When the thirteen colonies became a nation and formed the Constitution of the United States of America, their population was chiefly on the Atlantic seaboard. Their ships sailed to every port of the civilized world. They were alive to the importance of foreign commerce. The wars of the Napoleonic epoch and the controversies to which they gave rise, led the American people to feel that it was for their interest, not only to abstain from entangling alliances with the powers of continental Europe, but to limit their activities as far as possible to their own territory. The acquisition of Louisiana from the French in 1803 gave to the United States a fertile and almost boundless domain and afforded an opening for national growth, which of itself tended to withdraw the thought and enterprise of our people from foreign business. Undoubtedly our foreign commerce did increase down to the time of the Civil War, but it did not keep pace with the development of ^he country or with the growth of interstate commerce. Since the Civil War, however, the current has turned. The wealth of the United States has enormously increased. Its capital is found invested in foreign countries, and it has acquired territorial possessions not only in the Atlantic, but in the Pacific, which have changed entirely the attitude of the American people. It must inevitably be the case that in the future the number of American citizens who go to foreign countries and take up a residence there will far exceed that of any other period of our history. A few of these no doubt will become citizens of the countries to which they go, but experience shows that the great majority both of English and American citizens who reside in foreign countries still retain their citizenship. The relation borne by the home government to these citizens domiciled abroad is, therefore, a matter of great and increasing importance.