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One of the essential attributes of a state under International Law is external sovereignty—that is, the right to exercise freely the full range of power a state possesses under international law. Recognition of a state as independent necessarily implies that the recognizing states have no legal authority over the independent state. The status of a fully independent state should be contrasted with that of dependent or vassal states, where a superior state has the legal authority to impose its will over the subject, or inferior, state.
INDEPENDENCE. A state of perfect irresponsibility to any superior; the
United States are free and independent of all earthly power.
2. Independence may be divided into political and natural independence. By the former is to be understood that we have contracted no tie except those which flow from the three great natural rights of safety, liberty and property. The latter consists in the power of being able to enjoy a permanent well-being, whatever may be the disposition of those from whom we call ourselves independent. In that sense a nation may be independent with regard to most people, but not independent of the whole world. Vide on of Independence.