A people, or aggregation of men, existing in the form of an organized jural society, inhabiting a distinct portion of the earth, speaking the same language, using the same customs, possessing historic continuity, and distinguished from other like groups by their racial origin and characteristics, and generally, but not necessarily, living under the same government and sovereignty. See Montoya v. U. S., 180 U. S. 201, 21 Sup. Ct 358, 45 L. Ed. 521; Worcester v. Georgia, 6 Pet. 539, 8 L. Ed. 483; Republic of Honduras v. Soto, 112 N. Y. 310, 19 N. E. 845, 2 L. R. A. 042, 8 Am. St. Rep. 744. Besides the element of autonomy or self-government, that is, the independence of the community as a whole from the interference of any foreign power in its affairs or any subjection to such power, it is further necessary to the constitution of a nation that it should be an organized jural society, that is, both governing its own members by regular laws, and defining and protecting their rights, and respecting the rights and duties which attach to it as a constituent member of the family of nations. Such a society, says Vattel, has her affairs and her interests ; she deliberates and takes resolutions in common; thus becoming a moral person, who possesses an understanding and will peculiar to herself, and is susceptible of obligations and rights. Vattel.
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