Courtesy Reuters

The Spanish Rebellion and International Law

NO ATTEMPT is made in this article to appraise the causes of the revolution which is today racking Spain.[i] Nor is it my object to discuss the present political alignments of Europe in order to determine whether we are witnessing a new balancing of powers, with fascism arrayed against "democracy," as once legitimist monarchs were leagued against the "republicanism" of an earlier era. It is the purpose of this article to see whether amidst these arms the laws are silent, and to consider what laws there are to speak.

But before we turn to a consideration of the applicable rules of international law, it may not be amiss to draw attention briefly to a few of the past instances in which Spain's European neighbors have concerned themselves in her domestic upheavals. As one skims the record of the last few centuries the newspaper headlines of the last few months leap irresistibly to mind.

In earlier times, as at present, the embroilment of various European Powers in Spanish affairs was generally connected, superficially at least, with changes in the government at Madrid. Then, however, the Powers made their alignments on the basis of support accorded various contending candidates for the Spanish throne. In 1698, the contest was between Archduke Charles of Hapsburg and the Dauphin of France for the succession to the childless Charles II -- a question involving either Hapsburg or Bourbon domination of Europe. England supported France; and the treaties between the two countries in 1698 and 1700 provided for the partition of Spanish possessions in Europe. Indignation ran high in Vienna as well as in Madrid. (This was half a century after Richelieu had fomented a Catalonian rebellion for the purpose of establishing a separate republic.) There came a shift in alignment, and in 1702 England, the Emperor and the Dutch began the War of the Spanish Succession against France. Other Powers joined, although some were diverted by the concurrent Northern War. When England virtually abandoned the allies, they were defeated by the

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