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DIVISION OF INTERNATIONAL LAW

THE CONTROVERSY OVER
NEUTRAL RIGHTS BETWEEN
THE UNITED STATES AND

FRANCE 1797-1800

A COLLECTION OF AMERICAN STATE PAPERS

AND JUDICIAL DECISIONS

EDITED BY

JAMES BROWN SCOTT

DIRECTOR

NEW YORK

OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS

AMERICAN BRANCH: 35 West 32ND STREET

LONDON, TORONTO, MELBOURNE, AND BOMBAY

1917

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President Wilson, in his address before the Congress on February 26, 1917, 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 volume, which is issued as a contribution to American precedent, contains, in Part I, 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. Part II continues the subject by bringing together opinions of the attorneys general and decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States and of the Court of Claims regarding the origin, nature, extent and legal effect of the hostilities between the United States and France at the close of the eighteenth century. Part III is an Appendix which contains the Treaties of Alliance and of Amity and Commerce of 1778, the consular convention of 1788 and the Convention of 1800 terminating the differences between the two Powers. These treaties are in the English and French languages in parallel columns.

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, which gives in summary form the history of the controversy.

James BROWN SCOTT, Director of the Division of International Law. WASHINGTON, D. C.,

February 28, 1917

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