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the Powers would hardly be able to come to an agreement on the number of troops to be maintained.

In 1769 Emperor Joseph II again referred to the proposal of Kaunitz upon the occasion of his meeting with Frederick in Neisse. He was of the opinion that the number of troops in the army should be decreased in order to alleviate the burdens of the people, but the king again refused.

Thus, the first attempt at an agreement concerning armaments failed. 3

There have, however, been two agreements-one between Great Britain and the United States, the other between Argentina and Chile. The first was in 1817, and stands intact; the second was of yesterday, and has expired—not having been prolonged or renewed.

Great Britain and the United States agreed that:

The naval force to be maintained upon the American lakes by his Majesty and the Government of the United States shall henceforth be confined to the following vessels on each side, that is

On Lake Ontario, to one vessel not exceeding one hundred tons burden, and armed with one eighteen-pound cannon.

On the Upper lakes, to two vessels not exceeding like burden each, and armed with like force.

On the waters of Lake Champlain, to one vessel not exceeding like burden, and armed with like force.

All other armed vessels on these lakes shall be forthwith dismantled, and no other vessels of war shall be there built or armed.

If either party should be hereafter desirous of annulling this stipulation, and should give notice to that effect to the other party, it shall cease to be binding after the expira. tion of six months from the date of such notice.

The naval force so to be limited shall be restricted to such services as will, in no respect, interfere with the proper duties of the armed vessels of the other party.4

The Rush-Bagot agreement still stands, a tribute to the wisdom of the statesmen who proposed it at the end of the War of 1812 between their respective countries, and an example of good faith between nations, and its possibilities.

The material articles of the convention between Chile and the Argentine Republic respecting the limitation of naval armaments are as follows:

Article 1. With the view of removing all motive for uneasiness or resentment in either country, the Governments of Chile and the Argentine Republic desist from acquiring the vessels of war which they have in construction, and from henceforth making new acquisitions.

Both Governments agree, moreover, to reduce their respective fleets, for which object

3 “Frederick the Great and the Idea of Peace,” from the still unpublished Part II (second edition) of Alfred H. Fried's Handbuch der Friedensbewegung. Die FriedensWarte, January, 1912, v. 14, p. 1.

4 Agreement effected by exchange of notes concerning naval force on the Great Lakes. Proclaimed by the President, April 28, 1818. Malloy's Treaties, Conventions, etc., between the United States and Other Powers, 1776-1909, Washington, 1910, v. i, p. 628.

they will continue to exert themselves until they arrive at an understanding which shall establish a just balance (of strength) between the said fleets. This reduction shall take place within one year, counting from the date of exchange of ratification of the present convention.

Article 2. The two Governments bind themselves not to increase, without previous notice, their naval armaments during five years; the one intending to increase them shall give the other eighteen months' notice. It is understood that all armaments for the fortification of the coasts and ports are excluded from this agreement, and any floating machine destined exclusively for the defense of these, such as submarines, etc., can be acquired.

Article 3. The two signatory parties shall not be at liberty to part with any vessels, in consequence of this convention, in favor of countries having questions pending with one or the other.

Article 4. In order to facilitate the transfer of pending contracts, both Governments bind themselves to prolong for two months the term stipulated for the delivery of the vessels in construction, for which purpose they will give the necessary instructions immediately this convention has been signed.5

In addition to the Hague precedent of 1899, there exists what may be called a mandate imposed by the Congress of the United States upon the President in office at the conclusion of peace. In the Act making appropriations for the naval service of the United States, approved August 29, 1916,9 the policy of the United States is declared to be to adjust and settle its international disputes through mediation or arbitration, to the end that war may be honorably avoided.” Recognizing the connection between armament and war, the Act went on to say that this country “looks with apprehension and disfavor upon a general increase of armament throughout the world." The difficulty of the problem, however, was not hidden from the Congress, which proceeded immediately to say that the United States “realizes that no single nation can disarm, and that without a common agreement upon the subject every considerable Power must maintain a relative standing in military strength.” Then comes the mandate. “In view of the premises, the President is authorized and requested to invite, at an appropriate time, not later than the close of the war in Europe,''our war ended with the treaties of 1921 with Germany, Austria and Hungary—“all the great Governments of the world to send representatives to a conference ... to consider the question of disarmament and submit their recommendation to their respective Governments for approval."

The approaching conference is big with possibilities. The limitation of armament; the settlement of Pacific problems; and perhaps an agreement on a workable association of nations, for does not the invitation say that “there can be no final assurance of the peace of the world in the absence of the desire for peace, and the prospect of reduced armaments is not a

5 The Proceedings of the Hague Peace Conferences. Translations of Official Texts, The Conference of 1907, vol. 1, Plenary Meetings of the Conference. Published by The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. New York, 1920, p. 120.

6 U. S. Statutes at Large, Vol. 39, p. 618.

hopeful one unless this desire finds expression in a practical effort to remove causes of misunderstanding and to seek ground for agreement as to principles and their application.

In any event, it is a heartening spectacle to see a return to the old order of things; a conference of nations called in peace to consider the ways in which peace may be conserved and war averted, and meeting in peace and in an atmosphere of peace.

It is assuredly the part of wisdom to take counsel of the immediate past to apply to the problems of the present the principles which have proved efficacious in the past; to build upon the foundations of the past with a defter hand and in a more generous and chastened spirit. The temple of peace is still in the distance; and the approach to it runs through conferences like the two which have already assembled at The Hague.


OF 1780


Princeton University

The idea of a league of nations is one with which the United States has been familiar since the very beginning of its history. The form in which it first appeared to this country was in the Armed Neutrality of 1780. The purpose of this league, which has sometimes been called the League of Neutrals, was the protection of neutral trade. Having its origin at the court of Catherine II, Empress of Russia, the Armed Neutrality set forth a body of rules respecting the freedom of commerce in time of war which must prove highly favorable to the United States when that country, in a future conflict, should change its status from that of a belligerent to that of a neutral. It is not surprising, therefore, that the inclusion of the United States among the membership of the league which the Tsarina was forming to enforce these principles was not without its advocates.

The United States had already occupied a most advanced position with respect to the maritime rights of neutrals. To maintain free intercourse with the countries of Europe amid their inevitably recurring wars was recognized to be a primary interest on this side of the Atlantic. Clear distinctions between the maritime rights of neutrals and those of belligerents were asserted from the outset and adhered to with remarkable consistency, despite many temptations to turn aside for temporary advantage.

At the beginning of the American Revolution the colonists appreciated that to cope successfully with the maritime power of Great Britain they must resort to reprisals on the sea. As early as November, 1775, the Continental Congress recommended to the legislatures of the colonies the establishment of courts to determine cases of capture. From the decisions of these tribunals, “appeals were to be allowed to Congress, or to such persons as they may appoint for the trial of appeals.” 2

Courts were established in all of the States and, except in New York where the maritime counties remained in the hands of the enemy, continued active throughout the war.3 But in many of the States the right of appeal was curtailed by statute. The legislatures of New Hampshire and Massachusetts insisted that only in cases in which the capture was made by an armed vessel fitted out at the expense of the United States should an appeal be allowed to Congress. In all other cases the right of appeal lay to the supreme court of the State. This jealousy on the part of the States would have led to unfortunate results had not the acts been annulled to permit a right of appeal to Congress in all cases of maritime capture. As a matter of fact, Congress found cause to complain that the curtailment of the right of appeal “has a very dangerous tendency to interrupt the peace, safety, and union of the United States, and is in direct violation of the resolve of Congress which grants an appeal in all cases. To quiet any possible dissatisfaction with the character of the appellate tribunal, & permanent court of appeals in cases of capture was established by Congress on January 15, 1780.?

1 For a study of the American attitude towards capture at sea, see H. S. Quigley, this JOURNAL, Vol. 11, pp. 820-837.

2 Jour. Cont. Cong., III, pp. 373-374; J. C. Bancroft Davis, Federal Courts before the Constitution, 131 U. S. Reports, Appendix, p. xxi; Jameson, Essays in the Constitutional History of the United States, p. 11.

Not less unsatisfactory than the limitation upon the right of appeal was the establishment of trial by jury in the prize courts. If the former militated against uniformity in the administration of the law, the latter often resulted in positive denial of justice. A superficial glance at the records of the cases decided in the Pennsylvania court in 1776 will show how willing patriotic juries were to condemn to the captors when there was the slightest evidence that the ship or cargo was hostile. But "the temper of the people was such and so greatly were they enraged at the corruption of former admiralty courts, that a court of this species without a jury would have met their universal disapprobation."

It was not long before the inability or the refusal of the juries to pass fairly and intelligently upon the facts in prize cases attracted the attention of Congress. In January, 1780, it was resolved “that it be recommended to the States to authorize the courts of admiralty therein ... to decide without a jury in all cases where the civil law, the law of nations, and

3 In 1776, when a court could not be conveniently convened in New Jersey, the legislature by statute proceeded to condemn a vessel "said to be British property," which had been captured by the militia. Laws of N. J., 1776, p. 17. The New York Provincial Congress, on June 28, 1776, appointed a committee to take charge of prizes until condemnation. Am. Archives, Ser. 4, VI, p. 1435.

4 Davis, 131 U. S. Reports, Appendix, p. xxiii; Penhallow v. Doane, 3 Dallas 54. 5 Acts and Resolves of the Province of Mass. Bay, V, p. 1077. 6 Jour. Cont. Cong., XII, p. 1023. 7 Ibid., XVI, pp. 61-64.

8 MSS. in the office of the Clerk of the U. S. District Court at Philadelphia. The case of McAroy v. Thistle and Cargo is especially in point. The judgment of the State court was promptly reversed by Congress. The case of Griffin v. Sloop George, condemned in the New Jersey court in 1778, was of the same character. Jennings o. Carson, 4 Cranch 2.

9 Austin, Life of Elbridge Gerry, I, p. 313.

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