Allegiance

Allegiance

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An allegiance is a duty of fidelity said to be owed by a subject
British subject
In British nationality law, the term British subject has at different times had different meanings. The current definition of the term British subject is contained in the British Nationality Act 1981.- Prior to 1949 :...

 or a citizen to his/her state
State (polity)
A state is an organized political community, living under a government. States may be sovereign and may enjoy a monopoly on the legal initiation of force and are not dependent on, or subject to any other power or state. Many states are federated states which participate in a federal union...

 or sovereign
Monarch
A monarch is the person who heads a monarchy. This is a form of government in which a state or polity is ruled or controlled by an individual who typically inherits the throne by birth and occasionally rules for life or until abdication...

.

Etymology


From Middle English ligeaunce (see medieval Latin ligeantia, "a liegance"). The al- prefix was probably added through confusion with another legal term, allegeance, an "allegation" (the French allegeance comes from the English). Allegiance is formed from "liege," from Old French
Old French
Old French was the Romance dialect continuum spoken in territories that span roughly the northern half of modern France and parts of modern Belgium and Switzerland from the 9th century to the 14th century...

 liege, "liege, free", of Germanic origin. The connection with Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 ligare, "to bind," is erroneous.

Usage


The term allegiance was traditionally often used by English legal commentators in a larger sense, divided by them into natural and local, the latter applying to the deference which even a foreigner must pay to the institutions of the country in which he happens to live. However it is in its proper sense, in which it indicates national character and the subjection due to that character, that the word is more important.

In that sense it represents the feudal liege homage, which could be due only to one lord, while simple homage
Homage
Homage is a show or demonstration of respect or dedication to someone or something, sometimes by simple declaration but often by some more oblique reference, artistic or poetic....

 might be due to every lord under whom the person in question held land.

United Kingdom


The English doctrine, which was at one time adopted in the United States, asserted that allegiance was indelible: "Nemo potest exuere patriam". Accordingly, as the law stood before 1870, every person who by birth or naturalisation satisfied the conditions set forth, though he should be removed in infancy to another country where his family resided, owed an allegiance to the British crown which he could never resign or lose, except by act of parliament or by the recognition of the independence or the cession of the portion of British territory in which he resided.

This refusal to accept any renunciation
Renunciation of citizenship
Renunciation is a voluntary act of relinquishing one's citizenship . It is the opposite of naturalization whereby a person voluntarily acquires a citizenship, and related to denaturalization where the loss of citizenship is not voluntary, but forced by a state.-Historic practices:The old common law...

 of allegiance to the Crown led to conflict with the United States over impressment
Impressment
Impressment, colloquially, "the Press", was the act of taking men into a navy by force and without notice. It was used by the Royal Navy, beginning in 1664 and during the 18th and early 19th centuries, in wartime, as a means of crewing warships, although legal sanction for the practice goes back to...

, and then led to further conflicts even during the War of 1812
War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States of America and those of the British Empire. The Americans declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions because of Britain's ongoing war with France, impressment of American merchant...

, when thirteen Irish American
Irish American
Irish Americans are citizens of the United States who can trace their ancestry to Ireland. A total of 36,278,332 Americans—estimated at 11.9% of the total population—reported Irish ancestry in the 2008 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau...

 prisoners of war
Prisoner of war
A prisoner of war or enemy prisoner of war is a person, whether civilian or combatant, who is held in custody by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict...

 were executed as traitors after the Battle of Queenston Heights
Battle of Queenston Heights
The Battle of Queenston Heights was the first major battle in the War of 1812 and resulted in a British victory. It took place on 13 October 1812, near Queenston, in the present-day province of Ontario...

; Winfield Scott
Winfield Scott
Winfield Scott was a United States Army general, and unsuccessful presidential candidate of the Whig Party in 1852....

 urged American reprisal
Reprisal
In international law, a reprisal is a limited and deliberate violation of international law to punish another sovereign state that has already broken them. Reprisals in the laws of war are extremely limited, as they commonly breached the rights of civilians, an action outlawed by the Geneva...

, but none was carried out.

Allegiance is the tie which binds the subject to the Sovereign
Monarch
A monarch is the person who heads a monarchy. This is a form of government in which a state or polity is ruled or controlled by an individual who typically inherits the throne by birth and occasionally rules for life or until abdication...

 in return for that protection which the Sovereign affords the subject. It was the mutual bond and obligation between monarch and subjects, whereby subjects are called his liege subjects, because they are bound to obey and serve him; and he is called their liege lord, because he should maintain and defend them (Ex parte Anderson (1861) 3 El & El 487; 121 ER 525; China Navigation Co v Attorney-General (1932) 48 TLR 375; Attorney-General v Nissan [1969] 1 All ER 629; Oppenheimer v Cattermole [1972] 3 All ER 1106). The duty of the Crown towards its subjects is to govern and protect. The reciprocal duty of the subject towards the Crown is that of allegiance.

At common law allegiance is a true and faithful obedience of the subject due to his Sovereign. As the subject owes to his king his true and faithful allegiance and obedience, so the Sovereign is to govern and protect his subjects, regere et protegere subdititos suos, so as between the Sovereign and subject there is:
  • duplex et reciprocum ligamen; quia sicut subditus regi tenetur ad obedientiam, ita rex subdito tenetur ad protectionem; merito igitur ligeantia dicitur a ligando, quia continet in se duplex ligamen (Calvin's Case (1608) 7 Co Rep 1a; Jenk 306; 2 State Tr 559; 77 ER 377).


Natural allegiance and obedience is an incident inseparable to every subject, for as soon as the Sovereign is born, they owe allegiance and obedience (Ex parte Anderson (1861) 3 El & El 487; 121 ER 525). Natural-born subjects owe allegiance wherever they may be. Where territory is occupied in the course of hostilities by an enemy's force, even if the annexation of the occupied country is proclaimed by the enemy, there can be no change of allegiance during the progress of hostilities on the part of a citizen of the occupied country (R v Vermaak (1900) 21 NLR 204 (South Africa)).

Allegiance is owed both to the Sovereign as a natural person and to the Sovereign in the political capacity (Re Stepney Election Petition, Isaacson v Durant (1886) 17 QBD 54 (per Lord Coleridge
John Coleridge, 1st Baron Coleridge
John Duke Coleridge, 1st Baron Coleridge PC was a British lawyer, judge and Liberal politician. He held the posts, in turn, of Solicitor General for England and Wales, Attorney General for England and Wales, Chief Justice of the Common Pleas and Lord Chief Justice of England.-Background and...

 CJ)). Attachment to the person of the reigning Sovereign is not sufficient. Loyalty requires affection also to the office of the Sovereign, attachment to royalty, attachment to the law and to the constitution of the realm, and he who would, by force or by fraud, endeavour to prostrate that law and constitution, though he may retain his affection for its head, can boast but an imperfect and spurious species of loyalty (R v O'Connell (1844) 7 ILR 261).

There were four kinds of allegiances (Rittson v Stordy (1855) 3 Sm & G 230; De Geer v Stone (1882) 22 Ch D 243; Isaacson v Durant (1886) 54 LT 684; Gibson, Gavin v Gibson [1913] 3 KB 379; Joyce v DPP [1946] AC 347; Collingwood v Pace (1661) O Bridg 410; Lane v Bennett (1836) 1 M & W 70; Lyons Corp v East India Co (1836) 1 Moo PCC 175; Birtwhistle v Vardill (1840) 7 Cl & Fin 895; R v Lopez, R v Sattler (1858) Dears & B 525; Ex p Brown (1864) 5 B & S 280);

(a) Ligeantia naturalis, absoluta, pura et indefinita, and this originally is due by nature and birthright, and is called alta ligeantia, and those that owe this are called subditus natus;

(b) Ligeantia acquisita, not by nature but by acquisition or denization, being called a denizen, or rather denizon, because they are subditus datus;

(c) Ligeantia localis, by operation of law, when a friendly alien enters the country, because so long as they are in the country they are within the Sovereign's protection, therefore they owe the Sovereign a local obedience or allegiance (R v Cowle (1759) 2 Burr 834; Low v Routledge (1865) 1 Ch App 42; Re Johnson, Roberts v Attorney-General [1903] 1 Ch 821; Tingley v Muller [1917] 2 Ch 144; Rodriguez v Speyer [1919] AC 59; Johnstone v Pedlar [1921] 2 AC 262; R v Tucker (1694) Show Parl Cas 186; R v Keyn (1876) 2 Ex D 63; Re Stepney Election Petn, Isaacson v Durant (1886) 17 QBD 54);

(d) A legal obedience, where a particular law requires the taking of an oath of allegiance by subject or alien alike.

Natural allegiance was acquired by birth within the Sovereign's dominions (except for the issue of diplomats or of invading forces or of an alien in enemy occupied territory). The natural allegiance and obedience is an incident inseparable to every subject, for as soon as they are born they owe by birthright allegiance and obedience to the Sovereign (Ex p. Anderson (1861) 3 E & E 487). A natural-born subject owes allegiance wherever they may be, so that where territory is occupied in the course of hostilities by an enemy's force, even if the annexation of the occupied country is proclaimed by the enemy, there can be no change of allegiance during the progress of hostilities on the part of a citizen of the occupied country (R v Vermaak (1900) 21 NLR 204 (South Africa)).

Acquired allegiance was acquired by naturalisation or denization. Denization, or ligeantia acquisita, appears to be threefold (Thomas v Sorrel (1673) 3 Keb 143);
  • (a) absolute, as the common denization, without any limitation or restraint;
  • (b) limited, as when the Sovereign grants letters of denization to an alien, and the alien's male heirs, or to an alien for the term of their life;
  • (c) It may be granted upon condition, cujus est dare, ejus est disponere, and this denization of an alien may come about three ways: by Parliament; by letters patent, which was the usual manner; and by conquest.


Local allegiance was due by an alien while in the protection of the Crown. All friendly resident aliens incurred all the obligations of subjects (The Angelique (1801) 3 Ch Rob App 7). An alien, coming into a colony also became, temporarily a subject of the Crown, and acquired rights both within and beyond the colony, and these latter rights could not be affected by the laws of that colony (Routledge v Low (1868) LR 3 HL 100; 37 LJ Ch 454; 18 LT 874; 16 WR 1081, HL; Reid v Maxwell (1886) 2 TLR 790; Falcon v Famous Players Film Co [1926] 2 KB 474).

A resident alien owed allegiance even when the protection of the Crown was withdrawn owing to the occupation of an enemy, because the absence of the Crown's protection was temporary and involuntary (de Jager v Attorney-Geneneral of Natal [1907] AC 326).

Legal allegiance was due when an alien took an oath of allegiance required for a particular office under the Crown.

By the Naturalisation Act 1870, it was made possible for British subjects to renounce their nationality and allegiance, and the ways in which that nationality is lost are defined. So British subjects voluntarily naturalized in a foreign state are deemed aliens from the time of such naturalization, unless, in the case of persons naturalized before the passing of the act, they have declared their desire to remain British subjects within two years from the passing of the act. Persons who from having been born within British territory are British subjects, but who at birth became under the law of any foreign state subjects of such state, and also persons who though born abroad are British subjects by reason of parentage, may by declarations of alienage get rid of British nationality. Emigration
Emigration
Emigration is the act of leaving one's country or region to settle in another. It is the same as immigration but from the perspective of the country of origin. Human movement before the establishment of political boundaries or within one state is termed migration. There are many reasons why people...

 to an uncivilized country leaves British nationality unaffected: indeed the right claimed by all states to follow with their authority their subjects so emigrating is one of the usual and recognized means of colonial
Colonialism
Colonialism is the establishment, maintenance, acquisition and expansion of colonies in one territory by people from another territory. It is a process whereby the metropole claims sovereignty over the colony and the social structure, government, and economics of the colony are changed by...

 expansion.

United States


The doctrine that no man can cast off his native allegiance without the consent of his sovereign was early abandoned in the United States, and Chief Justice
Chief Justice of the United States
The Chief Justice of the United States is the head of the United States federal court system and the chief judge of the Supreme Court of the United States. The Chief Justice is one of nine Supreme Court justices; the other eight are the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States...

 John Rutledge
John Rutledge
John Rutledge was an American statesman and judge. He was the first Governor of South Carolina following the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the 31st overall...

 also declared in Talbot v. Janson
Talbot v. Janson
Talbot v. Janson, , was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that the jurisdiction of the court extended to the seas and that a citizen of the United States could also hold the citizenship of another nation ....

, "a man may, at the same time, enjoy the rights of citizenship under two governments." On July 27, 1868, the day before the Fourteenth Amendment
Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was adopted on July 9, 1868, as one of the Reconstruction Amendments.Its Citizenship Clause provides a broad definition of citizenship that overruled the Dred Scott v...

 was adopted, U.S. Congress declared in the preamble of the Expatriation Act that "the right of expatriation is a natural and inherent right of all people, indispensable to the enjoyment of the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," and (Section I) one of "the fundamental principles of this government" (United States Revised Statutes
United States Revised Statutes
The Revised Statutes of the United States was the first official codification of the Acts of Congress. It was the precursor to the United States Code....

, sec. 1999). Every natural-born citizen of a foreign state who is also an American citizen and every natural-born American citizen who is a citizen of a foreign land owes a double allegiance, one to the United States, and one to his homeland (in the event of an immigrant becoming a citizen of the US), or to his adopted land (in the event of an emigrant natural born citizen of the US becoming a citizen of another nation). If these allegiances come into conflict, he or she may be guilty of treason against one or both. If the demands of these two sovereigns upon his duty of allegiance come into conflict, those of the United States have the paramount authority in American law; likewise, those of the foreign land have paramount authority in their legal system. In such a situation, it may be incumbent on the individual to abjure one of his citizenships to avoid possibly being forced into situations where countervailing duties are required of him, such as might occur in the event of war.

Oath of allegiance



The oath of allegiance is an oath
Oath
An oath is either a statement of fact or a promise calling upon something or someone that the oath maker considers sacred, usually God, as a witness to the binding nature of the promise or the truth of the statement of fact. To swear is to take an oath, to make a solemn vow...

 of fidelity to the sovereign taken by all persons holding important public office and as a condition of naturalization. By ancient common law it might be required of all persons above the age of 12, and it was repeatedly used as a test for the disaffected. In England it was first imposed by statute in the reign of Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...

 (1558) and its form has more than once been altered since. Up to the time of the revolution the promise was, "to be true and faithful to the king and his heirs, and truth and faith to bear of life and limb and terrene honour
Honour
Honour or honor is an abstract concept entailing a perceived quality of worthiness and respectability that affects both the social standing and the self-evaluation of an individual or corporate body such as a family, school, regiment or nation...

, and not to know or hear of any ill or damage intended him without defending him therefrom." This was thought to favour the doctrine of absolute non-resistance, and accordingly the convention parliament enacted the form that has been in use since that time – "I do sincerely promise and swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to His Majesty ..."

In Islam


The word used in the Arabic language for allegiance is bay'at (Arabic: بيعة), which means "taking hand". The practice is sanctioned in the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

 by Surah 48:10: "Verily, those who give thee their allegiance, they give it but to Allah Himself". The word is used for the oath
Oath
An oath is either a statement of fact or a promise calling upon something or someone that the oath maker considers sacred, usually God, as a witness to the binding nature of the promise or the truth of the statement of fact. To swear is to take an oath, to make a solemn vow...

 of allegiance to an emir
Emir
Emir , meaning "commander", "general", or "prince"; also transliterated as Amir, Aamir or Ameer) is a title of high office, used throughout the Muslim world...

. It is also used for the initiation ceremony specific to many Sufi orders.

The word 'Bayat' in the Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan , officially the Republic of Azerbaijan is the largest country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west, and Iran to...

i and Turkish language
Turkish language
Turkish is a language spoken as a native language by over 83 million people worldwide, making it the most commonly spoken of the Turkic languages. Its speakers are located predominantly in Turkey and Northern Cyprus with smaller groups in Iraq, Greece, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo,...

 means 'old'. The original meaning of this word may be lost but recent linguistic research has pointed to the relationship between the word 'Bayat' and the word Ba-At' which in the old Azerbaijani language means 'with horse'. So the word 'Bayat' may mean those who ride horses.

See also


  • Impressment
    Impressment
    Impressment, colloquially, "the Press", was the act of taking men into a navy by force and without notice. It was used by the Royal Navy, beginning in 1664 and during the 18th and early 19th centuries, in wartime, as a means of crewing warships, although legal sanction for the practice goes back to...

  • Legitimacy (political)
  • Mandate of Heaven
    Mandate of Heaven
    The Mandate of Heaven is a traditional Chinese philosophical concept concerning the legitimacy of rulers. It is similar to the European concept of the divine right of kings, in that both sought to legitimaze rule from divine approval; however, unlike the divine right of kings, the Mandate of...

  • Pledge of Allegiance
    Pledge of Allegiance
    The Pledge of Allegiance of the United States is an expression of loyalty to the federal flag and the republic of the United States of America, originally composed by Christian Socialist Francis Bellamy in 1892 and formally adopted by Congress as the pledge in 1942...

  • Renunciation of citizenship
    Renunciation of citizenship
    Renunciation is a voluntary act of relinquishing one's citizenship . It is the opposite of naturalization whereby a person voluntarily acquires a citizenship, and related to denaturalization where the loss of citizenship is not voluntary, but forced by a state.-Historic practices:The old common law...

  • Treason
    Treason
    In law, treason is the crime that covers some of the more extreme acts against one's sovereign or nation. Historically, treason also covered the murder of specific social superiors, such as the murder of a husband by his wife. Treason against the king was known as high treason and treason against a...

  • Usurpation
  • War of 1812
    War of 1812
    The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States of America and those of the British Empire. The Americans declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions because of Britain's ongoing war with France, impressment of American merchant...

  • Winfield Scott
    Winfield Scott
    Winfield Scott was a United States Army general, and unsuccessful presidential candidate of the Whig Party in 1852....