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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ceremonies during the annexation of Hawaii.

Annexation (Latin ad, to, and nexus, joining) is the de jure incorporation of some territory into another geo-political entity (either adjacent or non-contiguous). Usually, it is implied that the territory and population being annexed is the smaller, more peripheral, and weaker of the two merging entities. It can also imply a certain measure of coercion, expansionism or unilateralism on the part of the stronger of the merging entities. Because of this, more positive terms like political union or reunification are sometimes preferred.

Annexation differs from cession and amalgamation, because unlike cession where territory is given or sold through treaty, or amalgamation where both sides are asked if they agree with the merge, annexation is a unilateral act where territory is seized and held by one state that tries to make its move legitimate by the recognition of the international community.[1]

During World War II the use of annexation deprived whole populations of the safeguards provided by international laws governing military occupations. Changes were introduced to international law through the Fourth Geneva Convention that makes it much more difficult for a state to bypass international law through the use of annexation.[2]


Annexation and international law after 1948

The Fourth Geneva Convention (GCIV) of 1949, emphasised an important international law.[2] The United Nations Charter (June 26, 1945) had prohibited war of aggression (See articles 1.1, 2.3, 2.4) and GCIV Article 47, the first paragraph in Section III: Occupied territories, restricted the territorial gains which could be made through war by stating:

Protected persons who are in occupied territory shall not be deprived, in any case or in any manner whatsoever, of the benefits of the present Convention by any change introduced, as the result of the occupation of a territory, into the institutions or government of the said territory, nor by any agreement concluded between the authorities of the occupied territories and the Occupying Power, nor by any annexation by the latter of the whole or part of the occupied territory.

Article 49 prohibits mass movement of people out of or into occupied territory:[3]

Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive. ... The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.

Protocol I (1977): "Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts" has additional articles which cover military occupation, but many countries including the United States are not signatory to this additional protocol.

Examples of annexation since 1947


In 1947, Indian forces moved into the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir on the request of the Maharajah of Kashmir to help stave off an attack from across its borders by Pakistan's regular army and guerrillas who threatened to occupy large chunks of the state of Jammu & Kashmir, after the Maharaja of Kashmir had signed an instrument of accession to the Union of India. Jammu and Kashmir is an Indian state on the basis of the instrument (agreement) of ascension, and the Kashmiri people are Indian citizens. However its status is disputed by Pakistan and China.


In 1954, former British Ogaden (a Somali Region) was annexed by Abyssinia. Somali nationalists have waged wars of liberation since 1954. Currently, the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) leads this nationalist effort and is engaged in a fierce military confrontation with Ethiopia.


On 18 September 1955 at precisely 10:16 am, in what would be the final territorial expansion of the British Empire, Rockall was officially annexed by the United Kingdom when Lieutenant-Commander Desmond Scott RN, Sergeant Brian Peel RM, Corporal AA Fraser RM, and James Fisher (a civilian naturalist and former Royal Marine), were deposited on the island by a Royal Navy helicopter from HMS Vidal (coincidentally named after the man who first charted the island). The team cemented in a brass plaque on Hall's Ledge and hoisted the Union Flag to stake the UK's claim. However its status is disputed by Denmark (for the Faroe Islands), Ireland and Iceland.


Tibetan nationalists and human rights activists have argued that Tibet was occupied and annexed by the People's Republic of China in the 1950s.[4] This position is disputed by the PRC government and Chinese nationalists who argue that Manchu Dynasty has exercised sovereignty over Tibet since at least the 18th century, and that this sovereignty had been internationally recognized since at least the 20th century. Hence they would argue that the action in 1959 was an internationally acceptable example of a central government reasserting control over an internal region.

Since the Simla Accord of 1914, the British Government's position was that China held suzerainty over Tibet but not full sovereignty—a position held by no other state. On 29 October 2008 the British Government issued a statement recognising China's full soverignty, and so weakened the position of Tibetan nationalists that Tibet was occupied and annexed by China.[5][6]


In 1947, a popular vote rejected Sikkim's joining the Indian Union and Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru agreed to a special protectorate status for Sikkim. Sikkim came under the suzerainty of India, which controlled its external affairs, defence, diplomacy and communications, but Sikkim otherwise retained autonomy. A state council was established in 1955 to allow for constitutional government under the Chogyal. Meanwhile trouble was brewing in the state after the Sikkim National Congress demanded fresh elections and greater representation for the Nepalese. In 1973, riots in front of the palace led to a formal request for protection from India. The Chogyal was proving to be extremely unpopular with the people. In 1975, the Kazi (Prime Minister) appealed to the Indian Parliament for a change in Sikkim's status so that it could become a state of India. In April, the Indian Army moved into Sikkim, seizing the city of Gangtok and disarming the Palace Guards. A referendum was held in which 97.5% of the voting people (59% of the people entitled to vote) voted to join the Indian Union. A few weeks later, on May 16, 1975, Sikkim officially became the 22nd state of the Indian Union and the monarchy was abolished. [7]

East Timor

Following an Indonesian invasion in 1975, East Timor was annexed by Indonesia and was known as Timor Timur. It was regarded by Indonesia as the country's 27th province, but this was never recognised by the United Nations. The people of East Timor resisted Indonesian forces in a prolonged guerilla campaign. (See: Indonesian rule in East Timor).

Following a referendum held in 1999, under a UN sponsored agreement between Indonesia and, in which its people rejected the offer of autonomy within Indonesia, East Timor achieved independence in 2002 and is now officially known as Timor-Leste.

West Papua

West Papua, or Irian Jaya as the Indonesian government has re-named it, is the territory on the western half of the island of New Guinea. This area was previously known as Netherlands New Guinea. Unlike Indonesia, which achieved independence in 1945, West Papua remained a Dutch colony until August 15, 1962. That year the Dutch ceded control of the territory to the United Nations (the New York Agreement), and due to military and diplomatic pressure exerted by Indonesia, the United Nations transferred the de facto authority to the Indonesian government. The incorporation of western New Guinea into Indonesia remains controversial with many of the territory's indigenous population as they did not get a say in their own future- see

Western Sahara

In 1975, and following the Madrid Accords between Morocco, Mauritania and Spain, the latter withdrew from the territory and ceded the administration to Morocco and Mauritania. This was challenged by an independentist movement, the Polisario Front that waged a guerilla war against both Morocco and Mauritania. In 1979, and after a military putsch, Mauritania withdrew from the territory which left it controlled by Morocco. A United Nations peace process was initiated in 1991, but it has been stalled, and as of mid-2007, the UN is holding direct negotiations between Morocco and the Polisario front to reach a solution to the conflict.


In the aftermath of the 1967 Six Day War, in which Israel had captured Jerusalem as well as the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan Heights, Israel declared East and West Jerusalem one united city, incorporating the eastern part to form one municipality. In 1980 Israel passed the Jerusalem Law, which redeclared the unity of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, but did not declare its borders. In other words, Israel annexed East Jerusalem,[8][9][10] although many challenge the legitimacy of this action.[11]


In 1981, Israel extended its "laws, jurisdiction and administration" to the Golan Heights (including the Shebaa Farms/Har Dov), which it captured from Syria in the 1967 Six Day War. This not entirely clear "annexation" declaration was declared "null and void and without international legal effect" by United Nations Security Council Resolution 497. As of today, the only state to accept the validity of this annexation, except for Israel, is the Federated States of Micronesia.


After being allied with Iraq during the Iran – Iraq War (largely due to desiring Iraqi protection from Iran), Kuwait was invaded and annexed by Iraq (under Saddam Hussein) in August 1990. Hussein's primary justifications included a charge that Kuwaiti territory was in fact an Iraqi province, and that annexation was retaliation for "economic warfare" Kuwait had waged through slant drilling into Iraq's oil supplies. The monarchy was deposed after annexation, and an Iraqi governor installed.

United States President George H. W. Bush ultimately condemned Iraq's actions, and moved to drive out Iraqi forces. Authorized by the UN Security Council, an American-led coalition of 34 nations fought the Gulf War to reinstate the Kuwaiti Emir. Iraq's invasion (and annexation) was deemed illegal and Kuwait remains an independent nation today.

Subnational annexation

Within countries that are subdivided noncontiguously, annexation can also take place whereby a lower-tier subdivision can annex territory under the jurisdiction of a higher-tier subdivision. An example of this is in the United States, where incorporated cities and towns often expand their boundaries by annexing unincorporated land adjacent to them. Municipalities can also annex or be annexed by other municipalities, though this is less common in the United States. Laws governing the ability and the extent cities can expand in this fashion are defined by the individual states' constitutions.

Annexation of neighbouring communities is much more common in Canada, where the Unicity concept of city planning is popular. The city of Calgary, for example, has in the past annexed the communities of Bridgeland, Riverside, Sunnyside, Hillhurst, Hunter, Hubalta, Ogden, Forest Lawn, Midnapore, Shepard, Montgomery, and Bowness.[12][13]

See also


  1. ^ Annexation, Encyclopaedia Britannica
  2. ^ a b Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949.Commentary on Part III : Status and treatment of protected persons #Section III : Occupied territories Art. 47 by the ICRC
  3. ^ Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949.Commentary on Part III : Status and treatment of protected persons #Section III : Occupied territories Art. 49 by the ICRC
  4. ^ Tibet: China Must End Rural Reconstruction Campaign (Human Rights Watch, 20-12-2006)
  5. ^ Staff, Britain's suzerain remedy, The Economist, 6 November 2008
  6. ^ David Miliband, Written Ministerial Statement on Tibet (29/10/2008), Foreign Office website, Retrieved 2008-11-25. "... Like every other EU member state, and the United States, we regard Tibet as part of the People's Republic of China. ..."
  7. ^ Department of Information and Public Relations, Government of Sikkim. 2005-09-29. Retrieved on 2006-10-12.
  8. ^ Sela, Avraham. "Jerusalem." The Continuum Political Encyclopedia of the Middle East. Ed. Avraham Sela. New York: Continuum, 2002. pp. 391-498.
  9. ^ Frank, Mitch. Understanding the Holy Land: Answering Questions about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. New York: Viking, 2005. p. 74.
  10. ^ "A/35/508-S/14207 of 8 October 1980." UNISPAL - United Nations Information System on the Question of Palestine. 8 Octomber 1980. 8 June 2008.
  11. ^ Ian S. Lustick, 'Has Israel Annexed East Jerusalem?,' Middle East Policy Council Journal Volume V, January 1997, Number 1
  12. ^ [ "Annexation Policies and Urban Growth Management in Calgary." Tim Creelman. Accessed December 17, 2009.
  13. ^ History of Annexation. City of Calgary. Accessed December 17, 2009.

Further reading

Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010

From Wikisource

by John L. O'Sullivan in the year 1845
This article appeared in THe United States Magazine and Democratic Review of July and August 1845, Volume XVII No. LXXXV, pp. 5-10. This is the piece that coined the phrase "manifest destiny."

It is time now for opposition to the Annexation of Texas to cease, all further agitation of the waters of bitterness and strife, at least in connexion with this question,—even though it may perhaps be required of us as a necessary condition of the freedom of our institutions, that we must live on for ever in, a state of unpausing struggle and excitement upon some subject of party division or other. But, in regard to Texas, enough has now been given to Party. It is time for the common duty of Patriotism to the Country to succeed;—or if this claim will not be recognized, it is at least time for common sense to acquiesce with decent grace in the inevitable and the irrevocable.

Texas is now ours. Already, before these words are written, her Convention has undoubtedly ratified the acceptance, by her Congress, of our proffered invitation into the Union; and made the requisite changes in her already republican form of constitution to adopt it to its future federal relations. Her star and her stripe may already be said to have taken their place in the glorious blazon of our common nationality; and the sweep of our eagle’s wing already includes within its circuit the wide extent of her fair and fertile land. She is no longer to us a mere geographical space—a certain combination of coast, plain, mountain, valley, forest and stream. She is no longer to us a mere country on the map. She comes within the dear and sacred designation of Our Country; no longer a “pays,” she is a part of “la patrie;” and that which is at once a sentiment and a virtue, Patriotism, already begins to thrill for her too within the national heart. It is time then that all should cease to treat her as alien, and even adverse—cease to denounce and vilify all and everything connected with her accession—cease to thwart and oppose the remaining steps for its consummation; or where such efforts are felt to be unavailing, at least to embitter the hour of reception by all the most ungracious frowns of aversion and words of unwelcome. There has been enough of all this. It has had its fitting day during the period when, in common with every other possible question of practical policy that can arise, it unfortunately became one of the leading topics of party division, of presidential electioneering. But that period has passed, and with it let its prejudices and its passions, its discords and its denunciations, pass away too. The next session of Congress will see the representatives of the new young State in their places in both our halls of national legislation, side by side with those of the old Thirteen. Let their reception into “the family” be frank, kindly, and cheerful, as befits such an occasion, as comports not less with our own self-respect than patriotic duty towards them. Ill betide those foul birds that delight to ’file their own nest, and disgust the ear with perpetual discord of ill-omened croak.

Why, were other reasoning wanting, in favor of now elevating this question of the reception of Texas into the Union, out of the lower region of our past party dissensions, up to its proper level of a high and broad nationality, it surely is to be found, found abundantly, in the manner in which other nations have undertaken to intrude themselves into it, between us and the proper parties to the case, in a spirit of hostile interference against us, for the avowed object of thwarting our policy and hampering our power, limiting our greatness and checking the fulfilment of our manifest destiny to overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions. This we have seen done by England, our old rival and enemy; and by France, strangely coupled with her against us, under the influence of the Anglicism strongly tinging the policy of her present prime minister, Guizot. The zealous activity with which this effort to defeat us was pushed by the representatives of those governments, together with the character of intrigue accompanying it, fully constituted that case of foreign interference, which Mr. Clay himself declared should, and would unite us all in maintaining the common cause of our country against the foreigner and the foe. We are only astonished that this effect has not been more fully and strongly produced, and that the burst of indignation against this unauthorized, insolent and hostile interference against us, has not been more general even among the party before opposed to Annexation, and has not rallied the national spirit and national pride unanimously upon that policy. We are very sure that if Mr. Clay himself were now to add another letter to his former Texas correspondence, he would express this sentiment, and carry out the idea already strongly stated in one of them, in a manner which would tax all the powers of blushing belonging to some of his party adherents.

It is wholly untrue, and unjust to ourselves, the pretence that the Annexation has been a measure of spoliation, unrightful and unrighteous—of military conquest under forms of peace and law—of territorial aggrandizement at the expense of justice, and justice due by a double sanctity to the weak. This view of the question is wholly unfounded, and has been before so amply refuted in these pages, as well as in a thousand other modes, that we shall not again dwell upon it. The independence of Texas was complete and absolute. It was an independence, not only in fact but of right. No obligation of duty towards Mexico tended in the least degree to restrain our right to effect the desired recovery of the fair province once our own—whatever motives of policy might have prompted a more deferential consideration of her feelings and her pride, as involved in the question. If Texas became peopled with an American population, it was by no contrivance of our government, but on the express invitation of that of Mexico herself; accompanied with such guaranties of State independence, and the maintenance of a federal system analogous to our own, as constituted a compact fully justifying the strongest measures of redress on the part of those afterwards deceived in this guaranty, and sought to be enslaved under the yoke imposed by its violation. She was released, rightfully and absolutely released, from all Mexican allegiance, or duty of cohesion to the Mexican political body, by the acts and fault of Mexico herself, and Mexico alone. There never was a clearer case. It was not revolution; it was resistance to revolution; and resistance under such circumstances as left independence the necessary resulting state, caused by the abandonment of those with whom her former federal association had existed. What then can be more preposterous than all this clamor by Mexico and the Mexican interest, against Annexation, as a violation of any rights of hers, any duties of ours?

We would not be understood as approving in all its features the expediency or propriety of the mode in which the measure, rightful and wise as it is in itself, has been carried into effect. Its history has been a sad tissue of diplomatic blundering. How much better it might have been managed—how much more smoothly, satisfactorily and successfully! Instead of our present relations with Mexico—instead of the serious risks which have been run, and those plausibilities of opprobrium which we have had to combat, not without great difficulty, nor with entire success—instead of the difficulties which now throng the path to a satisfactory settlement of all our unsettled questions with Mexico—Texas might, by a more judicious and conciliatory diplomacy, have been as securely in the Union as she is now—her boundaries defined—California probably ours—and Mexico and ourselves united by closer ties than ever; of mutual friendship, and mutual support in resistance to the intrusion of European inteference [sic] in the affairs of the American republics. All this might have been, we little doubt, already secured, had counsels less violent, less rude, less one-sided, less eager in precipitation from motives widely foreign to the national question, presided over the earlier stages of its history. We cannot too deeply regret the mismanagement which has disfigured the history of this question; and especially the neglect of the means which would have been so easy, of satisfying even the unreasonable pretensions, and the excited pride and passion of Mexico. The singular result has been produced, that while our neighbor has, in truth, no real right to blame or complain—when all the wrong is on her side, and there has been on ours a degree of delay and forbearance, in deference to her pretensions, which is to be paralleled by few precedents in the history of other nations—we have yet laid ourselves open to a great deal of denunciation hard to repel, and impossible to silence; and all history will carry it down as a certain fact, that Mexico would have declared war against us, and would have waged it seriously, if she had not been prevented by that very weakness which should have constituted her best defence.

We plead guilty to a degree of sensitive annoyance—for the sake of the honor of our country, and its estimation in the public opinion of the world—which does not find even in satisfied conscience full consolation for the very necessity of seeking consolation there. And it is for this state of things that we hold responsible that gratuitous mismanagement—wholly apart from the main substantial rights and merits of the question, to which alone it is to be ascribed ; and which had its origin in its earlier stages, before the accession of Mr. Calhoun to the department of State.

Nor is there any just foundation for the charge that Annexation is a great pro-slavery measure—calculated to increase and perpetuate that institution. Slavery had nothing to do with it. Opinions were and are greatly divided, both at the North and South, as to the influence to be exerted by it on Slavery and the Slave States. That it will tend to facilitate and hasten the disappearance of Slavery from all the northern tier of the present Slave States, cannot surely admit of serious question. The greater value in Texas of the slave labor now employed in those States, must soon produce the effect of draining off that labor southwardly, by the same unvarying law that bids water descend the slope that invites it. Every new Slave State in Texas will make at least one Free State from among those in which that institution now exists—to say nothing of those portions of Texas on which slavery cannot spring and grow—to say nothing of the far more rapid growth of new States in the free West and Northwest, as these fine regions are overspread by the emigration fast flowing over them from Europe, as well as from the Northern and Eastern States of the Union as it exists. On the other hand, it is undeniably much gained for the cause of the eventual voluntary abolition of slavery, that it should have been thus drained off towards the only outlet which appeared to furnish much probability of the ultimate disappearance of the negro race from our borders. The Spanish Indian-American populations of Mexico, Central America and South America, afford the only receptacle capable of absorbing that race whenever we shall be prepared to slough it off—to emancipate it from slavery, and (simultaneously necessary) to remove it from the midst of our own. Themselves already of mixed and confused blood, and free from the “the prejudices” which among us so insuperably forbid the social amalgamation which can alone elevate the Negro race out of a virtually servile degradation even though legally free, the regions occupied by those populations must strongly attract the black race in that direction; and as soon as the destined hour of emancipation shall arrive, will relieve the question of one of its worst difficulties, if not absolutely the greatest.

No—Mr. Clay was right when he declared that Annexation was a question with which slavery had nothing to do. The country which was the subject of Annexation in this case, from its geographical position and relations, happens to be—or rather the portion of it now actually settled, happens to be— a slave country. But a similar process might have taken place in proximity to a different section of our Union; and indeed there is a great deal of Annexation yet to take place, within the life of the present generation, along the whole line of our northern border. Texas has been absorbed into the Union in the inevitable fulfilment of the general law which is rolling our population westward; the connexion of which with that ratio of growth in population which is destined within a hundred years to swell our numbers to the enormous population of two hundred and fifty millions (if not more), is too evident to leave us in doubt of the manifest design of Providence in regard to the occupation of this continent. It was disintegrated from Mexico in the natural course of events, by a process perfectly legitimate on its own part, blameless on ours; and in which all the censures due to wrong, perfidy and folly, rest on Mexico alone. And possessed as it was by a population which was in truth but a colonial detachment from our own, and which was still bound by myriad ties of the very heart-strings to its old relations, domestic and political, their incorporation into the Union was not only inevitable, but the most natural, right and proper thing in the world—and it is only astonishing that there should be any among ourselves to say it nay.

In respect to the institution of slavery itself, we have not designed, in what has been said above, to express any judgment of its merits or demerits, pro or con. National in its character and aims, this Review abstains from the discussion of a topic pregnant with embarrassment and danger—intricate and double-sided—exciting and embittering—and necessarily excluded from a work circulating equally in the South as in the North. It is unquestionably one of the most difficult of the various social problems which at the present day so deeply agitate the thoughts of the civilized world. Is the negro race, or is it not, of equal attributes and capacities with our own? Can they, on a large scale, coexist side by side in the same country on a footing of civil and social equality with the white race? In a free competition of labor with the latter, will they or will they not be ground down to a degradation and misery worse than slavery? When we view the condition of the operative masses of the population in England and other European countries, and feel all the difficulties of the great problem, of the distribution of the fruits of production between capital, skill and labor, can our confidence be undoubting that in the present condition of society, the conferring of sudden freedom upon our negro race would be a boon to be grateful for? Is it certain that competitive wages are very much better, for a race so situated, than guarantied support and protection? Until a still deeper problem shall have been solved than that of slavery, the slavery of an inferior to a superior race—a relation reciprocal in certain important duties and obligations—is it certain that the cause of true wisdom and philanthropy is not rather, for the present, to aim to meliorate that institution as it exists, to guard against its abuses, to mitigate its evils, to modify it when it may contravene sacred principles and rights of humanity, by prohibiting the separation of families, excessive severities, subjection to the licentiousness of mastership, &c.? Great as may be its present evils, is it certain that we would not plunge the unhappy Helot race which has been entailed upon us into still greater ones, by surrendering their fate into the rash hands of those fanatic zealots of a single idea, who claim to be their special friends and champions? Many of the most ardent social reformers of the present day are looking towards the idea of Associated Industry as containing the germ of such a regeneration of society as will relieve its masses from the hideous weight of evil which now depresses and degrades them to a condition which these reformers often describe as no improvement upon any form of legal slavery—is it certain, then, that the institution in question—as a mode of society, as a relation between the two races, and between capital and labor,—does not contain some dim undeveloped germ of that very principle of reform thus aimed at, out of which proceeds some compensation at least for its other evils, making it the duty of true reform to cultivate and develope the good, and remove the evils?

To all these, and the similar questions which spring out of any intelligent reflection on the subject, we attempt no answer. Strong as are our sympathies in behalf of liberty, universal liberty, in all applications of the principle not forbidden by great and manifest evils, we confess ourselves not prepared with any satisfactory solution to the great problem of which these questions present various aspects. Far from us to say that either of the antagonist fanaticisms to be found on either side of the Potomac is right. Profoundly embarrassed amidst the conflicting elements entering into the question, much and anxious reflection upon it brings us as yet to no other conclusion than to the duty of a liberal tolerance of the honest differences of both sides; together with the certainty that whatever good is to be done in the case is to be done only by the adoption of very different modes of action, prompted by a very different spirit, from those which have thus far, among us, characterized the labors of most of those who claim the peculiar title of “friends of the slave” and “champions of the rights of man.” With no friendship for slavery, though unprepared to excommunicate to eternal damnation, with bell, book, and candle, those who are, we see nothing in the bearing of the Annexation of Texas on that institution to awaken a doubt of the wisdom of that measure, or a compunction for the humble part contributed by us towards its consummation.

California will, probably, next fall away from the loose adhesion which, in such a country as Mexico, holds a remote province in a slight equivocal kind of dependence on the metropolis. Imbecile and distracted, Mexico never can exert any real governmental authority over such a country. The impotence of the one and the distance of the other, must make the relation one of virtual independence; unless, by stunting the province of all natural growth, and forbidding that immigration which can alone develope its capabilities and fulfil the purposes of its creation, tyranny may retain a military dominion which is no government in the legitimate sense of the term. In the case of California this is now impossible. The Anglo-Saxon foot is already on its borders. Already the advance guard of the irresistible army of Anglo-Saxon emigration has begun to pour down upon it, armed with the plough and the rifle, and marking its trail with schools and colleges, courts and representative halls, mills and meeting-houses. A population will soon be in actual occupation of California, over which it will be idle for Mexico to, dream of dominion. They will necessarily become independent. All this without agency of our government, without responsibility of our people—in the natural flow of events, the spontaneous working of principles, and the adaptation of the tendencies and wants of the human race to the elemental circumstances in the midst of which they find themselves placed. And they will have a right to independence—to self-government—to the possession of the homes conquered from the wilderness by their own labors and dangers, sufferings and sacrifices—a better and a truer right than the artificial title of sovereignty in Mexico a thousand miles distant, inheriting from Spain a title good only against those who have none better. Their right to independence will be the natural right of self-government belonging to any community strong enough to maintain it—distinct in position, origin and character, and free from any mutual obligations of membership of a common political body, binding it to others by the duty of loyalty and compact of public faith. This will be their title to independence; and by this title, there can be no doubt that the population now fast streaming down upon California will both assert and maintain that independence. Whether they will then attach themselves to our Union or not, is not to be predicted with any certainty. Unless the projected rail-road across the continent to the Pacific be carried into effect, perhaps they may not; though even in that case, the day is not distant when the Empires of the Atlantic and Pacific would again flow together into one, as soon as their inland border should approach each other. But that great work, colossal as appears the plan on its first suggestion, cannot remain long unbuilt. Its necessity for this very purpose of binding and holding together in its iron clasp our fast settling Pacific region with that of the Mississippi valley—the natural facility of the route—the ease with which any amount of labor for the construction can be drawn in from the overcrowded populations of Europe, to be paid in the lands made valuable by the progress of the work itself—and its immense utility to the commerce of the world with the whole eastern coast of Asia, alone almost sufficient for the support of such a road—these considerations give assurance that the day cannot be distant which shall witness the conveyance of the representatives from Oregon and California to Washington within less time than a few years ago was devoted to a similar journey by those from Ohio; while the magnetic telegraph will enable the editors of the “San Francisco Union,” the “Astoria Evening Post,” or the “Nootka Morning News” to set up in type the first half of the President's Inaugural, before the echoes of the latter half shall have died away beneath the lofty porch of the Capitol, as spoken from his lips.

Away, then, with all idle French talk of balances of power on the American Continent. There is no growth in Spanish America! Whatever progress of population there may be in the British Canadas, is only for their own early severance of their present colonial relation to the little island three thousand miles across the Atlantic; soon to be followed by Annexation, and destined to swell the still accumulating momentum of our progress. And whosoever may hold the balance, though they should cast into the opposite scale all the bayonets and cannon, not only of France and England, but of Europe entire, how would it kick the beam against the simple solid weight of the two hundred and fifty, or three hundred millions—and American millions—destined to gather beneath the flutter of the stripes and stars, in the fast hastening year of the Lord 1945!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

ANNEXATION (Lat. ad, to, and nexus, joining), in international law, the act by which a state adds territory to its dominions; the term is also used generally as a synonym for acquisition. The assumption of a protectorate over another state, or of a sphere of influence, is not strictly annexation, the latter implying the complete displacement in the annexed territory of the government or state by which it was previously ruled. Annexation may be the consequence of a voluntary cession from one state to another, or of conversion from a protectorate or sphere of influence, or of mere occupation in uncivilized regions, or of conquest. The cession of Alsace-Lorraine to Germany by France, although brought about by the war of i r870, was for the purposes of international law a voluntary cession. Under the treaty of the 17th of December 1885, between the French republic and the queen of Madagascar, a French protectorate was established over this island. In 1896 this protectorate was converted by France into an annexation, and Madagascar then became "French territory." The formal annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina by Austria (Oct.5, 1908) was an unauthorized conversion of an "occupation" authorized by the Treaty of Berlin (1878), which had, however, for years operated as a de facto annexation. A recent case of conquest was that effected by the South African War of 18 991902, in which the Transvaal republic and the Orange Free State were extinguished, first de facto by occupation of the whole of their territory, and then de jure by terms of surrender entered into by the Boer generals acting as a government.

By annexation, as between civilized peoples, the annexing state takes over the whole succession with the rights and obligations attaching to the ceded territory, subject only to any modifying conditions contained in the treaty of cession. These, however, are binding only as between the parties to them. In the case of the annexation of the territories of the Transvaal republic and Orange Free State, a rather complicated situation arose out of the facts, on the one hand, that the ceding states closed their own existence and left no recourse to third parties against the previous ruling authority, and, on the other, that, having no means owing to the de facto British occupation, of raising money by taxation, the dispossessed governments raised money by selling certain securities, more especially a large holding of shares in the South African Railway Company, to neutral purchasers. The British government repudiated these sales as having been made by a government which the British government had already displaced. The question of at what point, in a war of conquest, the state succession becomes operative is one of great delicacy. As early as the 6th of January 1900, the high commissioner at Cape Town issued a proclamation giving notice that H. M. government would "not recognize as valid or effectual" any conveyance, transfer or transmission of any property made by the government of the Transvaal republic or Orange Free State subsequently to the 10th of October 1899, the date of the commencement of the war. A proclamation forbidding transactions with a state which might still be capable of maintaining its independence could obviously bind only those subject to the authority of the state issuing it. Like paper blockades (see Blockade) and fictitious occupations of territory, such premature proclamations are viewed by international jurists as not being jure gentiuna. The proclamation was succeeded, on the 9th of March 1900, by another of the high commissioner at Cape Town, reiterating the notice, but confining it to "lands, railways, mines or mining rights." And on the 1st of September 1900 Lord Roberts proclaimed at Pretoria the annexation of the territories of the Transvaal republic to the British dominions. That the war continued for nearly two years after this proclamation shows how fictitious the claim of annexation was. The difficulty which arose out of the transfer of the South African Railway shares held by the Transvaal government was satisfactorily terminated by the purchase by the British government of the total capital of the company from the different groups of shareholders (see on this case, Sir Thomas Barclay, Law Quarterly Review, July 1905; and Professor Westlake, in the same Review, October 1905).

In a judgment of the judicial committee of the privy council in 1899 (Coote v. Sprigg, A.C. 572), Lord Chancellor Halsbury made an important distinction as regards the obligations of state succession. The case in question was a claim of title against the crown, represented by the government of Cape Colony. It was made by persons holding a concession of certain rights in eastern Pondoland from a native chief. Before the grantees had taken up their grant by acts of possession, Pondoland was annexed to Cape Colony. The colonial government refused to recognize the grant on different grounds, the chief of them being that the concession conferred no legal rights before the annexation and therefore could confer none afterwards, a sufficiently good ground in itself. The judicial committee, however, rested its decision chiefly on the allegation that the acquisition of the territory was an act of state and that "no municipal court had authority to enforce such an obligation" as the duty of the new government to respect existing titles. "It is no answer," said Lord Halsbury, "to say that by the ordinary principles of international law private property is respected by the sovereign which accepts the cession and assumes the duties and legal obligations of the former sovereign with respect to such private property within the ceded territory. All that can be meant by such a proposition is that according to the well-understood rules of international law a change of sovereignty by cession ought not to affect private property, but no municipal tribunal has authority to enforce such an obligation. And if there is either an express or a well-understood bargain between the ceding potentate and the government to which the cession is made that private property shall be respected, that is only a bargain which can be enforced by sovereign against sovereign in the ordinary course of diplomatic pressure." In an editorial note on this case the Law Quarterly Review of Jan. 1900 (p. 1), dissenting from the view of the judicial committee that "no municipal tribunal has authority to enforce such an obligation," the writer observes that "we can read this only as meant to lay down that, on the annexation of territory even by peaceable cession, there is a total abeyance of justice until the will of the annexing power is expressly made known; and that, although the will of that power is commonly to respect existing private rights, there is no rule or presumption to that effect of which any court must or indeed can take notice." So construed the doctrine is not only contrary to international law, but according to so authoritative an exponent of the common law as Sir F. Pollock, there is no warrant for it in English common law.

An interesting point of American constitutional law has arisen out of the cession of the Philippines to the United States, through the fact that the federal constitution does not lend itself to the exercise by the federal congress of unlimited powers, such as are vested in the British parliament. The sole authority for the powers of the federal congress is a written constitution with defined powers. Anything done in excess of those powers is null and void. The Supreme Court of the United States, on the other hand, has declared that, by the constitution, a government is ordained and established "for the United States of America" and not for countries outside their limits (Ross's Case, 140 U.S. 453, 464), and that no such power to legislate for annexed territories as that vested in the British crown in council is enjoyed by the president of the United States (Field v. Clark, 143 U.S. 649, 692). Every detail connected with the administration of the territories acquired from Spain under the treaty of Paris (December 10, 1898) has given rise to minute discussion.

See Carman F. Randolph, Law and Policy of Annexation (New York and London, 1901); Charles Henry Butler, Treaty-making Power of the United States (New York, 1902), vol. i. p. 79 et seq. (T. BA.)

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Simple English

Annexation (Latin: ad "to" and nexus "joining") means one territory is being merged with another. The territory being annexed is usually the smaller or weaker one, which becomes an inseparable part of the bigger one.

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