... for people to read about the topic of citizenship in general and natural-born citizen in particular, written just after the adoption of the Constitution.
David Ramsey was alive during the American Revolution and was a historian of the time. In 1790, he wrote a dissertation on citizenship. Although he does not specifically address "natural born citizen," he explains citizenship as it was understood at the time of the founding. A couple of interesting tidbits: you have to read it as they understood, which is that there was no federal government citizenship, rather each person was a US citizen by way of being a citizen of a particular state; also, citizens in 1776 or so were required to pledge allegiance to their state, or they were asked to leave because they were suspected to be hostile to the revolution; also, the Constitution says representatives and senators must be CITIZENS for 7 and 9 years, but the president had to be a RESIDENT for 14 years. This is because they wanted the president to be someone who was around during the revolution, and the United States had only existed for less than 12 years at that time the Constitution would be ratified (1776 vs. 1787).
Vattel's treatise, which is referenced in this thread, also discusses citizenship. This was written both as an argument for what SHOULD BE, based on previous works of Locke and others, but also a discussion of what other countries ACTUALLY DO regarding citizenship or subjectship. Some people writing in this thread take his words out-of-context.
He explores the idea of citizenship from a number of angles, but only uses the term "natural-born citizen" one time, where he says:
"The citizens are the members of the civil society: bound to this society by certain duties, and subject to its authority, they equally participate in its advantages. The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens."
Every other reference is about "citizens" and not specifically "natural-born citizens." Also, there is a reference to "fathers" in the next sentence, but he later also discusses briefly the relevance of mothers.
Interesting to read the whole thing.
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