BLTC Press Titles


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The Bhagavad Gita

Anonymous


The Souls of Black Folk

W. E. B. DuBois


The Fairy Tale of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Thomas Carlyle, Rudolf Steiner


The Diplomatic Background of the War

Charles Seymour


A guide to diplomatic practice

by Sir Ernest Mason Satow

Excerpt:

CHAPTER XXV

CONGRESSES

§ 439. General observations—§ 440. List of more important Congresses—§ 441. Miinster and Osnabriick (Westphalia)—§ 442. Origin of the term Congress—§ 443. Pyrenees—§ 444. Oliva— § 445. Aix-la-Chapelle (1668)—§ 446. Nijmegen—§ 447. Frankfort—§ 448. Rijswijk—§ 449. Carlowitz—§ 450. Utrecht —§451. Cambray—§452. Soissons—§453. Breda and Aixla-Chapelle (1748J—§ 454. Fokchany and Bukharest—§ 455. Teschen—§ 456. Altemat between Russia and France at Teschen—§ 457. Rastadt—§ 458. Amiens—§ 459. Prague —§ 460. Chatillon—§ 461. Vienna—§ 462. Aix-la-Chapelle (181S)—§ 463. Troppau—§ 464. Laybach—§ 465. Verona— § 466. Paris—§ 467. Berlin.

§ 439. From the point of view of International Law there is no essential difference between Congresses and Conferences. Both are meetings of plenipotentiaries for the discussion and settlement of international affairs. The presence sometimes of sovereigns at the place where they have been carried on does not alter their character. Analysis of the questions dealt with at one or other of such assemblies as were of greater historical importance may assist in determining on what occasions one or the other term should be employed. Both have included meetings, first, for the determination of political questions; second, for treating of matters of a social-economic character.

Congresses have usually been convoked for the negotiation of a peace between belligerent Powers and the redistribution of territory which in most cases is one of the conditions of peace. At a Congress, as a rule, more than two Powers have been represented, and for this reason the inclusion of the Peace of the Pyrenees (§ 443) and the Peace of Amiens (§ 458) seems to be incorrect. Probably Troppau, Laybach and Verona (§§ 403_5) ought also to be excluded from the list. 1 Ordinarily Congresses have been held at a neutral spot, or at some place expressly neutralized for the purpose of the meeting. In earlier times there were often mediators, who presided over the discussions, whether carried on orally or in writing. Before the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire, in 1806, the principal representative of the Emperor discharged the functions of president. In the nineteenth century, Congresses, properly so-called, were mostly held at the capital of one of the Powers concerned, and then the Chancellor or Minister for Foreign Affairs presided. It will be found that on these occasions, besides the specially deputed plenipotentiaries, the local diplomatic representatives of the respective Powers were also appointed.

We relegate to a footnote the sarcastic description of a Congress by Rousseau.1

A semi-official article published in 1814, during the earlier days of the Congress of Vienna, which was

1 " II se forme de temps en temps parmi nous des especes de dietes generates sous le nom de congres, oil Ton se rend solennellement de tous les Etats de l'Europe pour s*en retourner de m&me; ou Ton s'assemble pour ne rien dire; ou toutes les affaires publiques se traitent en particulier; ou Ton delibere en commun si la table sera ronde ou carree, si la salle aura plus ou moins de portes, si un tel plfinipotentiaire aura le visage ou le dos tourne vers la fenetre, si tel autre fera deux pouces de chemin de plus ou de moins dans une visite, et sur mille questions de pareille importance, inutilement agitees depuis trois siecles, et tres-dignes assurement d'occuper les politiques du notre."

written by Metternich,1 contains the following remarks—


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