Mr. Wrotnowski send me an email, and this is my reply.
We agree that de Vattel writes eloquently espousing his view of natural law. And we agree that de Vattel was known to and likely influential in the minds of the framers of the Constitution.
That said, it would not be at all reasonable that to conclude that de Vattel’s views based on the stable Swiss society would closely fit in every respect the ideas from a fledgling frontier immigrant-driven democracy like the United States. Switzerland and the United States in the late 18th century were not the same kind of place. One had a stable population. The other needed immigrants just to keep the population from declining because of disease (at least this was the case in the southern colonies).
It would be an error to jump from the statement that de Vattel was influential to the statement that de Vattel was influential on issues of citizenship. One needs some additional evidence to make that connection and I do know where you would find that evidence. Continue Reading →