By Robert Granville Campbell


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


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.