Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States
EMBARGO, ANGARIA, ARRÊT DE PRINCE. These three terms designate three different measures which the government of a country may take toward merchant vessels, whether they belong to its own subjects or to the subjects of foreign nations. These measures have this in common, that they are impediments in the way of freedom of commerce. They present certain differences, which the best authorities, such as Vinnius ad Peckium, De Nav. non excus.; Stypmannus, Ad Jus maritimum, part v , chap. i., 4. 32: Loccenius, De Jure marit.; Targa, Dé Ponderazione maritimme; Galiani, De Doveri de Principi neutrali, have not sufficiently set forth—Embargo is the act of the sovereign power in a country of detaining in its ports in time of war, or even in peace in the anticipation of war, or as a reprisal measure, the ships of subjects, of friends or enemies, of natives or foreigners, together with their cargoes, and of preventing their departure for a longer or shorter time, but without exacting any active service from them.
—The usual object of an embargo is to throw an obstacle in the way of the divulgation of facts which it is to the interest of the power laying the embargo to keep secret, such as preparations for an expedition, a revolt, or the death of a prince or sovereign. Justice and the rights of nations, in accordance with which each is completely independent of all others, can not approve such measures. Hence, a great number of treaties contain stipulations guaranteeing the ships of the nations signing them from embargo. History show that these stipulations have not always been respected. In the wars of the Crimea, of Italy, of 1866, and of 1870-71, European governments did not have recourse to the measure of embargo. Far from laying an embargo upon the ships of the enemy, they allowed them all necessary time to return to their own country. An embargo is sometimes laid before the declaration of war; it is a forerunner of the rupture between two nations. If matters are amicably arranged between the parties, the embargo is raised.
—Embargo does not occasion neutral parties as much damage as does angaria; it causes detention, but does not force the ships on which it is laid into active service and the dangers which accompany it; hence it is not the custom to indemnify their owners.
—The two most recent examples of embargo are that laid by England, on Jan. 14, 1801, upon the Danish, Swedish and Russian ships which were in the ports of Great Britain, and which was only ended by the maritime convention of 1801; and that by France upon Dutch vessels, Nov.7, 1832, which was raised after the capture of the citadel of Antwerp.
—It is customary to stipulate in modern treaties for certain conditions to assure the subjects of the contracting powers established in the country of the other power sufficient time to enable them to leave and to remove the goods which belong to them.
—Angaria , service or labor exacted against one's will,) is the making of a requisition, by a belligerent, of the foreign vessels it its ports or roads, and imposing on them, paying them a remuneration, which detracts in no wise from the arbitrary character of the measure, certain services of war, such as transportation of troops, arms and ammunition, in spite of their rights of neutrality. Angaria imposes an active service upon the vessels on which it is laid; embargo, on the contrary, imposes no active service. Angaria affects all ships which happen to be in a port or road; embargo ordinarily only those of a single nation; it is often in the nature of a reprisal. Very like angaria is the act by which the Prussain government, in the war of 1870-71, scuttled six English merchantmen, which were stationed in the lower Seine. The Prussian government, however, soon took pains to acknowledge that an indemnity was due from it to the proprietors fo these vessels.
—Some modern authors, in the first rank of which may be cited Hautefeuille, Des Droits et des Devoirs des Nations neutres, 2d ed., vol. iii., p. 415, etc., justly inveigh against the doctrines of the publicists of the last century and the early part of the nineteenth, who wished to legitimatize embargo and angaris, by considering them as a law, or as a consequence of the law of legitimate defense, etc. Custom, it is true, has for a long time authorized the practice; but the illegality of such measures is too evident and too contrary to the ideas of justice and morality to survive. It is one of the incontestable rights of sovereignty either to permit or refuse entry to a port, and the power of carrying on commerce there; but the vessel once admitted to sojourn and trade there, it is an arbitrary act to impose any service upon it, such as is authorized by angaria. There does not exist a treaty, a single international act, by which belligerents are authorized to violate the neutrality of ships stationed in their ports. So far from that, in the case of angaria, as in that of embargo, many international conventions stipulate that the ships belonging to the contracting powers shall not be seized. Angaria "is less the exercise of a right than the abuse of power."
—Is the neutral ship impressed by angaria exempt from confiscation if it happens to be taken by the enemy? Hübner, De la Saisie des Bátiments neutres, vol. i., chap. vii., §2, decides this question in the affirmative; but his opinion can not be justified. The captor could not be expected to seek out the causes which have changed a neutral vessel into an enemy's vessel; and the ship taken under these conditions is evidently a fair prize.—"Arrêt de prince" must not be confounded with either embargo or angaria. It consists, although peace may be in no danger, in seizing on the plea of public necessity, a ship, whether it is still at anchor in port or has set out to sea and in the latter case interrupting a voyage already begun. It is a species of angaria in time of peace. An arrêt de prince may proceed from the government of the seized ships, or from a foreign government. In the case of arrêt de prince, the seized vessel is yielded up to its owners, or its value and that of its cargo is paid; whereas embargo terminates almost always in the confiscation of the enemy's property.
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