Page:Henry Adams' History of the United States Vol. 3.djvu/56

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44
Ch. 2.
HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES.

in London, after some weeks lost at Paris, he found a state of affairs such as might have alarmed the most phlegmatic of men.

Pitt had made good use of Monroe's absence. During the winter of 1804-1805 Parliament passed several Acts tending to draw all the West Indian commerce into British hands. Throughout the West Indies free ports were thrown open to the enemy's vessels, which were encouraged to bring there the produce of their colonies, receiving British merchandise in return, while the Act further provided for the importation of this enemy's produce into Great Britain in British ships. Other Acts and Orders extended the system of licenses, by which British subjects were allowed to trade with their enemies in neutral vessels, and concluded by requiring that all their trade with the French islands should be carried on through the free ports alone. [1]

These measures were intended to force the trade of the French and Spanish colonies into a British channel; but all were secondary to a direct attack on American commerce. While Parliament and Council devised the legislation and rules necessary for taking charge of the commerce of Cuba, Martinique, and the other hostile colonies, the Lords of Appeals were engaged in providing the law necessary for depriving America of the same trade. July 23, 1805, Sir William Scott pronounced judgment in the case

  1. Act of April 10, 1805; Instructions of June 29, 1805; Orders of Aug. 3, 1805.