with the United States.

Black, At. Gen., 1857, 9 Op. 62.

Former citizens of the United States who have, by naturalization, become British subjects, are, while domiciled in the United States, entitled by treaty to all the rights of native-born British subjects.

Newcomb r. Newcomb (Ky. 1900), 57 S. W. 2. If a citizen of the United States emigrates to a foreign country, and there, in the mode provided by its laws, renounces his American citizenship with a bona fide intent of becoming a citizen of such country, his course should be regarded by our Government as an act of expatriation.

Williams, At. Gen. 1873, 14 Op. 295.

Where a citizen of the United States at different times obtained Austrian passports, traveled as an Austrian subject, and resided many years in the country, he will be considered an Austrian, on the ground that consent, together with the laws of that country, has effected a change in his nationality.

Williams, At. Gen. 1872, 14 Op. 154.

Naturalization is the highest, but not the only, evidence of expatriation. Such acts, in addition to the selection and enjoyment of a foreign domicil, as amount to a renunciation of United States citizenship and a willingness to submit to or adopt the obligations of a citizen of the country of domicil, such as accepting public employment, engaging in military services, &c., may be treated by this Government as effecting expatriation.

Williams, At. Gen. 1873, 14 Op. 295.

“A continuous residence under a foreign jurisdiction, of more than the lifetime of a generation, without some acts of allegiance, and the discharge of some of the duties of a citizen, would seem to raise a presumption of renunciation of citizenship."

Mr. Fish, Sec. of State, to Mr. Viles, Oct. 30, 1871, 91 MS. Dom. Let. 211.

As Congress has not defined, by the statute of 1868 or otherwise, what

may constitute expatriation, the Department of State is “ forced to look elsewhere for an enumeration of the acts” which may have that effect. Chief Justice Marshall, speaking for the Supreme Court, said that the situation of an American citizen“ is completely changed where, by his own act, he has made himself the subject of a foreign power.” (2 Cranch, 119.) This opinion is recognized as furnishing, as far as it goes, a rule of action for the Department; but there are other cases " in which the voluntary expatriation is to be in ferred, not from an open act of renunciation, but from other circumstances, as, for instance, a residence in a foreign land so constant, and under such circumstances, that a purpose of a change of allegiance may be reasonably assumed.” “Each case as it arises must be decided on its merits.”

Mr. Fish, Sec. of State, to Mr. Washburne, min. to France, June 28, 1873,

For. Rel. 1873, I. 256, 258.

“Until the year 1868 it was left embarrassed by conflicting opinions of courts and of jurists to determine how far the doctrine of perpetual allegiance derived from our former colonial relations with Great Britain was applicable to American citizens. Congress then wisely swept these doubts away by enacting that 'any declaration, instruction, opinion, order, or decision of any officer of this Government which denies, restricts, impairs, or questions the right of expatriation, is inconsistent with the fundamental principles of this Government.' But Congress did not indicate in that statute, nor has it since done so, what acts are deemed to work expatriation. For my own guidance in determining such questions, I required (under the provisions of the Constitution) the opinion in writing of the principal officer in each of the Executive Departments upon certain questions relating to this subject. The result satisfies me that fur

ther legislation has become necessary. I therefore commend the subject to the careful consideration of Congress, and I transmit herewith copies of the several opinions of the principal officers of the Executive Department, together with other correspondence and pertinent information on the same subject.

“ The United States, who led the way in the overthrow of the feudal doctrine of perpetual allegiance, are among the last to indicate how their own citizens may elect another nationality. The papers submitted herewith indicate what is necessary to place us on a par with other leading nations in liberality of legislation on this international question. We have already in our treaties assented to the principles which would need to be embodied in laws intended to accomplish such results. We have agreed that citizens of the United States may cease to be citizens, and may voluntarily render allegiance to other powers. We have agreed that residence in a foreign land, without intent to return, shall of itself work expatriation. We have agreed in some instances upon the length of time necessary for such continued residence to work a presumption of such intent.”

President Grant, annual message, Dec. 1, 1873, For. Rel. 1873, I. vii.

I have again to call the attention of Congress to the unsatisfactory condition of the existing laws with reference to expatriation and the election of nationality. Formerly, amid conflicting opinions and decisions, it was difficult to exactly determine how far the doctrine of perpetual allegiance was applicable to citizens of the United States. Congress, by the act of the 27th of July, 1868, asserted the abstract right of expatriation as a fundamental principle of this Government. Notwithstanding such assertion, and the necessity of frequent application of the principle, no legislation has been had defining what acts or formalities shall work expatriation, or when a citizen shall be deemed to have renounced or to have lost his citizenship. The importance of such definition is obvious. The representatives of the United States in foreign countries are continually called upon to lend their aid and the protection of the United States to persons concerning the good faith or the reality of whose citizenship there is at least great question. In some cases the provisions of the treaties furnish some guide; in others, it seems left to the person claiming the benefits of citizenship, while living in a foreign country, contributing in no manner to the performance of the duties of a citizen of the United States, and without intention at any time to return and undertake those duties, to use the claims to citizenship of the United States simply as a shield from the performance of the obligations of a citizen elsewhere."

President Grant, annual message, Dec. 7, 1874, For. Rel. 1874, X.

“ The individual right of expatriation being admitted, the correlative right of the State to determine what acts are to be taken as evidence of such expatriation necessarily follows—it is a necessary and inevitable corollary."

Mr. Fish, Sec. of State, to Mr. Davis, min. to Germany, June 28, 1ST,

MS. Inst. Germ. XVI. 07.

William Hess, a naturalized citizen of the United States, of lustrian birth, wishing to become a subject of Russia, applied to the American legation at St. Petersburg for the certificate, required by the Russian naturalization laws, that his Government had no objection to his change of allegiance. The legation, finding no precedent for such a case, prepared a form of certificate and submitted it to the Department of State for instructions. The Department replied: “I am aware of no statute authorizing or making it the duty of a diplomatie or other officer of the United States to give such a certificate. Mr. Iless's right to abandon his American citizenship, under the laws of this country, can not be questioned. This Government holds that the right of expatriation is a natural and inherent right of all people' (Rev. Stat. U.S., sec. 1999), and it would seem that by calling the attention of the Imperial Government to that provision Mr. Hess can accomplish his purpose."

Mr. Gresham, Sec. of State, to Mr. White, min. to Russia, Oct. 2, 1894,

For. Rel. 1894, 5.7.
See, to the saine effect, Mr. Gresham, Sec. of State, to Mr. Coleman,

chargé at Berlin, March 18, 1893, MS. Inst. Germany, XVIII. 672.

“ While this Department is not entitled to issue, at their request, certificates to particular citizens to the effect that it renounces their allegiance, it has no hesitation in saying that the Government of the United States recognizes the right of expatriation; and the Department has frequently declared that when a citizen of the United States becomes naturalized or re-naturalized in a foreign land he is to be regarded as having lost his rights as a citizen of the United States."

Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, to Mr. Suzzara-Verdi, January 27, 1887, 162

MS. Dom. Let. 677.
See, to the same effect, Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, to Count Sponneck,

Danish min., April 10, 1888, For, Rel. 1888, I. 489.

" While it is not competent, under existing statutes, for the Department of State to issue at their request certificates to particular citizens admitting the renunciation of their allegiance, I have no hesitation in saying that the Government of the United States recognizes the right of expatriation; and the Department has frequently declared as a general principle that, when a citizen of the United States voluntarily becomes naturalized or renaturalized in a foreign

country, he is to be regarded as having lost his rights as an American citizen. The Department cannot take any action in regard to the request of Mr. Preisler, beyond making this general declaration of the principles of law recognized by this Government in cases similar to his.”

Mr. Blaine, Sec. of State, to Count Sponneck, June 5, 1890, MS. Notes to

Denmark, VII. 219.
In the case of a native American citizen who was admitted to Danish

citizenship during his minority, and who had not yet come of age, the
foregoing declaration of principles was qualified as follows: "As Mr.
Andersen has not yet attained his majority, the Department is not
prepared to admit that proceedings taken on his behalf in Denmark
during his minority would deprive him of his right, upon reaching
the age of twenty-one years, to elect to become an American citizen
by immediately returning to this country to resume his allegiance
here." It appeared that Mr. Andersen had personally petitioned
for his discharge from American citizenship. (Mr. Wharton, Act.
Sec. of State, to Count Sponneck, Danish min., Sept. 16, 1890, MS.
Notes to Denmark, VII. 224.)


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“Joel Barlow felt himself at home in Paris. In 1788, at the age of thirty-four, he had first come abroad, and during seventeen exciting years had been rather French than American. In 1792 the National Convention conferred on him the privileges of French citizenship—an honor then shared only by Washington and Hamilton among Americans.”

6 Adams' History of the United States, 245.

July 31, 1810, the Peruvian Government promulgated a decree, in which it was declared that, by par. 4, Art. VI., of the constitution, an alien, who resided four years in the Republic and married a Peruvian woman, was ipso facto naturalized. Parish priests were therefore directed not to marry an alien to a Peruvian woman, unless, if he had lived in Peru four years, he produced from the civil authorities the proper proof that he had already become a Peruvian, or, if he had lived there less than four years, that he would be ready to be naturalized at the end of that term. In the case, however, of a Spanish-American or a Spaniard, it was stated that, in conformity with paragraphs 5 and 6 of the same article, he must be inscribed as a naturalized Peruvian, no matter what the time of his residence.

Mr. Pickett, the chargé d'affaires of the United States at Lima, reported that such a construction had not before been given to Art. VI. of the constitution. A similar provision, he said, was contained in the constitution of 1834, with the difference that the term of resi

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