World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Neutrality Act Of 1794

Article Id: WHEBN0017028582
Reproduction Date:

Title: Neutrality Act Of 1794  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: 2007 Laotian coup d'état conspiracy allegation, Filibuster (military), Hmong people, Operation Red Dog, Augustus Magee
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Neutrality Act Of 1794

The Neutrality Act of 1794 makes it illegal for an American to wage war against any country at peace with the United States. The Act declares in part:[1]

The act also forbids foreign war vessels to outfit in American waters and sets a three-mile territorial limit at sea.[2]

The act was amended several times and remains in force.

Origins and evolution

One reason for the act was to create a liability for violation of Section 8 of Article One of the United States Constitution, which reserves to the United States Congress the power to decide to go to war.[3]

The Continental Congress previously had an alliance with France in 1778[4] that France accused the United States of violating with the 1794 American Jay Treaty with Great Britain. The French Ambassador to the United States, Edmond-Charles Genêt, had been actively recruiting American privateers for attacks on Spain and Great Britain, with whom the French Republican Government was at war.

Some individuals in America were supporting the French Republican Government by engaging in privateering[5] and other Americans were engaging in filibuster military operations against British Canada and Spanish possessions in Florida and South America.

This led to Proclamation of Neutrality in 1793 and the act of 1794.

The Act was used in the trials of Aaron Burr, William S. Smith and Etienne Guinet, who, with Frenchman Jean Baptist LeMaitre, were convicted of outfitting an armed ship to take part in France's war against Great Britain.[6]

The Act of 1794 was superseded by the Neutrality Act of 1817[7] that included States that had recently become independent from Spain that were not mentioned in the original act.[8] Unrecognised governments such as "colonies, districts, or people" are given the same recognition as "states and princes" in the last clause of section 5.[9] Henry Clay called it "an Act for the benefit of Spain against the republics of America."[9]

The Neutrality Act of 1817 also prescribes maximum penalites of three years imprisonment and up to a three thousand dollar fine.[10]

The Act was updated again in 1838 during the 1837 Rebellions in Canada.

The Neutrality Act was reenacted and amended several times since, and remains in force as 18 U.S.C. 960 (1976).[11][12]

Recent applications

In 1981, nine men involved in Operation Red Dog were sentenced to three years in prison under the Neutrality Act; they had planned to overthrow the government of Dominica.[13][14]

In the 2007 Laotian coup d'état conspiracy allegation, the US government alleged after a sting operation that a group of conspirators planned to violate the Neutrality Act by overthrowing the government of Communist Laos.[15] The United States Government has since dropped all charges against these defendants.

In January 2015 two US residents were charged with violating the Neutrality Act for their role in the 2014 Gambian coup d'état attempt [16]

References

  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ U S v. GUINET, 2 U.S. 321 (U.S. Supreme Court 1795).
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ a b
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ 18 U.S.C. 960
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/two-defendants-charged-their-role-attempted-coup-gambia
Help improve this article
Sourced from World Heritage Encyclopedia™ licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
Help to improve this article, make contributions at the Citational Source
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.