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International Boundaries *

  • Jesse S. Reeves

Extract

This evening I am asking you to consider with me for a while the subject of international boundaries, which, by a process involving many forces, has come to have a very important position in international law. Ratzel, the great German authority in the field of political geography, said that “the mathematical precision of boundaries is a special characteristic of higher civilization; the progress of geodesy and cartography have permitted the making in Europe of political boundaries as well as geographical abstractions.” I employ the term “boundary” rather than the term “frontier,” for “frontier” is used in two senses: one, that of the boundary; the other, that of the zone, narrower or wider, where one state ends and another begins, in which sometimes the exact limit of that frontier has never been exactly fixed.

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*

Lecture delivered before the Summer Session on Ittternational Law, University of Michigan, July 25, 1938, and at McGill University, Montreal, August 28, 1939. Printed by permission of the author’s family.

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1 Ratzel, F., Anthropogeographie, Pt. I (1899), p. 267 , quoted by Nys, Le Droit International, Brussels, 1904, Vol. 1, pp. 420–421.

2 La frontière, Paris, 1928. See also National Frontiers in Relation to International Law, by Vittorio Adami, translated by Lt.-Col. Behrens, T. T., London, 1927 ; Political Frontiers and Boundary Making by Col. SirHoldich, Thomas H., London, 1916 .

3 Quoted by de Lapradelle, work cited, p. 14, n.

4 Deut. XIX, 14.

5 The Fasti, Tristia, Pontic Epistles, Ibis, and Halieuticon of Ovid, translated by Riley, Henry T., London, 1851, pp. 7577 .

6 Hugo Grotius, De Jure Belli ac Pacis Libri Tres, Prolegomena, par. 24.

7 First Capitulary of Charlemagne, 806 A.D.; translated from de Lapradelle, p. 29, n. 1.

8 Louis le Débonnaire’s Will, 837 A.D.; same, n. 2.

9 M. R. Vesnitch, cited by Nys, p. 420.

10 R. de Maulde-la-Clavière, cited by Nys, p. 420.

11 The same.

12 A Latin edition appeared in 1462, with maps; a Greek edition, edited by Erasmus, was printed in Basel in 1533.

13 Lescarbot, Histoire de la NouveUe France, Paris, 1609; English trans. by Grant, W. L., Toronto, 1907, Vol. II, pp. 212, 490.

14 The Federal and State Constitutions, p. 3795.

15 The same, p. 1829.

16 Quoted by de Lapradelle, op. cit., p. 40.

* Lecture delivered before the Summer Session on Ittternational Law, University of Michigan, July 25, 1938, and at McGill University, Montreal, August 28, 1939. Printed by permission of the author’s family.

International Boundaries *

  • Jesse S. Reeves

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