Pacificus & Helvidius Debates

Topics: United States, President of the United States, Separation of powers Pages: 14 (3723 words) Published: January 17, 2013

This was written on Notepad then converted into a Word Document. The purpose of this document is to be supplemental to reading the Pacificus & Helvidius Debates, this was written side by side while reading the debates, therefore, if this is the first time you are reading the Pacificus and Helvidius Debates these notes will provide more of a curse then a blessing.

Pacificus I:

The objections which people are raising against the proclamation of neutrality have been done in bitterness and in critical language, which to me demonstrates that their views were concern with matters that exceed the free discussion of an important public measure. They discuss weakening the confidence of the people in the President...

My reflection describes the motives connected with the proclamation which will be used to recommend endeavors by proper explanation of the subject at hand. These explanations at least should be satisfactory to those people who may not have the opportunity for investigating the subject themselves and those people who want to perceive that proclamation is not inconsistent with the constitution.

The objections to the proclamation are:

The proclamation had no authority.

It is contrary to our treaties with France.

It is contrary to the gratitude owed to France for helping the U.S. secure victory in the Revolution.

That is was out of time and unnecessary.

The proclamation was designed to make it known to the belligerents of Europe and the citizens of the U.S. that the U.S. is at Peace with all those at war and that under no treaty to become associated in that war. It also warns all those with the government's jurisdiction to abstain from acts that contravene the proclamation.

This proclamation does not declare that the U.S. will not abide to the conditions of treaties of the belligerents, because they can be up held without committing the U.S. into war. This does not mean the U.S. will not make distinctions about the present war powers as illustrated in articles 17 and 22 of the Treaty of Alliance, because in doing so does not render the U.S. to associate in the war. Even the furnishing of determinate succors with ships or troops to a Power at War due to treaties that have no reference to the war is still consistent with neutrality.

However, no favors should be done to either side.

The proclamation does exclude engagement in the 11th article of Treaty of Alliance, because the 11th article does not apply to the U.S. in this case.

Now let’s discuss whether or not the President acted within his proper sphere or is out of bounds in his actions.

First, it is not to be disputed that the management of foreign affair is confided to the U.S. government.

Second, it could little be disputed that it beyond the right of the government to issue a proclamation of neutrality. The ability to make such proclamations is important to counties whose interest lies in the preservation of peace.

The real question at hand is what department of government is the proper one to make a declaration of neutrality when it is proper.

Someone of a correct understands must see that is do not pertain to either the legislative or judicial branches of government.

The legislative branch is not the organ of foreign relations. Therefore, it is not the organ of government which is to pronounce the condition of the nation in regards to foreign powers.

It is even more obvious that the Judiciary branch does not possess this power. This department decides on litigation in cases, it does interpret treaties, however, only in cases. It does not pronounce the external political relations of treaties between governments.

Therefore the power belongs to the executive, when proper.

In cases in which the judiciary is not competent, that is in cases between governments. This power is charged with the execution of the laws, of which treaties form a part.

This condition is so obvious and...
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