Independence

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Independence

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.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

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.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in classic literature ?
There was thus no congeniality of principle between the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation.
Where, then, did each State get the sovereignty, freedom, and independence, which the Articles of Confederation declare it retains?--not from the whole people of the whole Union--not from the Declaration of Independence--not from the people of the State itself.
If he had the courage to encounter danger, he at least hated the trouble of going to seek it; and while he agreed in the general principles laid down by Cedric concerning the claim of the Saxons to independence, and was still more easily convinced of his own title to reign over them when that independence should be attained, yet when the means of asserting these rights came to be discussed, he was still ``Athelstane the Unready,'' slow, irresolute, procrastinating, and unenterprising.
Your mother will secure to you, in time, that independence you are so anxious for; it is her duty, and it will, it must ere long become her happiness to prevent your whole youth from being wasted in discontent.
In 1517 Martin Luther, protesting against the unprincipled and flippant practices that were disgracing religion, began the breach between Catholicism, with its insistence on the supremacy of the Church, and Protestantism, asserting the independence of the individual judgment.
"I want more independence," said Lucy lamely; she knew that she wanted something, and independence is a useful cry; we can always say that we have not got it.
The fellow had a pretty fancy in names: the "Orb" Deposit Bank, the "Sceptre" Mutual Aid Society, the "Thrift and Independence" Association.
They say the fathers, in 1776, signed the Declaration of Independence with the halter about their necks.

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