The Control of American Foreign Relations

The Control of American Foreign Relations

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The Control of American Foreign Relations

The Control of American Foreign Relations

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Excerpt

For some years a small group of the writer's colleagues at the University of Minnesota have dined together periodically in order to listen to discussions or papers in the widely different fields of scholarship which the group represents. In the winter of 1920, with the Treaty of Versailles still unratified and unrejected by the Senate, the writer discussed before this group a subject then in the front of everyone's mind--the American system or lack of system for controlling foreign relations. The same material presented in a paper read before the American Political Science Association, December, 1920, was published in the American Political Science Review of February, 1921, and reprinted in Spanish in Inter-America, November, 1921.

The writer utilized his investigations in connection with this brief article to prepare an essay in accordance with the regulations governing the award of the Henry M. Phillips Prize offered by the American Philosophical Society in 1921 for an essay on "The Control of the Foreign Relations of the United States: The Relative Rights, Duties and Responsibilities of the President, of the Senate and the House, and of the Judiciary, in Theory and in Practice." This essay has been expanded and revised up to January, 1922, for the present publication.

The essay seeks to draw particular attention to a difficulty in the control of foreign relations found in every government, but especially in a government with powers defined in a judicially enforced written constitution. This is the difficulty which arises from the fact that the organs conducting foreign relations have their responsibilities defined by international law, while their power are defined by constitutional law. Since the sources of these two bodies of law are different, a lack of coordination between the powers and the responsibilities of these organs is to be expected. To avoid confusion the writer has considered the subject from the international point of view and from the constitutional point of view in separate parts of the book, even at . . .

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