Documents Relating to the Controversy over Neutral Rights between the United States and France, 1797-1800

Documents Relating to the Controversy over Neutral Rights between the United States and France, 1797-1800

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Documents Relating to the Controversy over Neutral Rights between the United States and France, 1797-1800

Documents Relating to the Controversy over Neutral Rights between the United States and France, 1797-1800

Read FREE!

Excerpt

In President Wilson's address before the Congress on February 26, 1917, he said that

we must defend our commerce and the lives of our people in the midst of the present trying circumstances, with discretion but with clear and steadfast purpose. Only the method and the extent remain to be chosen upon the occasion, if occasion should indeed arise. Since it has unhappily proved impossible to safeguard our neutral rights by diplomatic means against the unwarranted infringements they are suffering at the hands of Germany, there may be no recourse but to armed neutrality, which we shall know how to maintain and for which there is abundant American precedent.

In view of the statements contained in the President's address setting forth the difficulties of the Government of the United States concerning its maritime commerce, it has been thought both interesting and timely to collect and to publish the accompanying documents relating to the maritime controversy with France during the presidency of John Adams. The present pamphlet, the first of a series, contains pertinent extracts from President Adams' messages, the respective replies of the Senate and the House, the laws enacted by Congress to meet the situation, and the proclamations issued by the President. By way of introduction, there is prefixed an extract from the learned note of J. C. Bancroft Davis' Treaties and Conventions between the United States and other Powers (1776-1887), which gives in summary form the history of the controversy, and there is appended the convention of September 30, 1800, between the United States and France, negotiated during this controversy and which brought it to an end.

JAMES BROWN SCOTT, Director of the Division of International Law.

Washington, D. C., February 28, 1917.

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