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Forswearing Allegiance Fulton Casper2008

Forswearing Allegiance Fulton Casper2008

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Published by ArizonaBennie
The work by Gerhard Casper on the requirement that citizens of the United States forswear allegiance to other sovereigns
The work by Gerhard Casper on the requirement that citizens of the United States forswear allegiance to other sovereigns

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Published by: ArizonaBennie on Dec 29, 2008
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06/13/2014

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Maurice and Muriel FultonLecture Series
The
Forswearing Allegiance
Gerhard Casper 
May 1, 2008
The Law SchoolThe University of Chicago
 
Forswearing Allegiance
Gerhard Casper 
*
My subject is the requirement that new citizens abjure prior allegianc-es. It was introduced into federal naturalization law in 1795 and it isstill the law of the land.
1
A seemingly small historical topic, it pro-
vides cause to reect about changes in the concept of citizenship that
have taken place over time, especially in recent decades.The 1795 “Act to establish a uniform rule of Naturalization”
2
  provided that an alien, in order to become a citizen, had to have been a
resident of the United States for at least ve years and had to declare,in court, three years before his admission, on oath or afrmation,that “it was bona de his intention to become a citizen of the United
States,
3
and to renounce forever all allegiance and delity to any for 
-eign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty whatever, and particularly, by name, the prince, potentate, state or sovereignty whereof such alienmay, at the time, be a citizen or subject.”The actual forswearance of allegiance took place at the timeof naturalization and was to be recorded by the clerk of the court thatadmitted the applicant to citizenship. At that
 
occasion, it had to appear to the satisfaction of the court that the candidate had behaved “as aman of good moral character, attached to the principles of the consti-tution of the United States, and well disposed to the good order andhappiness of the same.”
On oath or afrmation, the applicant had to declare his will
-ingness to support the constitution of the United States and that he did
absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure
 
all 
allegiance and del
-ity to every foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty whatever,
*
 
President Emeritus, Stanford University. For more information, go to:http://www.stanford.edu/~gcasper/
1
8 U.S.C. 1448.
2
2 Stat. 414.
3
The requirement to le a declaration of intent was eliminated as recently as 1952.

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