A state is not to be regarded as a property or patrimony, like the soil on which it may be settled. It is a society of men, over which no one but itself has the right to rule or to dispone. Like the stem of a tree it has its own root, and to incorporate it as a graft in another state, is to destroy its existence as a moral person; it is to reduce it to a thing, and thereby to contradict the idea of the original compact without which a right over a people is inconceivable. Everyone knows what danger the prejudice in favor of thus acquiring states has brought to Europe, for in the other parts of the world it has never been known; and that this has gone on even up to our own times. It was considered that the states might marry one another; and hence, on the one hand, a new kind of industry in the effort to acquire predominance by family alliances, without any expenditure of power; and, on the other hand, to increase, in this way, by new possessions the extent of a country. Further, the lending of the troops of one state to another on pay, to fight against an enemy not at war with their own state, has arisen from the same erroneous view; for the subjects of the state are thus used and abused as things that may be managed at will.
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