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A term used in feudal law to designate land acquisition by purchase; or any method other than descent or inheritance by which an individual obtains ownership of an estate. A term used in International Law for the process whereby a sovereign nation is, by force of arms, made to submit to another nation; the defeated country thus becomes part of the empire of the conqueror.

See: subjection

CONQUEST, feudal law. This term was used by the feudists to signify purchase.

CONQUEST, international law. The acquisition of the sovereignty of a country by force of arms, exercised by an independent power which reduces the vanquished to the submission of its empire.
     2. It is a general rule, that where conquered countries have laws of their own, these laws remain in force after the conquest, until they are abrogated, unless they are contrary to our religion, or enact any malum in se. In all such cases the laws of the conquering country prevail; for it is not to be presumed that laws opposed to religion or sound morals could be sanctioned. 1 Story, Const. Sec. 150, and the cases there cited.
     3. The conquest and military occupation of a part of the territory of the United States by a public enemy, renders such conquered territory, during such occupation, a foreign country with respect to the revenue laws of the United States. 4 Wheat. R. 246; 2 Gallis. R. 486. The people of a conquered territory change their allegiance, but, by the modern practice, their relations to each other, and their rights of property, remain the same. 7 Pet. R. 86.
     4. Conquest does not, per se, give the conqueror plenum dominium et utile, but a temporary right of possession and government. 2 Gallis. R. 486; 3 Wash. C. C. R. 101. See 8 Wheat. R. 591; 2 Bay, R. 229; 2 Dall. R. 1; 12 Pet. 410.
     5. The right which the English government claimed over the territory now composing the United States, was not founded on conquest, but discovery. Id. Sec. 152, et seq.

References in classic literature ?
I abhor every common-place phrase by which wit is intended; and 'setting one's cap at a man,' or 'making a conquest,' are the most odious of all.
The king is sending me to make conquests among the Arabs.
Theresa's passionate, ideal nature demanded an epic life: what were many-volumed romances of chivalry and the social conquests of a brilliant girl to her?
not that alone: but, then, I was so much admired; and I made so MANY conquests in that one night--you'd be astonished to hear--'
You and I in our lifetime shall not see it, but there will come a day when the ancient conquests of Persia and Greece and Rome will seem as nothing before the all-conquering armies of China and Japan.
Out of so many conquests and the spoils of conquered cities
He has won the greatest of all conquests--the conquest of himself.
The great hero of the struggle between the Britons and the Saxons was King Arthur, but it was not until many many years after the time in which he lived that all the splendid stories of his knights, of his Round Table, and of his great conquests began to take the form in which we know them.
Although no one doubted that Commandant Genestas had made conquests during his sojourn in town after town and country after country where he had taken part in the festivities given and received by the officers, yet no one knew this for a certainty.
It amused me to hear the malicious little stories they told of their best friends who were absent, to note the spiteful little digs they gave their best friends who were present, to watch the utter incredulity with which they listened to the tale of some other woman's conquests, the radiant good faith they displayed in connection with their own, the instant collapse into boredom, if some topic of so-called general interest, by some extraordinary chance, were introduced.
It had borne all the ships whose names are like jewels flashing in the night of time, from the Golden Hind returning with her round flanks full of treasure, to be visited by the Queen's Highness and thus pass out of the gigantic tale, to the Erebus and Terror, bound on other conquests --and that never returned.
And when they have made many conquests and received defeats at the hands of many, they violently and speedily get into a way of not believing anything which they believed before, and hence, not only they, but philosophy and all that relates to it is apt to have a bad name with the rest of the world.