Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Treaties

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Terminology.

TREATIES.1. A treaty is a contract between two or more states. The term "tractatus," and its derivatives, though of occasional occurrence in this sense from the 13th century onwards, only began to be commonly so employed, in lieu of the older technical terms "conventio publica," or "fœdus," from the end of the 17th century. In the language of modern diplomacy the term "treaty" is restricted to the more important international agreements, especially to those which are the work of a congress, while agreements dealing with subordinate questions are described by the more general term "convention." The present article will disregard this distinction.

Antiquity.2. The making and the observance of treaties is necessarily a very early phenomenon in the history of civilization, and the theory of treaties was one of the first departments of international law to attract attention. Treaties are recorded on the monuments of Egypt and Assyria; they occur in the Old Testament Scriptures; and questions arising under a-συνθῆκαι and " fœdera " occupy much space in the Greek and Roman historians.[1]

Classification.3. Treaties have been classified on many principles, of which it will suffice to mention the more important. A "personal treaty," having reference to dynastic interests, is contrasted with a "real treaty," which binds the nation irrespectively of constitutional changes; treaties creating outstanding obligations are opposed to "transitory conventions," e.g., for cession of territory, recognition of independence, and the like, which operate irrevocably once for all, leaving nothing more to be done by the contracting parties; and treaties in the nature of a definite transaction (Rechtsgeschäft) are opposed to those which aim at establishing a general rule of conduct (Rechtssatz). With reference to their objects, treaties may perhaps be conveniently classified as (1) political, including treaties of peace, of alliance, of cession, of boundary, for creation of international servitudes, of neutralization, of guarantee, of submission to arbitration; (2) commercial, including consular and fishery conventions, and slave trade and navigation treaties; (3) confederations for special social objects, such as the Zollverein, the Latin monetary union, and the still wider unions with reference to posts, telegraphs, submarine cables, and weights and measures; (4) relating to criminal justice, e.g., to extradition and arrest of fugitive seamen; (5) relating to civil justice, e.g., to the protection of trade-mark and copyright, to the execution of foreign judgments, to the reception of evidence, and to actions by and against foreigners; (6) providing general rules for the conduct of warfare, e.g., the declaration of Paris and the convention of Geneva. It must be remarked that it is not always possible to assign a treaty wholly to one or other of the above classes, since many treaties contain in com bination clauses referable to several of them.

Page:Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition, v. 23.djvu/551 Page:Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition, v. 23.djvu/552 Angeberg. The last-mentioned writer has also published collections of treaties relating to Poland, 1762-1862; to the Italian question, 1859; to the congress of Paris, 1856, and the revision of its work by the conference of London, 1871; and to the Franco-German War of 1870-71. For the treaties regulating the Eastern question, see The European Concert in the Eastern Question, by T. E. Holland, 1885, and La Turquie et le Tanzimat, by E. Engelhardt, 1882-84. (t. e. h.)


  1. For the celebrated treaty of 509 B.C. between Rome and Carthage, see Polybius iii. 22; and, on the subject generally, Barbeyrac's full but very uncritical Histoire des Antiens Traitéz, 1739; Müller-Jochmus, Geschichte des Volkerrechts im Alterthum, 1848; E. Egger, Études Historiques sur les Traités Publics chez les Grecs et chez les Romains, new ed., 1866.