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Neutral Rights and Obligations in the Anglo-Boer War   By:

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NEUTRAL RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS IN THE ANGLO BOER WAR

BY ROBERT GRANVILLE CAMPBELL

1908

PREFACE.

This essay is the outgrowth of work done in the Political Science Seminary of the Johns Hopkins University and is a portion of a larger study dealing with the causes of the Anglo Boer War and the questions of international law arising during that conflict.

At the beginning of the war the English Government was inclined to view the contest as one which would not make it necessary to call into operation the neutrality laws of third parties. It was soon realized, however, that the condition of insurgency was not broad enough to sustain the relations between the two Governments. Toward the close of November Great Britain's declaration with a retroactive effect put the contest upon a distinctly belligerent basis and accepted the date of the Transvaal's ultimatum, 5 p.m., October 11, 1899, as the commencement of the war.

Other Powers which had awaited this announcement with some anxiety at once declared their attitude toward the war. Among the first to assume this neutral position was the United States with the announcement that its attitude would be in accordance with the requirements of the strictest neutrality.

It is the purpose of the first chapter to inquire how far these obligations were fulfilled by the United States Government, and in the second chapter the attitude of European Governments is considered. In the third chapter the rights and obligations of belligerents and neutrals are discussed with regard to neutral commerce. Under this topic the wide divergence of English practice from Continental as well as from American opinion on points of international law cannot fail to be noticed.

The chief sources of information used in the preparation of the present paper have been the British Blue Books; the Foreign Relations of the United States; the House and Senate Documents not included in the Foreign Relations; the Congressional Record, Debates in Congress, Resolutions and Reports in answer to requests for information. Other sources and authorities are indicated in the footnotes.

I wish to express my gratitude to Dr. W.W. Willoughby, not only for his careful criticism of this study during its preparation, and for the helpful suggestions by which he has attempted to correct some of its obvious deficiencies, but especially for his kindly inspiration at all times.

CONTENTS.

PREFACE

CHAPTER I. THE NEUTRALITY OF THE UNITED STATES

CHAPTER II. THE NEUTRALITY OF EUROPEAN POWERS

CHAPTER III. CONTRABAND OF WAR AND NEUTRAL PORTS

CHAPTER IV. TRADING WITH THE ENEMY

CHAPTER I.

THE NEUTRALITY OF THE UNITED STATES.

The neutral attitude assumed by the United States was maintained throughout the war. With reference to any official recognition of the Transvaal as an independent State apart from the immediate purposes of war no action was taken. This view of the situation in South Africa was entirely consistent with the requirements of international law, and, in carrying out the obligations of a neutral to the belligerents, the governmental position was fully justified by a knowledge of the relations which had existed between the Transvaal and Great Britain in the past.

Early in October, before war had actually begun, it was understood that Mr. Pierce, the Orange Free State consul general in New York, had made every effort to induce President McKinley to request other nations to act with the United States as arbitrators in the dispute between the Governments of the Transvaal and Great Britain, but the close friendship existing between England and the United States and the very friendly attitude assumed by Great Britain during the Spanish American War made such action impossible. The State Department at Washington announced that in the event of war the Government would maintain an absolutely neutral attitude, and issued instructions early in October to all American consuls in South Africa directing them to secure protection for all neutrals of the United States who had not affiliated politically with either Great Britain or the South African Republics, either by exercising the franchise or otherwise... Continue reading book >>




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