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what constitutes blockade, and what is contraband. These variations are indicated by the decisions of their Prize Courts.
After all, the question resolves itself into ascertaining how far a belligerent may trench on the interests of a neutral, and how far a neutral may go without trenching on belligerent rights. In general, the latter dominated until the appearance of a power-the United States-whose interests lay almost invariably with the neutral. Then the latter preponderated, and the Convention of Paris of 1856 witnessed even Great Britain yielding to the dicta of the Armed Neutrality of 1780.
ON FOREIGN STATIONS.
In general, these are seldom defined in peaceable times. The commanding officer of a squadron seldom has and further orders from the Navy Department than to relieve some other in the command, leaving him to his experience and responsibility as to the course he may pursue in regard to foreign flags. Occasions may and do arise where special instructions are sent; but these are often far less important than those which constitute the general policy of the United States towards another flag, as developed by the commander of the naval force.
Of course it is evident that no reference is here intended to the manner in which he shall conduct the internal affairs of the squadron, as they are minutely regulated by the Book of Instructions.
It may be assumed that the ordinary purpose of maintaining a squadron on the coast of another power is primarily to protect the interests of American citizens there being, which in the main are commercial, though not always so.