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Exile can be a form of punishment. It means to be away from one's home (i.e. city, state or country) while either being explicitly refused permission to return and/or being threatened by prison or death upon return.

It is common to distinguish between internal exile, i.e., forced resettlement within the country of residence, and external exile, deportation outside the country of residence.

Exile can also be a self-imposed departure from one's homeland. Self-exile is often practiced as form of protest or to avoid persecution.


[edit] History

Exile has a long tradition as a form of punishment. In the Old Testament, Jews were exiled to Babylon. It was also known in ancient Rome, where the Roman Senate had the power to exile individuals, entire families or countries (which amounted to a declaration of war).

The towns of ancient Greece, as well used exile both as a legal punishment and in Athens as a social punishment. In Athens during the time of democracy, the process of ostracism was devised in which one man who had basically made a nuisance of himself was banished from the city without prejudice for ten years, after which he was allowed to return. Among the more famous recipients of this punishment were Themistocles, Cimon and Aristides the Just. Further, Solon the lawgiver voluntarily exiled himself from Athens after drafting the city's constitution, to prevent being pressed to change it.

In the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth a court of law could sentence a noble to exile (banicja). As long as the exile (banita) remained in the Commonwealth he had a price on his head and lost the priviliges and protection granted to him as a noble. Even killing a banita was not considered a crime although there was no reward for his death. Special forms of exile were accompanied by wyświecenie (a declaration of the sentence in churches) or by issuance of a separate declaration to townfolk and peasantry (all of them increased the knowledge of the exile and thus made his capture more likely).

A more severe penalty than exile was infamy (infamia) - 'a loss of honor and respect' (utrata czci i wiary). A noble who has been infamed not only suffered from the same penalties as an exiled one, but in addition, an exiled noble (banita) who killed an infamed one (infamis) could expect his exile sentence to be revoked. In addition anybody killing an infamed noble could expect a monetary reward from the state (usually a starosta of given region), and sheltering or supporting an infamed noble were also punishable offences. Both exile and infamy could be revoked if the person had done a great service to the state. As the law system in the Commonwealth was fairly inefficient, many exiles actually stayed within the country, often employed and protected by some magnates. One of the most famous exiles of the Commonwealth was Samuel Łaszcz.

On October 23, 2006, for the first time in United States history, a judge in the United States was accused of imposing exile from the U.S. on a U.S. citizen for crimes committed in the U.S. The case concerned Malcolm Watson, a citizen of the United States and a permanent resident of Canada who resided in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, on the other side of the border from Buffalo, New York. Watson, a teacher at Buffalo Seminary and a cross-border commuter, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor sex crimes against a 15-year-old former student in Cheektowaga Town Court. The district attorney, Frank J. Clark wanted to impose probation but Watson wanted to serve his probation in Canada where he, his wife, and their children lived. The DA agreed, but subject to the condition that since his probation officer could not directly monitor his residence in Canada, Watson had to remain out of the U.S. except for meetings with his probation officer--thereby, once the judge approved the sentence, effectively exiling Watson for three years. The sentence may not stand, however. Canada arrested Watson upon his re-entry to Canada and Watson faces a hearing on possible revocation of his permanent residence status in Canada. Furthermore the DA has pledged to appeal the sentence, despite previously approving it, citing the huge and unforeseen public outcry that the case has received in Canada. Both Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty stated their determiniation to have Malcolm Watson deported from Canada.

After a hearing in Canada, Malcolm Watson was deemed to be not a threat and released pending a final determination of his admissibility to Canada. (Canadian law allows for the removal from Canada of a permanent resident who has been convicted of an offence punishable by 10 years in prison. Watson's offense was a misdemeanour, punishable by up to one year in prison.) On November 8, 2006, the Cheektowaga judge, Thomas Kolbert, claimed that the existing punishment did not amount to exile, because Canada was already Watson's permanent place of residence. Malcolm Watson's lawyer, Tom Eoannou, pointed out that if the judge now requires Watson to serve his sentence in the U.S., it will "destroy" the family, since Watson's wife and her child from a previous marriage are not U.S. citizens and could be prevented by U.S. immigration laws from joining him in the United States. "Can the Canadian government, without lawful procedure, take away his home and take away his family and, in essence, banish him to the U.S.?" Eoannou said outside the court. [1] A decision by the judge is pending.

[edit] Personal exile

Exile was used particularly for political opponents of those in power. The use of exile for political purposes can sometimes be useful for the government because it prevents the exilee from organizing in their native land or from becoming a martyr.

Exile represented a severe punishment, particularly for those, like Ovid or Du Fu, exiled to strange or backward regions, cut off from all of the possibilities of life as well as their families and associates. Dante describes the pain of exile in The Divine Comedy:

«. . . Tu lascerai ogne cosa diletta
più caramente; e questo è quello strale
che l'arco de lo essilio pria saetta.
Tu proverai sì come sa di sale
lo pane altrui, e come è duro calle
lo scendere e 'l salir per l'altrui scale . . .»
". . . You will leave everything you love most:
this is the arrow that the bow of exile
shoots first. You will know how salty
another's bread tastes and how hard it
is to ascend and descend
another's stairs . . ."
Paradiso XVII: 55-60

Exile has been softened, to some extent, in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as exiles have received welcome in other countries and have either created new communities within those countries or, less frequently, returned to their homelands following the demise of the regime that exiled them.

[edit] Government in exile

Main article: Government in exile

During a foreign occupation or after a coup d'etat, a government in exile of a such afflicted country may be established abroad.

[edit] Nation in exile

Main articles: Diaspora and Refugee

When large groups, or occasionally a whole people or nation is exiled, it can be said that this nation is in exile, or Diaspora. Nations that have been in exile for substantial periods include the Jews, who were deported by Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon in 597 BC and again in the years following the destruction of the second Temple in Jerusalem in the year AD 70.

After the partitions of Poland in the late 18th century, and following the uprisings (like Kosciuszko Uprising, November Uprising and January Uprising) against the partitioning powers (Russian Empire, Prussia and Austro-Hungary), many Poles have chosen - or been forced - into exile, forming large diasporas (known as Polonia), especially in France and the United States.

The entire population of Crimean Tatars (200,000) that remained in their homeland Crimea was exiled on 18 May 1944 to Central Asia as a form of ethnic cleansing and collective punishment on false accusations.

At Diego Garcia, between 1967 and 1973 the British Government forcibly removed some 2,000 Ilois resident islanders to make way for a military base today jointly operated by the US and UK.

[edit] Tax exile

Main article: tax haven

A wealthy citizen who departs from a former abode for a lower tax jurisdiction in order to reduce his/her tax burden is termed a tax exile.

[edit] Famous people who have been in exile

[edit] Fictional people who have been in exile

[edit] Banishment laws

[edit] See also

[edit] References

Look up exile in
Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

da:Eksil de:Exil et:Eksiil el:Εξορία es:Destierro fr:Exil it:Esilio he:גלות nl:Ballingschap ja:流罪 nn:Eksil pl:Banicja pt:Exílio ro:Exil sv:Exil zh:流亡


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