U.S. expatriation policies have been influenced and sometimes dictated by international relations between the United States and both its allies and its enemies. This chapter traces those considerations by looking at the treaties the United States signed regarding expatriation, including the Bancroft treaties and the United Nations Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, as well as the Hague conference of 1930. While some expatriation policies were constructed in response to the ideology of exclusive national allegiance, others—involving immigration and naturalization—were overturned in response to the state’s immediate needs in the international arena (mainly in respect to military service). Protecting the national order makes a state vulnerable to other, nonmilitary exigencies, and this accounts for much of the complexity of the history of expatriation legislation and the conversation around it.
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