|What is the priest? we have asked. An intermediary between the People and God. What is God himself? Another supernatural and imaginary intermediary between the natural instincts of man and his reason. Cannot man do what his reason points to, without being constrained by respect for a Creator? That would be a contradiction. In any case, faith being free and optional, and each one constructing his own religion, worship becomes a matter for the inward tribunal, an affair of conscience, not of material use. - Pierre Joseph Proudhon, General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century, ch. 3|
International agreements negotiated between sovereign powers. However, other terms such as act, charter, concordat, covenant, pact and protocol are used to express the same concept. Once in force, treaties are binding upon the parties. Art VI of the Constitution declares treaties to which the U.S. is a party to be the "supreme law of the land".
A treaty is a compact made between two or more independent nations with a view to the public welfare treaties are for a perpetuity, or for a considerable time. Those matters which are accomplished by a single act, and are at once perfected in their execution, are called agreements, conventions and pactions.
On the part of the United States, treaties are made by the president, by and with the consent of the senate, provided two-thirds of the senators present concur.
No state shall enter into any treaty, alliance or confederation, nor shall any state, without the consent of congress, enter into any agreement or compact with another state, or with a foreign power. Const. Art. I
A treaty is declared to be the supreme law of the land, and is therefore obligatory on courts whenever it operates of itself without the aid of a legislative provision; but when the terms of the stipulation import a contract, and either of the parties engages to perform a particular act, the treaty addresses itself to the polit-ical, not the judicial department, and the legislature must execute the contract before it can become a rule of the court.
Treaties are divided into personal and real. The personal relate exclusively to the persons of the contracting parties, such as family alliances, and treaties guarantying the throne to a particular sovereign and his family. As they relate to the persons they expire of course on the death of the sov-ereign or the extinction of his family. Real treaties relate solely to the subject-matters of the convention, independently of the persons of the contracting parties, and continue to bind the state, although there may be changes in its constitution, or in the persons of its rulers.