Treaty of Amity -1778 - History

Treaty of Amity -1778 - History

After the American victory at Saratoga, the French were ready to enter into an agreement with the Americans. On January 7, 1778, the French royal council declared unanimously in favor of a treaty of amity and commerce with the United States. It was followed on February 6th with a treaty of alliance. The treay marked a major turning point in the war, and ended American isolation.

.

The most Christian King, and the thirteen United States of North America, to wit, New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay Rhode island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania Delaware, Maryland, Virginia North-Carolina, South Carolina & Georgia, willing to fix in an equitable and permanent manner the Rules - The rest of the Treaty Amity


Benjamin Franklin sets sail for France

On October 26, 1776, exactly one month to the day after being named an agent of a diplomatic commission by the Continental Congress, Benjamin Franklin sets sail from Philadelphia for France, with which he was to negotiate and secure a formal alliance and treaty.

In France, the accomplished Franklin was feted throughout scientific and literary circles and he quickly became a fixture in high society. While his personal achievements were celebrated, Franklin’s diplomatic success in France was slow in coming. Although it had been secretly aiding the Patriot cause since the outbreak of the American Revolution, France felt it could not openly declare a formal allegiance with the United States until they were assured of an American victory over the British.

For the next year, Franklin made friends with influential officials throughout France, while continuing to push for a formal alliance. France continued to secretly support the Patriot cause with shipments of war supplies, but it was not until the American victory over the British at the Battle of Saratoga in October 1777 that France felt an American victory in the war was possible.

A few short months after the Battle of Saratoga, representatives of the United States and France, including Benjamin Franklin, officially declared an alliance by signing the Treaty of Amity and Commerce and the Treaty of Alliance on February 6, 1778. The French aid that these agreements guaranteed was crucial to the eventual American victory over the British in the War for Independence.


Contents

John Adams, an early supporter and initial author of an alliance with France

Early in 1776, as the members of the American Continental Congress began to move closer to declaring independence from Britain, leading American statesmen began to consider the benefits of forming foreign alliances to assist in their rebellion against the British Crown. Β] The most obvious potential ally was France, a long-time enemy of Britain and a colonial rival who had lost much of their lands in the Americas after the French and Indian War. As a result, John Adams began drafting conditions for a possible commercial treaty between France and the future independent colonies of the United States, which declined the presence of French troops and any aspect of French authority in colonial affairs. Β] On September 25 the Continental Congress ordered commissioners, led by Benjamin Franklin, to seek a treaty with France based upon Adams's draft treaty that had later been formalized into a Model Treaty which sought the establishment of reciprocal trade relations with France but declined to mention any possible military assistance from the French government. Γ] Despite orders to seek no direct military assistance from France, the American commissioners were instructed to work to acquire most favored nation trading relations with France, along with additional military aid, and also encouraged to reassure any Spanish delegates that the United States had no desire to acquire Spanish lands in the Americas, in the hopes that Spain would in turn enter a Franco-American alliance. Β]

Despite an original openness to the alliance, after word of the Declaration of Independence and a British evacuation of Boston reached France, the French Foreign Minister, Comte de Vergennes, put off signing a formal alliance with the United States after receiving news of British victories over General George Washington in New York. Γ] With the help of the Committee of Secret Correspondence, established by the Continental Congress to promote the American cause in France, and his standing as a model of republican simplicity within French society, Benjamin Franklin was able to gain a secret loan and clandestine military assistance from the Foreign Minister but was forced to put off negotiations on a formal alliance while the French government negotiated a possible alliance with Spain. Γ]

Benjamin Franklin's celebrity like status in France helped win French support for the United States during the American Revolutionary War. Γ]

With the defeat of Britain at the Battle of Saratoga and growing rumors of secret British peace offers to Franklin, France sought to seize an opportunity to take advantage of the rebellion and abandoned negotiations with Spain to begin discussions with the United States on a formal alliance. Γ] With official approval to begin negotiations on a formal alliance given by King Louis XVI of France, the colonies turned down a British proposal for reconciliation in January 1778 Δ] and began negotiations that would result in the signing of the Treaty of Alliance and Treaty of Amity and Commerce.


Treaty of Amity -1778 - History

ABH Site Index

Pre-Revolution Timeline - The 1770s

The people were getting tired of the overarching rules, regulations, and taxes of the British Crown, perhaps no more so than in Boston where a massacre would occur. So a Tea Party would be held, declarations and Congresses made, then a war with shots ringing out from Princeton to Saratoga to Yorktown. But it would take much longer than this one decade to win that war and to form a true government. The American Revolution would seep into the next decade and the first President not in office til after that.

More 1700s

American Revolution Historic Sites

What's going on to protect and interpret American Revolution historic sites. Great news on two interesting fronts.

ABH Travel Tip


For those of 62 years of age or older, buy the America the Beautiful Senior Pass. For only $10, this pass includes free entrance for the rest of your life to all National Parks, National Historic Sites, and National Forest, and other federal fee sites for you, your spouse, and your children, plus discounts of 50% on most use fees, such as camping. Must be purchased in person at a National Fee location near you.


U.S. Timeline - The 1770s

Sponsor this page for $100 per year. Your banner or text ad can fill the space above.
Click here to Sponsor the page and how to reserve your ad.

1778 Detail

February 6, 1778 - France signs the treaty of Amity and Commerce with the United States, officially recognizing the new nation, and sends Pierre L'Enfant to be captain of engineers at Valley Forge. Later, L'Enfant would be commissioned to design the capital city of the United States, Washington, D.C.

The French had started to get impressed, that the Continental Army was showing better muster in battles such as Saratoga, a United States victory in September 1777, or even at Germantown in the Philadelphia campaign the past October, a Continental Army loss. They had been looking for an excuse to battle their traditional foe, the British, since losing most of the lands in America to the British in the French and Indians Wars. When the Seven Years War had ended in Europe, consolidating even more British power, the French had considered many options, even one that had France and Spain attacking the British Isles themselves.

The Continental Congress had previously decided to send Benjamin Franklin to France to seek a trade alliance, not a military arrangement. The idea was initially thought positive by France, but plans were scuttled when word of British victories over Washington in New York early in the American Revolution reached the continent. Despite the official reticence, however, Franklin acquired a secret loan and back channel military assistance from the French Foreign Minister. At the same time, Franklin was negotiating with Great Britain in secret, but eventually turned down a reconciliation proposal in January 1778.

With the peace offer with Great Britain off the table, and the French impressed by the victory at Saratoga (news did not reach France until December of 1777 about that victory), which they had secretly been assisting, Franklin had his moment to deter France from their alliance with Spain. He negotiated the Treaty of Amity and Commerce with France that would recognize the United States as a sovereign nation.

How the Treaty Came About

The treaty was signed on Febuary 6, 1778 at the Hotel de Coislin in Paris. It was ratified by Congress on May 4, 1778 in a unanimous vote, although not all colonial representatives were there. It was ratified by France on July 16, 1778.

The Treaty of Amity and Commerce may have recognized the new nation and established relations between France and the emerging United States, but it was not the only Treaty signed on February 6. The Treaty of Alliance was also signed that day signifying a mutual defensive alliance between the two nations against the British if hostilities broke out between France and Great Britain.

How France Helped Immediately

France continued to fund much of the revolution, already spending 5 million livres through 1777 and providing ninety percent of military arms during the Saratoga campaign to the Americans. Their assistance had begun in 1775 with subsidies from King Louis XVI and France to the Continental Congress, and would eventually be augmented by Spain and Holland, who sided with the United States, leaving Great Britain with limited allies. French soldiers such as Pierre Charles L'Enfant, a military engineer, and Lafayette, his superior, had already been involved, and would continue to serve Washington throughout the war. Both men served on Washington's staff at Valley Forge, and Lafayette was charged with leaving camp in the spring to ascertain British movements, fighting a small action called the Battle of Barren Hill with one quarter of Washington's troops, before making his way back to the Valley Forge camp. Today Barren Hill is known as Lafayette Hill. In June, British troops marched out of Philadelphia without the Continental Army firing a shot, afraid of French warships making it difficult to retain their New York City base.

Full Text of the Treaty of Amity and Commerce

The most Christian King, and the thirteen United States of North America, to wit, New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay Rhode island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania Delaware, Maryland, Virginia North-Carolina, South Carolina & Georgia, willing to fix in an equitable and permanent manner the Rules which ought to be followed relative to the Correspondence & Commerce which the two Parties desire to establish between their respective Countries, States, and Subjects, hi most Christian Majesty and the, said United States have judged that the said End could not b, better obtained than by taking for the Basis of their Agreement the most perfect Equality and Reciprocity, and by carefully avoiding all those burthensome Preferences, which are usually Sources of Debate, Embarrasment and Discontent by leaving also each Party at Liberty to make, respecting Commerce and Navigation, those interior Regulations which it shall find most convenient to itself and by founding the Advantage of Commerce solely upon reciprocal Utility, and the just Rules of free Intercourse reserving withal to each Party the Liberty of admitting at its pleasure other Nations to a Participation of the same Advantages. It is in the Spirit of this Intention, and to fulfil these Views, that his said Majesty having named and appointed for his Plenipotentiary Conrad Alexander Gerard, Royal Sindic of the City of Strasbourg, Secretary of his Majesty's Council of State, and the United States on their Part, having fully impower'd Benjamin Franklin Deputy from the State of Pennsylvania to the general Congress, and President of the Convention of said State, Silas Deane late Deputy from the State of Connecticut to the said Congress, and Arthur Lee Councellor at Law The said respective Plenipotentiaries after exchanging their Powers, and after mature Deliberation, have concluded and agreed upon the following Articles.

ARTICLE. 1.st - There shall be a firm, inviolable and universal Peace, and a true and sincere Friendship between the most Christian King, his Heirs and Successors, and the United States of America and the Subjects of the most Christian King and of the said States and between the Countries, Islands, Cities, and Towns, situate under the Jurisdiction of the most Christian King, and of the said United States, and the people and Inhabitants of every Degree, without exception of Persons or Places & the Terms herein after mentioned shall be perpetual between the most Christian King his Heirs and Successors and the said United States.

ART. 2.nd - The most Christian King, and the United States engage mutually not to grant any particular Favor to other Nations in respect of Commerce and Navigation, which shall not immediately become common to the other Party, who shall enjoy the same Favor freely, if the Concession was freer made, or on allowing the same Compensation, if the Concession was Conditional.

ART. 3.d - The Subjects of the most Christian King shall pay in the Port Havens, Roads, Countries I lands, Cities or Towns, of the United States or any of them, no other or greater Duties or Imposts of what Nature soever they may be, or by what Name soever called, than those which the Nations most favoured are or shall be obliged to pay and they shall enjoy all the Rights, Liberties, Privileges, Immunities and Exemptions in Trade, Navigation and Commerce, whether in passing from one Port in the said States to another, or in going to and from the same, from and to any Part of the World, which the said Nations do or shall enjoy.

ART. 4. - The Subjects, People and Inhabitants of the said United States, and each of them, shall not pay in the Ports, Havens Roads Isles, Cities & Places under the Domination of his most Christian Majesty in Europe, any other or greater Duties or Imposts, of what Nature soever, they may be, or by what Name soever called, that those which the most favoured Nations are or shall be obliged to pay & they shall enjoy all the Rights, Liberties, Privileges, Immunities & Exemptions, in Trade Navigation and Commerce whether in passing from one Port in the said Dominions in Europe to another, or in going to and from the same, from and to any Part of the World, which the said Nation do or shall enjoy.

ART. 5. - In the above Exemption is particularly comprised the Imposition of 100 Sols pr Ton, established in France on foreign Ships unless when the Ships of the United States shall load with the Merchandize of France for another Port of the same Dominion, in which Case the said Ships shall pay the Duty abovementioned so long as other Nations the most favour'd shall be obliged to pay it. But it is understood that the said United States or any of them are at Liberty when they shall judge it proper, to establish a Duty equivalent in the same Case.

ART. 6. - The most Christian King shall endeavour by all the means in his Power to protect and defend all Vessels and the Effects belonging to the Subjects, People or Inhabitants of the said United States, or any of them, being in his Ports Havens or Roads or on the Sea near to his Countries, Islands Cities or Towns and to recover and restore to the right owners, their agents or Attornies all such Vessel & Effects, which shall be taken within his Jurisdiction and the Ships of War of his most Christian Majesty or any Convoys sailing under his authority shall upon all Occasions take under their Protection all Vessels belonging to the Subjects, People or Inhabitants of the said United States, or any of them & holding the same Course or going the same Way, and shall defend such Vessels, as long as they hold the same Course or go the same way, against all Attacks, Force and Violence in the same manner, as they ought to protect and defend the Vessels belonging to the Subjects of the most Christian King.

ART. 7. - In like manner the said United States and their Ships of War sailing under their Authority shall protect and defend, conformable to the Tenor of the preceeding Article, all the Vessels and Effect belonging to the Subjects of the most Christian King and use al their Endeavours to recover cause to be restored the said Vessels and Effects, that shall have been taken within the Jurisdiction of the said United State or any of them.

ART. 8. - The most Christian King will employ his good Offices and Interposition with the King or Emperor of Morocco or Fez, the Regencies of Algier, Tunis and Tripoli, or with any of them, and also with every other Prince, State or Power of the Coast of Barbary in Africa, and the Subjects of the said King Emperor, States and Powers, and each of them in order to provide as fully and efficaciously as possible for the Benefit, Conveniency and Safety of the said United States, and each of them, their Subjects, People, and Inhabitants, and their Vessels and Effects, against all Violence, Insult, Attacks, or Depredations on the Part of the said Princes and States of Barbary, or their Subjects.

ART. 9. - The Subjects, Inhabitants, Merchants, Commanders of Ships Masters and Mariners of the States, Provinces, and Dominions of each Party respectively shall abstain and forbear to fish in all Places possessed or which shall be possessed by the other Party: The most Christian Kings Subjects shall not fish in the Havens, Bays, Creeks, Roads Coasts or Places, which the said united States hold or shall hereafter hold and in like manner the Subjects, People and Inhabitants of the said United States shall not fish in the Havens Bays, Creeks, Roads, Coasts or Places, which the most Christian King possesses or shall hereafter possess and if any and if any Ship or Vessel shall be found fishing contrary to the Tenor of this Treaty, the said Ship or Vessel with its lading, proof being made thereof, shall be confiscated. It is however understood, that the Exclusion stipulated in the present Article shall take place only so long, and so far as the most Christian King or the United States shall not in this respect have granted an Exemption to some other Nation.

/>
ART. 10. - The United States their Citizens and Inhabitants shall never disturb the Subjects, of the most Christian King in the Enjoyment and Exercise of the Right of Fishing on the Banks of Newfoundland nor in the indefinite and exclusive Right which belongs to them on that Part of the Coast of that Island which is designed by the Treaty of Utrecht nor in the Rights relative to all and each of the Isles which belong to his most Christian Majesty the whole conformable to the true Sense of the Treaties of Utrecht and Paris.

ART. 11. (1) - It is agreed and concluded that there shall never be any Duty imposed on the Exportation of the Mellasses that may be taken by the Subjects of any of the United States from the Islands of America which belong or may hereafter appertain to his most Christian Majesty.

ART. 12. (2) - In compensation of the Exemption stipulated by the preceeding Article, it is agreed and concluded that there shall never be any Duties imposed on the Exportation of any kind of Merchandize which the Subjects of his most Christian Majesty may take from the Countries and Possessions present or future of any of the thirteen United States, for the Use of the Islands which shall furnish Mellasses.

ART 13 [11] - The Subjects and Inhabitants of the said United States, or any one of them, shall not be reputed Aubains in France, & consequently shall be exempted from the Droit d'Aubaine or other similar Duty under what name soever. They may by Testament, Donation, or otherwise dispose of their Goods moveable and immoveable in favour of such Persons as to them shall seem good and their Heirs, Subjects of the Said United States, residing whether in France or elsewhere, may succeed them ab intestat, without being obliged to obtain Letters of Naturalization, and without having the Effect of this Concession contested or impeded under Pretext of any Rights or Prerogatives of Provinces, Cities, or Private Persons. And the said Heirs, whether such by particular Title, or ab intestat, shall be exempt from all Duty called Droit de Detraction, or other Duty of the same kind saving nevertheless, the local Rights or Duties as much and as long as similar ones are not established by the United States or any of them. The Subjects of the most Christian fling shall enjoy on their Part, in all the Dominions of the sd. States, an entire and perfect Reciprocity relative to the Stipulations contained in the present Article.

But it is at the same Time agreed that its Contents shall not affect the Laws made or that may be made hereafter in France against Emigrations, which shall remain in all their Force and Vigour and the United States on their Part, or any of them, shall be at Liberty to enact such Laws relative to that Matter, as to them shall seem proper.

ART. 14 [12] - The merchant Ships of either of the Parties, which shall be making into a Port belonging to the Enemy of the other Ally and concerning whose Voyage & the Species of Goods on board her there shall be just Grounds of Suspicion shall be obliged to exhibit as well upon the high Seas as in the Ports and Havens not only her Passports, but likewise Certificates expressly strewing that her Goods are not of the Number of those, which have been prohibited as contraband.

ART. 15 [13] - If by the exhibiting of the above said Certificates, the other Party discover there are any of those Sorts of Goods, which are prohibited and declared contraband and consigned for a Port under the Obedience of his Enemies, it shall not be lawful to break up the Hatches of such Ship, or to open any Chest, Coffers, Packs, Casks, or any other Vessels found therein, or to remove the smallest Parcels of her Goods, whether such Ship belongs to the Subjects of France or the Inhabitants of the said United States, unless the lading be brought on Shore in the presence of the Officers of the Court of Admiralty and an Inventory thereof made but there shall be no allowance to sell, exchange, or alienate the same in any manner untill after that due and lawful Process shall have been had against such prohibited Goods and the Court of Admiralty shall by a Sentence pronounced, have confiscated the same: saving always as well the Ship itself as any other Goods found therein, which by this Treaty are to be esteemed free: neither may they be detained on presence of their being as it were infected by the prohibited Goods, much less shall they be confiscated as lawful Prize: But if not the whole Cargo, but only part thereof shall consist of prohibited or contraband Goods and the Commander of the Ship shall be ready and willing to deliver them to the Captor, who has discovered them, in such Case the Captor having received those Goods shall forthwith discharge the Ship and not hinder her by any means freely to prosecute the Voyage, on which she was bound. But in Case the Contraband Merchandiscs, cannot be all receiv'd on board the Vessel of the Captor, then the Captor may, notwithstanding the Offer of delivering him the Contraband Goods, carry the Vessel into the nearest Port agreable to what is above directed.

ART. 16 [14] - On the contrary it is agreed, that whatever shall be found to be laden by the Subjects and Inhabitants of either Party on any Ship belonging to the Enemys of the other or to their Subjects, the whole although it be not of the Sort of prohibited Goods may be confiscated in the same manner, as if it belonged to the Enemy, except such Goods and Merchandizes as were put on board such Ship before the Declaration of War, or even after such Declaration, if so be it were done without knowledge of such Declaration. So that the Goods of the Subjects and People of either Party, whether they be of the Nature of such as are prohibited or otherwise, which, as is aforesaid were put on board any Ship belonging to an Enemy before the War, or after the Declaration of the same, without the knowledge of it, shall no ways be liable to confiscation, but shall well and truely be restored without Delay to the proprietors demanding the same but so as that, if the said Merchandizes be contraband, it shall not be any Ways lawful to carry them afterwards to any Ports belonging to the Enemy. The two contracting Parties agree, that the Term of two Months being passed after the Declaration of War, their respective Subjects, from whatever Part of the World they come, shall not plead the Ignorance mentioned in this Article.

ART. 17 [15] - And that more effectual Care may be taken for the Security of the Subjects and Inhabitants of both Parties, that they suffer no injury by the men of War or Privateers of the other Party, all the Commanders of the Ships of his most Christian Majesty & of the said United States and all their Subjects and Inhabitants shall be forbid doing any Injury or Damage to the other Side and if they act to the contrary, they shall be punished and shall moreover be bound to make Satisfaction for all Matter of Damage, and the Interest thereof, by reparation, under the Pain and obligation of their Person and Goods.

ART. 18 [16] - All Ships and Merchandizes of what Nature soever which shall be rescued out of the hands of any Pirates or Robbers on the high Seas, shall be brought into some Port of either State and shall be delivered to the Custody of the Officers of that Port, in order to be restored entire to the true Proprietor, as soon as due and sufficient Proof shall be made concerning the Property thereof.

ART. 19 [17] - It shall be lawful for the Ships of War of either Party & Privateers freely to carry whithersoever they please the Ships and Goods taken from their Enemies, without being obliged to pay any Duty to the Officers of the Admiralty or any other Judges nor shall such Prizes be arrested or seized, when they come to and enter the Ports of either Party nor shall the Searchers or other Officers of those Places search the same or make examination concerning the lawfulness of such Prizes, but they may hoist Sail at any time and depart and carry their Prizes to the Places express'd in their Commissions, which the Commanders of such Ships of War shall be obliged to shew: On the contrary no Shelter or Refuge shall be given in their Ports to such as shall have made Prize of the Subjects, People or Property of either of the Parties but if such shall come in, being forced by Stress of Weather or the Danger of the Sea, all proper means shall be vigorously used that they go out and retire from thence as soon as possible.

ART. 20 [18] - If any Ship belonging to either of the Parties their People or Subjects, shall, within the Coasts or Dominions of the other, stick upon the Sands or be wrecked or suffer any other Damage, all friendly Assistance and Relief shall be given to the Persons shipwrecked or such as shall be in danger thereof and Letters of safe Conduct shall likewise be given to them for their free and quiet Passage from thence, and the return of every one to his own Country.

ART. 21 [19] - In Case the Subjects and Inhabitants of either Party with their shipping whether publick and of War or private and of Merchants, be forced, through Stress of Weather, pursuit of Pirates or Enemies, or any other urgent necessity for seeking of Shelter and Harbour, to retreat and enter into any of the Rivers, Bays, Roads or Ports belonging to the other Party, they shall be received and treated with all humanity and Kindness and enjoy all friendly Protection & Help and they shall be permitted to refresh and provide themselves at reasonable Rates with victuals and all things needful for the sustenance of their Persons or reparation of their Ships and conveniency of their Voyage and they shall no Ways be detained or hindred from returning out of the said Ports or Roads but may remove and depart when and whither they please without any let or hindrance.

ART. 22 [20] - For the better promoting of Commerce on both Sides, it is agreed that if a War shall break out between the said two Nations, six Months after the Proclamation of War shall be allowed to the Merchants in the Cities and Towns, where they live, for selling and transporting their Goods and Merchandizes and if any thing be taken from them, or any Injury be done them within that Term by either Party or the People or Subjects of either, full Satisfaction shall be made for the same.

ART. 23 [21] - No Subjects of the most Christian King shall apply for or take any Commission or Letters of marque for arming any Ship or Ships to act as Privateers against the said United States or any of them or against the Subjects People or Inhabitants of the said United States or any of them or against the Property of any of the Inhabitants of any of them from any Prince or State with which the said United States shall be at War. Nor shall any Citizen Subject or Inhabitant of the said United States or any of them apply for or take any Commission or letters of marque for arming any Ship or Ships to act as Privateers against the Subjects O f the most Christian King or any of them or the Property of any of them from any Prince or State with which the said fling shall be at War: And if any Person of either Nation shall take such Commissions or Letters of Marque he shall be punished as a Pirate.

ART. 24 [22] - It shall not be lawful for any foreign Privateers, not belonging to Subjects of the most Christian King nor Citizens of the said United States, who have Commissions from any other Prince or State in enmity with either Nation to fit their Ships in the Ports of either the one or the other of the aforesaid Parties, to sell what they have taken or in any other manner whatsoever to exchange their Ships, Merchandizes or any other lading neither shall they be allowed even to purchase victuals except such as shall be necessary for their going to the next Port of that Prince or State from which they have Commissions.

ART. 25 [23] - It shall be lawful for all and singular the Subjects of the most Christian King and the Citizens People and Inhabitants of the said United States to sail with their Ships with all manner of Liberty and Security no distinction being made, who are the Proprietors of the Merchandizes laden thereon, from any Port to the places of those who now are or hereafter shall be at Enmity with the most Christian King or the United States. It shall likewise be Lawful for the Subjects and Inhabitants aforesaid to sail with the Ships and Merchandizes aforementioned and to trade with the same Liberty and. security from the Places, Ports and Havens of those who are Enemies of both or either Party without any Opposition or disturbance whatsoever, not only directly from the Places of the Enemy afore mentioned to neutral Places but also from one Place belonging to an Enemy to another place belonging to an Enemy, whether they be under the Jurisdiction of the same Prince or under several And it is hereby stipulated that free Ships shall also give a freedom to Goods, and that every thing shall be deemed to be free and exempt, which shall be found on board the Ships belonging to the Subjects of either of the Confederates, although the whole lading or any Part thereof should appertain to the Enemies of either, contraband Goods being always excepted. It is also agreed !' in like manner that the same Liberty be extended to Persons, who are on board a free Ship, with this Effect, that although they be Enemies to both or either Party, they are not to be taken out of that free Ship, unless they are Soldiers and in actual Service of the Enemies.

ART. 26 [24] - This Liberty of Navigation and Commerce shall extend to all kinds of Merchandizes, excepting those only which are distinguished by the name of contraband And under this Name of Contraband or prohibited Goods shall be comprehended, Arms, great Guns, Bombs with the fuzes, and other things belonging to them, Cannon Ball, Gun powder, Match, Pikes, Swords, Lances, Spears, halberds, Mortars, Petards, Granades Salt Petre, Muskets, Musket Ball, Bucklers, Helmets, breast Plates, Coats of Mail and the like kinds of Arms proper for arming Soldiers, Musket rests, belts, Horses with their Furniture, and all other Warlike Instruments whatever. These Merchandizes which follow shall not be reckoned among Contraband or prohibited Goods, that is to say, all sorts of Cloths, and all other Manufactures woven of any wool, Flax, Silk, Cotton or any other Materials whatever all kinds of wearing Apparel together with the Species, whereof they are used to be made gold & Silver as well coined as uncoin'd, Tin, Iron, Latten, Copper, Brass Coals, as also Wheat and Barley and any other kind of Corn and pulse Tobacco and likewise all manner of Spices salted and smoked Flesh, salted Fish, Cheese and Butter, Beer, Oils, Wines, Sugars and all sorts of Salts & in general all Provisions, which serve for the nourishment of Mankind and the sustenance of Life Furthermore all kinds of Cotton, hemp, Flax, Tar, Pitch, Ropes, Cables, Sails, Sail Cloths, Anchors and any Parts of Anchors also Ships Masts, Planks, Boards and Beams of what Trees soever and all other Things proper either for building or repairing Ships, and all d other Goods whatever, which have not been worked into the form of any Instrument or thing prepared for War by Land or by Sea, shall not be reputed Contraband, much less such as d have been already wrought and made up for any other Use all which shall be wholly reckoned among free Goods: as likewise I all other Merchandizes and things, which are not comprehended and particularly mentioned in the foregoing enumeration of contraband Goods: so that they may be transported and carried in the freest manner by Subjects of both Confederates even to Places belonging to an Enemy such Towns or Places being only excepted as are at that time beseiged, blocked up or invested.

ART. 27 [25] - To the End that all manner of Dissentions and Quarrels may be avoided and prevented on one Side and the other, it is agreed, that in case either of the Parties hereto should be engaged in War, the Ships and Vessels belonging to the Subjects or People of the other Ally must be furnished with Sea Letters or Passports expressing the name, Property and Bulk of the Ship as also the name and Place of habitation of the Master or Commander of the said Ship, that it may appear thereby, that the Ship really & truely belongs to the Subjects of one of the Parties, which Passport shall be made out and granted according to the Form annexed to this Treaty they shall likewise be recalled every Year, that is if the Ship happens to return home within the Space of a Year. It is likewise agreed, that such Ships being laden are to be provided not only with Passports as above mentioned, but also with Certificates containing the several Particulars of the Cargo, the Place whence the Ship sailed and whither she is bound, that so it may be known,. whether any forbidden or contraband Goods be on board the same: which Certificates shall be made out by the Officers of the Place, whence the Ship set sail, in the accustomed Form. And if any one shall think it fit or adviseable to express in the said Certificates the Person to whom the Goods on board belong, he may freely do so.

ART. 28 [26] - The Ships of the Subjects and Inhabitants of either of the Parties, coming upon any Coasts belonging to either of the said, Allies, but not willing to enter into Port, or being entered into Port and not willing to unload their Cargoes or break Bulk, they shall be treated according to the general Rules prescribed or to be prescribed relative to the Object in Question.

ART. 29 [27] - If the Ships of the said Subjects, People or Inhabitants of either of the Parties shall be met with either sailing along the Coasts or on the high Seas by any Ship of War of the other or by any Privateers, the said Ships of War or Privateers, for the avoiding of any Disorder shall remain out of Cannon Shot, and may send their Boats aboard the Merchant Ship, which they shall so meet with, and may enter her to number of two or three Men only to whom the Master or Commander of such Ship or Vessel hall exhibit his passport concerning the Property of the Ship made out according to the Form inserted in this present Treaty, and the Ship, when she shall have shewed such Passport shall be free and st Libert, to pursue her Voyage, so as it shall not be lawful to molest or search her in any manner or to give her chase, or force her to quit her intended.

ART. 30 [28] - It is also agreed that all Goods, when once put on board the Ships or Vessels of either of the two contracting Parties shall be subject to no farther Visitation but all Visitation or Search shall be made before hand, and all prohibited Goods shall be stopped on the Spot, before the same be put on board, unless there are manifest Tokens or Proofs of fraudulent Practice nor shall either the Persons or goods of the Subjects of his most Christian Majesty or the United States be put under any arrest or molested by any other kind of Embargo for that Cause and only the Subject of that State, to whom the said Goods have been or shall be prohibited and who shall presume to sell or alienate such sort of Goods shall be duly punished for the Offense.

ART. 31 [29] - The two contracting Parties grant mutually the Liberty of having each in the Ports of the other, Consuls, Vice Consuls, Agents and Commissaries, whose Functions shall be regulated by a particular Agreement.

ART. 32 [30] - And the more to favour and facilitate the Commerce which the Subjects of the United States may have with France, the most Christian King will grant them in Europe one or more free Ports, where they may bring and dispose of all the Produce and Merchandize of the thirteen United States and his Majesty will also continue to the Subjects of the said States, the free Ports which have been and are open in the french Islands of America. Of all which free Ports, the said Subjects of the United States shall enjoy the Use, agreable to the Regulations which relate to them.

ART. 33 [31] - The present Treaty shall be ratified on both Sides and the Ratifications shall be exchanged in the Space of Six Months, or sooner if possible.

In Faith whereof the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed the above Articles, both in the French and English Languages, declaring nevertheless that the present Treaty was originally composed and concluded in the French Language, and they have thereto affixed their Seals.

Done at Paris, this Sixth Day of February, one thousand seven hundred & seventy eight


Treaty of Amity -1778 - History

The most Christian King, and the thirteen United States of North America, to wit, New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay Rhode island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania Delaware, Maryland, Virginia North-Carolina, South Carolina & Georgia, willing to fix in an equitable and permanent manner the Rules which ought to be followed relative to the Correspondence & Commerce which the two Parties desire to establish between their respective Countries, States, and Subjects, hi most Christian Majesty and the, said United States have judged that the said End could not b, better obtained than by taking for the Basis of their Agreement the most perfect Equality and Reciprocity, and by carefully avoiding all those burthensome Preferences, which are usually Sources of Debate, Embarrasment and Discontent by leaving also each Party at Liberty to make, respecting Commerce and Navigation, those interior Regulations which it shall find most convenient to itself and by founding the Advantage of Commerce solely upon reciprocal Utility, and the just Rules of free Intercourse reserving withal to each Party the Liberty of admitting at its pleasure other Nations to a Participation of the same Advantages. It is in the Spirit of this Intention, and to fulfil these Views, that his said Majesty having named and appointed for his Plenipotentiary

, Royal Sindic of the City of Strasbourg, Secretary of his Majesty's Council of State, and the United States on their Part, having fully impower'd

Deputy from the State of Pennsylvania to the general Congress, and President of the Convention of said State,

late Deputy from the State of Connecticut to the said Congress, and

Councellor at Law The said respective Plenipotentiaries after exchanging their Powers, and after mature Deliberation, have concluded and agreed upon the following Articles.

There shall be a firm, inviolable and universal Peace, and a true and sincere Friendship between the most Christian King, his Heirs and Successors, and the United States of America and the Subjects of the most Christian King and of the said States and between the Countries, Islands, Cities, and Towns, situate under the Jurisdiction of the most Christian King, and of the said United States, and the people and Inhabitants of every Degree, without exception of Persons or Places & the Terms herein after mentioned shall be perpetual between the most Christian King his Heirs and Successors and the said United States.

The most Christian King, and the United States engage mutually not to grant any particular Favor to other Nations in respect of Commerce and Navigation, which shall not immediately become common to the other Party, who shall enjoy the same Favor freely, if the Concession was freer made, or on allowing the same Compensation, if the Concession was Conditional.

The Subjects of the most Christian King shall pay in the Port Havens, Roads, Countries I lands, Cities or Towns, of the United States or any of them, no other or greater Duties or Imposts of what Nature soever they may be, or by what Name soever called, than those which the Nations most favoured are or shall be obliged to pay and they shall enjoy all the Rights, Liberties, Privileges, Immunities and Exemptions in Trade, Navigation and Commerce, whether in passing from one Port in the said States to another, or in going to and from the same, from and to any Part of the World, which the said Nations do or shall enjoy.

The Subjects, People and Inhabitants of the said United States, and each of them, shall not pay in the Ports, Havens Roads Isles, Cities & Places under the Domination of his most Christian Majesty in Europe, any other or greater Duties or Imposts, of what Nature soever, they may be, or by what Name soever called, that those which the most favoured Nations are or shall be obliged to pay & they shall enjoy all the Rights, Liberties, Privileges, Immunities & Exemptions, in Trade Navigation and Commerce whether in passing from one Port in the said Dominions in Europe to another, or in going to and from the same, from and to any Part of the World, which the said Nation do or shall enjoy.

In the above Exemption is particularly comprised the Imposition of 100 Sols pr Ton, established in France on foreign Ships unless when the Ships of the United States shall load with the Merchandize of France for another Port of the same Dominion, in which Case the said Ships shall pay the Duty abovementioned so long as other Nations the most favour'd shall be obliged to pay it. But it is understood that the said United States or any of them are at Liberty when they shall judge it proper, to establish a Duty equivalent in the same Case.

The most Christian King shall endeavour by all the means in his Power to protect and defend all Vessels and the Effects belonging to the Subjects, People or Inhabitants of the said United States, or any of them, being in his Ports Havens or Roads or on the Sea near to his Countries, Islands Cities or Towns and to recover and restore to the right owners, their agents or Attornies all such Vessel & Effects, which shall be taken within his Jurisdiction and the Ships of War of his most Christian Majesty or any Convoys sailing under his authority shall upon all Occasions take under their Protection all Vessels belonging to the Subjects, People or Inhabitants of the said United States, or any of them & holding the same Course or going the same Way, and shall defend such Vessels, as long as they hold the same Course or go the same way, against all Attacks, Force and Violence in the same manner, as they ought to protect and defend the Vessels belonging to the Subjects of the most Christian King.

In like manner the said United States and their Ships of War sailing under their Authority shall protect and defend, conformable to the Tenor of the preceeding Article, all the Vessels and Effect belonging to the Subjects of the most Christian King and use al their Endeavours to recover cause to be restored the said Vessels and Effects, that shall have been taken within the Jurisdiction of the said United State or any of them.

The most Christian King will employ his good Offices and Interposition with the King or Emperor of Morocco or Fez, the Regencies of Algier, Tunis and Tripoli, or with any of them, and also with every other Prince, State or Power of the Coast of Barbary in Africa, and the Subjects of the said King Emperor, States and Powers, and each of them in order to provide as fully and efficaciously as possible for the Benefit, Conveniency and Safety of the said United States, and each of them, their Subjects, People, and Inhabitants, and their Vessels and Effects, against all Violence, Insult, Attacks, or Depredations on the Part of the said Princes and States of Barbary, or their Subjects.

The Subjects, Inhabitants, Merchants, Commanders of Ships Masters and Mariners of the States, Provinces, and Dominions of each Party respectively shall abstain and forbear to fish in all Places possessed or which shall be possessed by the other Party: The most Christian Kings Subjects shall not fish in the Havens, Bays, Creeks, Roads Coasts or Places, which the said united States hold or shall hereafter hold and in like manner the Subjects, People and Inhabitants of the said United States shall not fish in the Havens Bays, Creeks, Roads, Coasts or Places, which the most Christian King possesses or shall hereafter possess and if any and if any Ship or Vessel shall be found fishing contrary to the Tenor of this Treaty, the said Ship or Vessel with its lading, proof being made thereof, shall be confiscated. It is however understood, that the Exclusion stipulated in the present Article shall take place only so long, and so far as the most Christian King or the United States shall not in this respect have granted an Exemption to some other Nation.

The United States their Citizens and Inhabitants shall never disturb the Subjects, of the most Christian King in the Enjoyment and Exercise of the Right of Fishing on the Banks of Newfoundland nor in the indefinite and exclusive Right which belongs to them on that Part of the Coast of that Island which is designed by the Treaty of Utrecht nor in the Rights relative to all and each of the Isles which belong to his most Christian Majesty the whole conformable to the true Sense of the Treaties of Utrecht and Paris.

It is agreed and concluded that there shall never be any Duty imposed on the Exportation of the Mellasses that may be taken by the Subjects of any of the United States from the Islands of America which belong or may hereafter appertain to his most Christian Majesty.

In compensation of the Exemption stipulated by the preceeding Article, it is agreed and concluded that there shall never be any Duties imposed on the Exportation of any kind of Merchandize which the Subjects of his most Christian Majesty may take from the Countries and Possessions present or future of any of the thirteen United States, for the Use of the Islands which shall furnish Mellasses.

The Subjects and Inhabitants of the said United States, or any one of them, shall not be reputed Aubains in France, & consequently shall be exempted from the Droit d'Aubaine or other similar Duty under what name soever. They may by Testament, Donation, or otherwise dispose of their Goods moveable and immoveable in favour of such Persons as to them shall seem good and their Heirs, Subjects of the Said United States, residing whether in France or elsewhere, may succeed them ab intestat , without being obliged to obtain Letters of Naturalization, and without having the Effect of this Concession contested or impeded under Pretext of any Rights or Prerogatives of Provinces, Cities, or Private Persons. And the said Heirs, whether such by particular Title, or ab intestat , shall be exempt from all Duty called Droit de Detraction , or other Duty of the same kind saving nevertheless, the local Rights or Duties as much and as long as similar ones are not established by the United States or any of them. The Subjects of the most Christian fling shall enjoy on their Part, in all the Dominions of the sd. States, an entire and perfect Reciprocity relative to the Stipulations contained in the present Article.

But it is at the same Time agreed that its Contents shall not affect the Laws made or that may be made hereafter in France against Emigrations, which shall remain in all their Force and Vigour and the United States on their Part, or any of them, shall be at Liberty to enact such Laws relative to that Matter, as to them shall seem proper.

The merchant Ships of either of the Parties, which shall be making into a Port belonging to the Enemy of the other Ally and concerning whose Voyage & the Species of Goods on board her there shall be just Grounds of Suspicion shall be obliged to exhibit as well upon the high Seas as in the Ports and Havens not only her Passports, but likewise Certificates expressly strewing that her Goods are not of the Number of those, which have been prohibited as contraband

If by the exhibiting of the above said Certificates, the other Party discover there are any of those Sorts of Goods, which are prohibited and declared contraband and consigned for a Port under the Obedience of his Enemies, it shall not be lawful to break up the Hatches of such Ship, or to open any Chest, Coffers, Packs, Casks, or any other Vessels found therein, or to remove the smallest Parcels of her Goods, whether such Ship belongs to the Subjects of France or the Inhabitants of the said United States, unless the lading be brought on Shore in the presence of the Officers of the Court of Admiralty and an Inventory thereof made but there shall be no allowance to sell, exchange, or alienate the same in any manner untill after that due and lawful Process shall have been had against such prohibited Goods and the Court of Admiralty shall by a Sentence pronounced, have confiscated the same: saving always as well the Ship itself as any other Goods found therein, which by this Treaty are to be esteemed free: neither may they be detained on presence of their being as it were infected by the prohibited Goods, much less shall they be confiscated as lawful Prize: But if not the whole Cargo, but only part thereof shall consist of prohibited or contraband Goods and the Commander of the Ship shall be ready and willing to deliver them to the Captor, who has discovered them, in such Case the Captor having received those Goods shall forthwith discharge the Ship and not hinder her by any means freely to prosecute the Voyage, on which she was bound. But in Case the Contraband Merchandiscs, cannot be all receiv'd on board the Vessel of the Captor, then the Captor may, notwithstanding the Offer of delivering him the Contraband Goods, carry the Vessel into the nearest Port agreable to what is above directed.

On the contrary it is agreed, that whatever shall be found to be laden by the Subjects and Inhabitants of either Party on any Ship belonging to the Enemys of the other or to their Subjects, the whole although it be not of the Sort of prohibited Goods may be confiscated in the same manner, as if it belonged to the Enemy, except such Goods and Merchandizes as were put on board such Ship before the Declaration of War, or even after such Declaration, if so be it were done without knowledge of such Declaration. So that the Goods of the Subjects and People of either Party, whether they be of the Nature of such as are prohibited or otherwise, which, as is aforesaid were put on board any Ship belonging to an Enemy before the War, or after the Declaration of the same, without the knowledge of it, shall no ways be liable to confiscation, but shall well and truely be restored without Delay to the proprietors demanding the same but so as that, if the said Merchandizes be contraband, it shall not be any Ways lawful to carry them afterwards to any Ports belonging to the Enemy. The two contracting Parties agree, that the Term of two Months being passed after the Declaration of War, their respective Subjects, from whatever Part of the World they come, shall not plead the Ignorance mentioned in this Article.

And that more effectual Care may be taken for the Security of the Subjects and Inhabitants of both Parties, that they suffer no injury by the men of War or Privateers of the other Party, all the Commanders of the Ships of his most Christian Majesty & of the said United States and all their Subjects and Inhabitants shall be forbid doing any Injury or Damage to the other Side and if they act to the contrary, they shall be punished and shall moreover be bound to make Satisfaction for all Matter of Damage, and the Interest thereof, by reparation, under the Pain and obligation of their Person and Goods.

All Ships and Merchandizes of what Nature soever which shall be rescued out of the hands of any Pirates or Robbers on the high Seas, shall be brought into some Port of either State and shall be delivered to the Custody of the Officers of that Port, in order to be restored entire to the true Proprietor, as soon as due and sufficient Proof shall be made concerning the Property thereof.

It shall be lawful for the Ships of War of either Party & Privateers freely to carry whithersoever they please the Ships and Goods taken from their Enemies, without being obliged to pay any Duty to the Officers of the Admiralty or any other Judges nor shall such Prizes be arrested or seized, when they come to and enter the Ports of either Party nor shall the Searchers or other Officers of those Places search the same or make examination concerning the lawfulness of such Prizes, but they may hoist Sail at any time and depart and carry their Prizes to the Places express'd in their Commissions, which the Commanders of such Ships of War shall be obliged to shew: On the contrary no Shelter or Refuge shall be given in their Ports to such as shall have made Prize of the Subjects, People or Property of either of the Parties but if such shall come in, being forced by Stress of Weather or the Danger of the Sea, all proper means shall be vigorously used that they go out and retire from thence as soon as possible.

If any Ship belonging to either of the Parties their People or Subjects, shall, within the Coasts or Dominions of the other, stick upon the Sands or be wrecked or suffer any other Damage, all friendly Assistance and Relief shall be given to the Persons shipwrecked or such as shall be in danger thereof and Letters of safe Conduct shall likewise be given to them for their free and quiet Passage from thence, and the return of every one to his own Country.

In Case the Subjects and Inhabitants of either Party with their shipping whether publick and of War or private and of Merchants, be forced, through Stress of Weather, pursuit of Pirates or Enemies, or any other urgent necessity for seeking of Shelter and Harbour, to retreat and enter into any of the Rivers, Bays, Roads or Ports belonging to the other Party, they shall be received and treated with all humanity and Kindness and enjoy all friendly Protection & Help and they shall be permitted to refresh and provide themselves at reasonable Rates with victuals and all things needful for the sustenance of their Persons or reparation of their Ships and conveniency of their Voyage and they shall no Ways be detained or hindred from returning out of the said Ports or Roads but may remove and depart when and whither they please without any let or hindrance.

For the better promoting of Commerce on both Sides, it is agreed that if a War shall break out between the said two Nations, six Months after the Proclamation of War shall be allowed to the Merchants in the Cities and Towns, where they live, for selling and transporting their Goods and Merchandizes and if any thing be taken from them, or any Injury be done them within that Term by either Party or the People or Subjects of either, full Satisfaction shall be made for the same.

No Subjects of the most Christian King shall apply for or take any Commission or Letters of marque for arming any Ship or Ships to act as Privateers against the said United States or any of them or against the Subjects People or Inhabitants of the said United States or any of them or against the Property of any of the Inhabitants of any of them from any Prince or State with which the said United States shall be at War. Nor shall any Citizen Subject or Inhabitant of the said United States or any of them apply for or take any Commission or letters of marque for arming any Ship or Ships to act as Privateers against the Subjects O f the most Christian King or any of them or the Property of any of them from any Prince or State with which the said fling shall be at War: And if any Person of either Nation shall take such Commissions or Letters of Marque he shall be punished as a Pirate.

It shall not be lawful for any foreign Privateers, not belonging to Subjects of the most Christian King nor Citizens of the said United States, who have Commissions from any other Prince or State in enmity with either Nation to fit their Ships in the Ports of either the one or the other of the aforesaid Parties, to sell what they have taken or in any other manner whatsoever to exchange their Ships, Merchandizes or any other lading neither shall they be allowed even to purchase victuals except such as shall be necessary for their going to the next Port of that Prince or State from which they have Commissions.

It shall be lawful for all and singular the Subjects of the most Christian King and the Citizens People and Inhabitants of the said United States to sail with their Ships with all manner of Liberty and Security no distinction being made, who are the Proprietors of the Merchandizes laden thereon, from any Port to the places of those who now are or hereafter shall be at Enmity with the most Christian King or the United States. It shall likewise be Lawful for the Subjects and Inhabitants aforesaid to sail with the Ships and Merchandizes aforementioned and to trade with the same Liberty and. security from the Places, Ports and Havens of those who are Enemies of both or either Party without any Opposition or disturbance whatsoever, not only directly from the Places of the Enemy afore mentioned to neutral Places but also from one Place belonging to an Enemy to another place belonging to an Enemy, whether they be under the Jurisdiction of the same Prince or under several And it is hereby stipulated that free Ships shall also give a freedom to Goods, and that every thing shall be deemed to be free and exempt, which shall be found on board the Ships belonging to the Subjects of either of the Confederates, although the whole lading or any Part thereof should appertain to the Enemies of either, contraband Goods being always excepted. It is also agreed !' in like manner that the same Liberty be extended to Persons, who are on board a free Ship, with this Effect, that although they be Enemies to both or either Party, they are not to be taken out of that free Ship, unless they are Soldiers and in actual Service of the Enemies.

This Liberty of Navigation and Commerce shall extend to all kinds of Merchandizes, excepting those only which are distinguished by the name of contraband And under this Name of Contraband or prohibited Goods shall be comprehended, Arms, great Guns, Bombs with the fuzes, and other things belonging to them, Cannon Ball, Gun powder, Match, Pikes, Swords, Lances, Spears, halberds, Mortars, Petards, Granades Salt Petre, Muskets, Musket Ball, Bucklers, Helmets, breast Plates, Coats of Mail and the like kinds of Arms proper for arming Soldiers, Musket rests, belts, Horses with their Furniture, and all other Warlike Instruments whatever. These Merchandizes which follow shall not be reckoned among Contraband or prohibited Goods, that is to say, all sorts of Cloths, and all other Manufactures woven of any wool, Flax, Silk, Cotton or any other Materials whatever all kinds of wearing Apparel together with the Species, whereof they are used to be made gold & Silver as well coined as uncoin'd, Tin, Iron, Latten, Copper, Brass Coals, as also Wheat and Barley and any other kind of Corn and pulse Tobacco and likewise all manner of Spices salted and smoked Flesh, salted Fish, Cheese and Butter, Beer, Oils, Wines, Sugars and all sorts of Salts & in general all Provisions, which serve for the nourishment of Mankind and the sustenance of Life Furthermore all kinds of Cotton, hemp, Flax, Tar, Pitch, Ropes, Cables, Sails, Sail Cloths, Anchors and any Parts of Anchors also Ships Masts, Planks, Boards and Beams of what Trees soever and all other Things proper either for building or repairing Ships, and all d other Goods whatever, which have not been worked into the form of any Instrument or thing prepared for War by Land or by Sea, shall not be reputed Contraband, much less such as d have been already wrought and made up for any other Use all which shall be wholly reckoned among free Goods: as likewise I all other Merchandizes and things, which are not comprehended and particularly mentioned in the foregoing enumeration of contraband Goods: so that they may be transported and carried in the freest manner by Subjects of both Confederates even to Places belonging to an Enemy such Towns or Places being only excepted as are at that time beseiged, blocked up or invested.

To the End that all manner of Dissentions and Quarrels may be avoided and prevented on one Side and the other, it is agreed, that in case either of the Parties hereto should be engaged in War, the Ships and Vessels belonging to the Subjects or People of the other Ally must be furnished with Sea Letters or Passports expressing the name, Property and Bulk of the Ship as also the name and Place of habitation of the Master or Commander of the said Ship, that it may appear thereby, that the Ship really & truely belongs to the Subjects of one of the Parties, which Passport shall be made out and granted according to the Form annexed to this Treaty they shall likewise be recalled every Year, that is if the Ship happens to return home within the Space of a Year. It is likewise agreed, that such Ships being laden are to be provided not only with Passports as above mentioned, but also with Certificates containing the several Particulars of the Cargo, the Place whence the Ship sailed and whither she is bound, that so it may be known,. whether any forbidden or contraband Goods be on board the same: which Certificates shall be made out by the Officers of the Place, whence the Ship set sail, in the accustomed Form. And if any one shall think it fit or adviseable to express in the said Certificates the Person to whom the Goods on board belong, he may freely do so.

The Ships of the Subjects and Inhabitants of either of the Parties, coming upon any Coasts belonging to either of the said, Allies, but not willing to enter into Port, or being entered into Port and not willing to unload their Cargoes or break Bulk, they shall be treated according to the general Rules prescribed or to be prescribed relative to the Object in Question.

If the Ships of the said Subjects, People or Inhabitants of either of the Parties shall be met with either sailing along the Coasts or on the high Seas by any Ship of War of the other or by any Privateers, the said Ships of War or Privateers, for the avoiding of any Disorder shall remain out of Cannon Shot, and may send their Boats aboard the Merchant Ship, which they shall so meet with, and may enter her to number of two or three Men only to whom the Master or Commander of such Ship or Vessel hall exhibit his passport concerning the Property of the Ship made out according to the Form inserted in this present Treaty, and the Ship, when she shall have shewed such Passport shall be free and st Libert, to pursue her Voyage, so as it shall not be lawful to molest or search her in any manner or to give her chase, or force her to quit her intended

It is also agreed that all Goods, when once put on board the Ships or Vessels of either of the two contracting Parties shall be subject to no farther Visitation but all Visitation or Search shall be made before hand, and all prohibited Goods shall be stopped on the Spot, before the same be put on board, unless there are manifest Tokens or Proofs of fraudulent Practice nor shall either the Persons or goods of the Subjects of his most Christian Majesty or the United States be put under any arrest or molested by any other kind of Embargo for that Cause and only the Subject of that State, to whom the said Goods have been or shall be prohibited and who shall presume to sell or alienate such sort of Goods shall be duly punished for the Offense

The two contracting Parties grant mutually the Liberty of having each in the Ports of the other, Consuls, Vice Consuls, Agents and Commissaries, whose Functions shall be regulated by a particular Agreement.

And the more to favour and facilitate the Commerce which the Subjects of the United States may have with France, the most Christian King will grant them in Europe one or more free Ports, where they may bring and dispose of all the Produce and Merchandize of the thirteen United States and his Majesty will also continue to the Subjects of the said States, the free Ports which have been and are open in the french Islands of America. Of all which free Ports, the said Subjects of the United States shall enjoy the Use, agreable to the Regulations which relate to them.

The present Treaty shall be ratified on both Sides and the Ratifications shall be exchanged in the Space of Six Months, or sooner if possible.

In Faith whereof the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed the above Articles, both in the French and English Languages, declaring nevertheless that the present Treaty was originally composed and concluded in the French Language, and they have thereto affixed their Seals.

Done at Paris, this Sixth Day of February, one thousand seven hundred & seventy eight


Introduction

The Treaty of Alliance with France was signed on February 6, 1778, creating a military alliance between the United States and France against Great Britain. Negotiated by the American diplomats Benjamin Franklin, Silas Deane, and Arthur Lee, the Treaty of Alliance required that neither France nor the United States agree to a separate peace with Great Britain, and that American independence be a condition of any future peace agreement. In addition to the Treaty of Alliance, the Treaty of Amity and Commerce with France was signed on February 6, 1778, promoting trade and commercial ties between the two countries.


Certificate

Form of the Certificate, which shall be given to Ships or Vessells in Consequence of the Twenty fifth Article of this Treaty.

We Magistrates, or Officers of the Customs of the City or Port of do certify and Attest that on the Day of in the year of our Lord C.D.—of . . . . personally appeared, before Us, and declared by solemn oath, that the Ship or Vessell called of Tons, or thereabouts whereof of is at present Master or Commander, does, rightfully and properly belong to him or them only. That She is now bound, from the City or Port of to the Port of laden with Goods and Merchandizes, hereunder particularly discribed and enumerated as follows.

In Witness whereof We have signed this Certificate, and sealed it with the Seal of our office, this Day of in the year of our Lord Christ.


Treaty of Amity -1778 - History

Today there is a relatively mutual relationship between France and the United States. It is popular in some so-called patriotic circles to make snarky comments about France and the French, but the fact is, the United States may not exist today if it had not been for France and the Treaty of Alliance signed during the American Revolutionary War.

The Treaty of Alliance between France and the new United States of America was signed in February of 1778. Essentially, it was an agreement between the two countries to support each other in war against England. This alliance played a key role in countering the vastly superior British Royal Navy, taking away a key advantage the British maintained over American freedom fighters.

A Natural Alliance

It is not difficult to understand why France was motivated to support the 13 American colonies in their attempt to overthrow their mother country, Great Britain. France and England had been at various stages of war, on and off, for centuries.

Also, France had recently suffered a stinging defeat in the French and Indian Wars (1754-1763), an event which caused them to lose much of their influence in the Americas. Losing the French and Indian War (also known as the Seven Years War) shifted the balance of power in Europe dangerously toward Great Britain – so much so that France was contemplating and alliance with Spain for an outright invasion of England to regain French power and advantage.

However, the outbreak of the American War of Independence produced another opportunity for France to strike a blow against its bitter enemy.

The Key Role of Benjamin Franklin

Perhaps the person who was most influential in getting the Treaty of Alliance signed was none other than Benjamin Franklin, the American genius, statesman, scientist and diplomat. Franklin enjoyed “rock-star” status along the French political and aristocratic elite. Franklin’s experiments with electricity made him world famous, but he also possessed extreme charisma, charming the French, and influencing their view of world politics.

The Treaty of Alliance was originally drafted by John Adams, the future second President of the United States. Adams’ version of the document originally established only commercial trade relationships with France, but included no military support. It was the persistent and clever work of Ben Franklin, who was living in Paris, and other American diplomats that eventually lead to a two-way military alliance.

The Treaty of Alliance was made more attractive to the French when it became an agreement of mutual support in war against England – requiring the United States to join France in any future wars against England.

Far-Reaching Consequences

The Treaty of Alliance had far-reaching consequences. It meant that France officially recognized the United States as an independent nation. It also meant that Spain entered the war effort on the side of the Americans. It meant that France, Spain and the Dutch would help supply America with arms, clothing, and gunpowder – everything it needed to keep its war effort moving forward.

Perhaps most of all, it greatly reduced the power of the mighty British navy by countering and distracting it with French, Spanish, and Dutch naval power.


What Is the 1955 Treaty of Amity with Iran?

Iran intends to take the United States to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at the Hague over the U.S. Supreme Court–backed freezing of an estimated $2 billion of its assets. Yet behind this commonplace legal maneuver is an unusual reality. The ICJ typically only has jurisdiction over disputes between states when both states agree to accept its authority to render a verdict on that case. Yet the United States and Iran don’t agree on much these days—indeed, they’ve been at each other's throats for forty years. How is it that they concur on this?

In fact, the two rivals concurred on this a long, long time ago. Despite many bitter incidents on both sides since the 1979 revolution, they have a treaty in place which according to international law is still valid: the 1955 U.S.-Iranian Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations and Consular Rights.

The treaty was signed two years after the 1953 Coup. The Coup was orchestrated by the British government and America’s Central Intelligence Agency in order to put the Shah back in power and collapse the nationalist government of Iran under Mohammad Mosadegh that had nationalised the Iranian oil industry.

The history of such agreements between the US and other countries goes back to the eighteenth century—in 1778, the United States signed agreements of amity and commercial relations with France. Ever since those agreements, it became a norm for U.S. governments to put such treaties in place with other countries in order to facilitate and simplify investments and commercial activities and to solidify political relations.

The U.S.-Iranian Treaty of Amity was signed by the two countries in 1955, during the terms of U.S. president Dwight Eisenhower and Iranian prime minister Hossein Ala. The treaty came in a period when Iran was trying to attract foreign investors through a variety of means, such as a “Law of Attraction and Support for Foreign Investment” passed by the Iranian parliament.

The treaty consists of an introduction and twenty-three articles. It emphasizes friendly relations while encouraging mutual trade and investments and regulating consular relations. The treaty was signed by Mostafa Samiy (the Iranian deputy of the ministry of foreign affairs) and Selden Chapin (the ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of the United States) at Tehran just a week before the second anniversary of the 1953 Coup. The treaty came into force in June 1957, one month after the day of exchange of the instruments of ratification at Tehran. Ever since, it’s provided the legal framework for bilateral relations between Iran and the United States.

Clause 2 of Article XXI of the treaty establishes the ICJ’s role: “Any dispute between the High Contracting Parties as to the interpretation or application of the present Treaty, not satisfactorily adjusted by diplomacy, shall be submitted to the International Court of Justice, unless the High Contracting Parties agree to settlement by some other pacific means.” In other words, consent from either side should suffice to take a case to the ICJ.

Why is the treaty still valid?

In November 1979, some twenty-two years after the treaty came into effect, the hostage crisis at the American embassy took place. Within a few months—in April 1980—Washington cut political ties with Tehran and a few days later conducted a military operation in Iran in order to free the hostages which failed due to technical and climate reasons.

It was then that the first round of U.S. sanctions against Iran was imposed and all Iranian assets in the United States were frozen.

That was the beginning of an era of tensions and unfriendly actions, every one of which was clear violation of the treaty’s commitment, in Article I, that “There shall be firm and enduring peace and sincere friendship between the United States of America and Iran.” These incidents could have led to the annulment of the treaty or the departure of either party. Yet in spite of all tensions, incidents and conflicts of interest over the last four decades, there is no legal evidence against the validity of the 1955 treaty.

During the first few years after the 1979 revolution, Iran would not make legal reference to the treaty in order to avoid any suggestion that there was any tendency towards renewing relations with the United States. The American side quickly broke that taboo when it went to the ICJ referring to the same treaty during the hostage situation, asserting that Iran had gone against Article II, Clause 4 of the treaty, which promises that “Nationals of either High Contracting Party shall receive the most constant protection and security within the territories of the other High Contracting Party.” The court returned a verdict of immediate freedom of the hostages, also referring to the Treaty of Amity. This confirmed the validity of the treaty in their eyes.

Less than a decade later and after an American warship attacked an Iranian passenger plane, killing all 290 people on board, Iran took the US to the ICJ, citing Clause 2 of Article XXI. This was accepted by the court. (Tehran and Washington ultimately settled the matter outside of court.)

The second time Iran took America to the ICJ citing the treaty was in November 1992 over U.S. attacks on Iranian oil rigs in the Persian Gulf in 1987 and 1988. The United States brought a counterclaim against Iran for “mining and other attacks on U.S.-flag or U.S.-owned vessels” in the same period.

In both instances, the court cited the 1955 Treaty of Amity and confirmed the validity of the treaty in handling the cases. The Iran-US Claims Tribunal, which handled disputes between the two countries tied to the hostage situation, has also cited the 1955 treaty in at least twenty-seven verdicts.

Neither of the two countries has ever used Clause 3 of Article XXIII of the treaty that outlines termination terms and conditions (“Either High Contracting Party may, by giving one year's written notice to the other High Contracting Party, terminate the present Treaty at the end of the initial ten-year period or at any time thereafter.”). On the contrary, they both have accepted ICJ verdicts in accordance with the terms and clauses of treaty and have cited the treaty themselves when taking the other party to court.

To this effect, and in a virtually unprecedented situation in the history of international law, two countries who have cut political ties and have been subject to unfriendly and hostile actions from each other for over four decades actually have a living Treaty of Amity in place. Based on it, they can legally challenge any violations of “friendly relations” and demand behaviors in line with international conventions.

Someday—and it doesn’t look like that day will come soon—Iran and the United States will recommence political relations. Until that day arrives, it is a great benefit that there is an agreed mechanism in place to help resolve disputes when diplomacy proves futile. We may not be witnessing the “firm and enduring peace and sincere friendship between the United States of America and Iran” that the two sides envisioned when they signed on, but the 1955 Treaty of Amity still has a role to play.

Farshad Kashani is an international law expert and international legal affairs analyst. He was also the Editor In-Chief of Iranian Diplomacy. Farshad Kashani is currently writing a book about the P5+1 and Iran's interpretation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and its legal impacts on the regime's future. On Twitter: @FarKashani.


France Signs Treaty of Alliance with America

On February 6, 1778, Delegates of King Louis XVI of France and the Second Continental Congress signed a Treaty of Alliance, promising military support to each other.

Shortly after the American colonies declared their independence from Great Britain in 1776, it became clear that they might need help from another nation. And that nation would most likely be France.

France and England had long been colonial rivals and enemies, especially after the bitter Seven Years’ War. The French even considered an alliance with Spain and combined invasion of Britain, but ultimately abandoned the idea.

U.S. #806 from the popular Prexies series.

Back in America, John Adams began developing a commercial treaty between America and France. The treaty focused on reciprocal trade and didn’t mention the French providing military assistance. A group of commissioners, led by Benjamin Franklin, was selected to present the treaty to France. While they were instructed to not seek direct military aid, they were ordered to attempt to get most favored nation trading status with France with some military help. In the event there were Spanish delegates present, they were to inform them that America had to interest in taking their land, in the hopes of forming an alliance with them as well.

U.S. #86 – 1867 Franklin “E” Grill.

Initially, the French Foreign Minister was interested in such an alliance, particularly after the Declaration of Independence and the British evacuation of Boston. Then British victories in New York and New Jersey led him to refuse to sign a treaty. However, Continental Congress had created the Committee of Secret Correspondence, which helped to spread support for the American cause in France. Additionally, Benjamin Franklin had come to be revered as a model citizen in France. So the minister gave him a secret loan and limited covert military aid. While he was willing to sign the treaty, the minister had to wait for the French government to negotiate a potential alliance with Spain.

Finally, in the fall of 1777, the Americans earned a major victory over the British at the Battle of Saratoga. At the same time, there were rumors that the British had begun making secret offers of peace to Franklin. The Spanish saw this as an opportunity and entered into negotiations to form an alliance with America. With this, the French government also agreed to enter into negotiations, leading the Americans to turn down the British proposal for reconciliation.

U.S. #1728 – The American victory at Saratoga is considered a turning point in the Revolution.

So the French and Americans met in early 1778 and developed The Treaty of Alliance with France as well as the Treaty of Amity and Commerce. Both parties at the Hôtel de Crillon in Paris signed the treaties on February 6, 1778. Together, these treaties guaranteed support for the French if the British retaliated against them, established the conditions of military assistance and set requirements for a future peace treaty to end the fight with Britain. There was also a secret clause that offered Spain or other nations to join the alliance if they were attacked by Britain.

U.S. #703 pictures the leaders at Yorktown – Rochambeau, Washington, and de Grasse.

That March, France officially recognized the United States as an independent nation, leading Great Britain to declare war on them. In the coming months, France supplied the Continental Army with weapons, ammunitions and uniforms. But one of their greatest contributions was manpower, particular during the Siege of Yorktown. There, more than 10,800 French troops and 29 warships serving under Comte de Rochambeau and Comte de Grasse joined forces with George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette to force the surrender of Lord Cornwallis’s army, effectively ending the land war.

U.S. #1753 FDC – French Alliance Silk Cachet First Day Cover.

Relations between America and France after the war deteriorated quickly. While President George Washington stated that the treaty was still in effect, his Proclamation of Neutrality refused military aid during the French Revolution. The alliance officially ended on September 30, 1800, with the Treaty of Mortefontaine. That treaty settled hostilities between the nations as a result of the Quasi-War.

Click here to read the Treaty of Alliance and here to read the Treaty of Amity and Commerce.


Watch the video: Ρωσσία 20ου αιώνα