John Marshall and International Law: Statesman and Chief Justice

By Frances Howell Rudko | Go to book overview

is in force. As the John entered without knowledge of the blockade, she was not subject to seizure and condemnation. The Court therefore considered the judgment of the vice admiralty court in Gibralter void and ordered recovery from the insurance company. Marshall consistently ruled that innocent entry to a blockaded port did not violate the law of blockade or absolve the insurance company which otherwise would be liable for the loss. He held that the approaching vessel need only make inquiry at the blockading port.

Marshall spoke on the subject of contraband in The Commercen ( 1816) 89 when the Swedish vessel was captured by the United States privateer Lawrence, on a voyage from Ireland to Spain with a cargo of barley and oats for the use of Britain's military forces in Spain. Sweden was neutral as to the United States but allied with Great Britain in the war on the Continent. As a neutral vessel whose rights had been violated, the Commercen sued for an award of freight. Justice Story, in the ruling opinion, observed that goods destined for ordinary use of life in the enemy's country were not contraband but "if destined for military use" were considered contraband, 90 and he denied the award. Marshall filed a dissent with which Justices Livingston and Johnson concurred. Marshall agreed that the goods were contraband, but he noted that Sweden was allied with Great Britain in a war against France. She had a belligerent's "right to convey military stores for the use of British armies" engaged in the war.

International disputes came before the Marshall Court, presenting problems with which Marshall, as Secretary of State, had been directly involved or presenting situations new to him but similar in substance. His nine months as Secretary of State enabled him to articulate the principles of neutrality which he applied on the Court. As Secretary, he directed negotiations conforming to the law of nations to resolve disputes through agreement. As Chief Justice, he directed settlements conforming to the law of nations when negotiations had failed.


NOTES
1.
Adams recognized, at this time, that Hamilton commanded personal loyalty from certain of his cabinet members. Historians have referred to these Federalists "committed to the Hamilton program" as High Federalists and to those "who preferred to go along with the President" as Moderate or Adams's Federalists. Hamilton's influence within the cabinet is documented in Alexander DeConde, The Quasi-War: The Politics and Diplomacy of the Undeclared War With France, 1797-1801 ( New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1966). New England federalists from Essex County, Massachusetts, representing the rich and well-born organized in 1778 and were referred to as the Essex junto by their opponents, notably Jefferson. They formed a conservative branch within the party. They were considered pro-British and

-114-

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John Marshall and International Law: Statesman and Chief Justice
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions in Political Science ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • Notes 6
  • 2 - Attorney and Federalist 11
  • Notes 37
  • 3 - Minister to France 47
  • Notes 73
  • 4 - United States Representative 83
  • 5 - Secretary of State 97
  • Notes 114
  • 6 - Conclusion 121
  • Notes 123
  • Bibliography 125
  • Index 139
  • About the Author 147
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