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n. The act or process of taking property or condemning it to be taken, as forfeited to the public use. The act by which the estate, goods or chattels of a person who has been guilty of some crime, or who is a public enemy, is declared to be forfeited for the benefit of the public treasury. When property is forfeited as a punishment for the commission of crime, it is usually called a forfeiture. It is a general rule that the property of the subjects of an enemy found in the country may be appropriated by the government, without notice, unless there be a treaty to the contrary. It has been frequently provided by treaty that foreign subjects should be permitted to remain and continue their business, notwithstanding a rupture between the governments, so long as they conducted themselves innocently and when there was no such treaty, such a liberal permission has been announced in the very declaration of war.


In the United States, the broad principle has been assumed 'that war gives to the sovereign full right to take the persons and confiscate the property of the enemy, wherever found. The mitigations of this rigid ...

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