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An Age of Neutrals: Great Power Politics, 1815-1914 by Dr Maartje Abbenhuis

By Dr Maartje Abbenhuis

An Age of Neutrals presents a pioneering background of neutrality in Europe and the broader global among the Congress of Vienna and the outbreak of the 1st global struggle. The 'long' 19th century (1815-1914) used to be an period of extraordinary industrialization, imperialism and globalization; one that witnessed Europe's financial and political hegemony the world over. Dr Maartje Abbenhuis explores the ways that neutrality strengthened those interconnected advancements. She argues passive belief of neutrality has up to now avoided historians from figuring out the excessive regard with which neutrality, as a device of international relations and statecraft and as a favored perfect with a number of functions, used to be held. This compelling new historical past exposes neutrality as a colourful and crucial a part of the nineteenth-century overseas procedure; a robust device utilized by nice and small powers to resolve disputes, stabilize diplomacy and advertise numerous pursuits inside and outdoors the continent.

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40 Earlier she had written: neutral countries . . , obtaining a sudden influx of wealth, appear to be rendered flourishing by the destruction which ravages the hapless nations who are sacrificed to the ambition of their governors. I shall not . . 41 By 1805, when the reputation of neutrals in Britain was at its lowest point, a London lawyer published an immensely popular pamphlet entitled War in disguise. Or the frauds of neutral flags, in which he proclaimed that neutrals were aiding the enemy French in sustaining the war by illegally supplying them with war materials.

In turn, the Dutch Republic promoted the principle of ‘free ships make free goods’ to protect its merchants and their ships, sailors and cargo from capture. 26 In 23 24 25 26 Burk, Old world, pp. 88–91; I. Hont, Jealousy of trade. International competition and the nation-state in historical perspective. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press, 2005. O. Feldbaek, ‘Denmark–Norway 1720–1807: neutral principles and practice’ in R. Hobson, T. Kristiansen, eds, Navies in northern waters 1721–2000. Portland, OR , Frank Cass, 2004, p.

London, Methuen, 1983, p. 72. 28 An Age of Neutrals response to the Dutch action and as a signal to all the world, the British crown initiated a new ruling, the Rule of 1756, which held that neutrals could only trade freely in terms of their normal peacetime commerce and could not take over shipping routes or access ports that were closed to them before the war broke out. On the grounds of the Rule of 1756, the British felt well within their rights to capture neutral ships plying French and Spanish trade and to issue letters of marque authorising privateers to do the same.

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