The New Student's Reference Work/Diplomatic Service

Diplomatic Service, that branch of a government's service which has to do with political relations with other nations. It aims to secure between the home-nation and any other nation such understanding as will make for their independence, peace and mutual benefit, but particularly for advantages to the home-nation. The diplomatic serivice seeks to secure its ends without resort to force. It works for such agreements as treaties, alliances and trade-reciprocity. Its work is constructive and educational. The agents of the diplomatic service are (1) ambassadors, (2) ministers plenipotentiary and envoys extraordinary, (3) ministers resident, (4) charges d'affaires and (5) secretaries of legation and attachés. These agents and their order of ranking were agreed upon by the Congress of Vienna in 1814, and have been quite generally adhered to. These various agencies have developed from the early messenger-service between sovereigns and governments, and were inevitable because something must always be left to the good sense of the messenger. The early heralds or ambassadors carried special messages, but it finally became obvious that advantages would come from having a representative on the ground. The Congress of Westphalia, held in 1648, is usually regarded as the starting-point of diplomacy in the modern sense.