I did a google search to no avail. I’m curious when embassies (as in formal, this land is territory of the visiting country, with an ambassador, etc.) started. I know that ambassadors have been around since the dawn of time, but was wondering about the embassies and how having “a little slice of (country name) in (host country name)” got started.
Quick, not thought out answer:
back in Ye Olden Tymes, official representatives from one country to another had immense power. Since there was very little to no effective communication over long distances, these individuals had to be implicitly trusted.
They also had to be reasonably safe from undue pressure from the host governments. If an ambassador could find himself embroiled in minor politically motivated criminal matters constantly, the ability to conduct official business would be severely hindered or even prevented altogether.
So the idea of having sovereign territory in which to conduct business and the idea that a representative of a foreign power could reasonably expect to be free from harrassment makes the whole international poitical framework move much more smoothly.
I won’t go into what is and is not protected, cause it sounds like you can understand that serious felonies will result in punishment or expulsion.
Ok, thats a good start…let the eloquent people come in now;)
I read a book covering this exact subject. Unfortuneatly, that was around 30 years ago and I don’t recall the author or title. I do recall that the concept slowly developed during the Renaissance(?). You didn’t want your government rep to be subject to arbitrary arrest, so you and the other country would claim sovereignity. It was seen to be mutually beneficial.