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a policy of " frightfulness " alleged to have been ’
1 adopted by way of reprisal. The modern doctrine of
the " freedom of the sea " has been of slow develop-
·ï ment, although formulated in the 17th Century by
«ï Grotius, the " Father of International Law." The
general assumption is that belligerents may not
,; interrupt neutral commerce and that the sea is the
K open highway for all. This is, however, only true
to a limited extent. ,
Y For several centuries it has been admitted by the
nations of Europe that belligerents have certain
{ rights, which rights in their turn override the general
right of the freedom of the sea accorded to all. The E
two great methods which belligerents may employ ’
, in maritime warfare and which affect neutral com- ,
ig merce are blockade and contraband. I
Blockade is analogous to siege on land. It cuts X
fi off certain designated ports or areas of coast from all
commerce and its object is by means of oessation of
commercial intercourse and consequent stringency or
starvation to reduce the other belligerent to terms.
This method of blockade was employed to its fullest i
i extent and with utmost rigor by the United States è
,‘ Government as against the Southern Confederacy, g
” ‘ and it is now recognised by competent authority, ï
. such as Admiral Mahan, that it was mainly instru- ·
, mental in forcing a decisive result by finally
strangling the Confederacy, which, out off from all
l resources from the outer world, was finally reduced l_ .
to a condition of complete economic helplessness.
i A blockade, however, is subject to certain limita-
tions. It must be effective, that is to say, it must
_, not be a mere paper blockade, and the entrance to r
the blockaded place or places must be attended ,
with the gravest danger. i
During our Civil War it required about a year
before the blockage became really effective in this