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Allegiance

subject, oath, civil, united and british

ALLEGIANCE. Allegiance is the obliga tion of obedience or service which one person owes to another or to the state. During the feudal age those who held lands of a feudal lord owed him allegiance; to-day, however, the allegiance of the individual is only to the state or its symbolic head, the king. The obligation is reciprocal, that is, it is due in return for the protection which the state of which he is a citi zen, or subject, is bound to afford him. The laws of most states require an oath of alle giance as a condition of admission to citizen ship; many exact a similar oath of persons en rolled in the military and naval forces, and some require it of persons appointed or elected to a civil office. In times of civil war an oath of allegiance is usually required of insurgents as a condition of amnesty or of the restoration of their civil status. Violation of the oath of allegiance is severely punished, usually with the penalties of treason.

Ordinarily allegiance is an obligation of citizens only, but in the United States it is held that aliens enjoying as they do the protec tion of the laws owe the country a local and temporary allegiance which continues during their residence and for violation of which they are liable to prosecution for treason equally with citizens (Carlisle v. The United States, 16 Wall. 147).

The doctrine of the English common law was that of indefeasible allegiance, which was also the theory of the Roman law, exuere patri am nemo palest, according to which the individ ual could not of his own motion throw off his allegiance and take up another. °Once an

English subject, always an English subject;' unless with the consent of the sovereign, was the theory stated in an aphorism. The early ju rists and commentators in the United States also inclined to this view and some secretaries of state followed this opinion. James Buchanan, secretary of state in 1845, however, asserted it to be an unqualified right of the citizen to change his allegiance at will, and in 1868 Con gress passed a law affirming this view. This act declared it to be an inherent right of all people to expatriate themselves whenever they wished and to assume a new allegiance. Two years later the British Parliament by statute formally abandoned the doctrine of indelible allegiance and declared that any British sub ject not under disability and voluntarily natural ized in a foreign state should cease to be a British subject. The great majority of other states likewise have abandoned the doctrine of indelible allegiance and allowed their citizens or subject to voluntarily expatriate themselves, although some of them attach restrictions to the exercise of the right. Only Russia and Turkey hold to the old rule and refuse to recog nize the legality of the naturalization of their subjects by foreign states, unless the consent of the sovereign has been previously obtained. See also CITIZENSHIP and NATURALIZATION.