A state of forcible contention; an armed contest between nations; a state of hostility between two or more nations or states. Gro. de Jur. B. lib. 1, c. 1. Every connection by force between two nations, in external matters, under the au- thority of their respective governments, is a public war. If war is declared in form, It is called “solemn,” and is of the perfect kind; because the whole nation is at war with an- other whole nation. When the hostilities are limited as respects places, persons, and things, the war is properly termed “imperfect war.” Bas v. Tingy, 4 Dall. 37, 40 1 L. Ed. 731.
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