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[110]

There are two kinds of blockades — military and commercial. A military blockade is merely the equivalent, on the part of a naval force, of that of a siege upon land, and has been practised from the very earliest times. Commercial blockades are instituted with the principal object of stopping an enemy's imports, crippling his trade, and isolating him from commerce with the outside world. In the old monarchies and the republics of antiquity, trade, even when affecting national interest, was held in contempt; there is no record in the his-tories of early nations of this commercial form of warfare. When Columbus and Vasco da Gama opened the great ocean routes and provided markets that turned royal minds to the value of commerce, international customs and trade relations were entirely changed — the new weapon of the blockade grew suddenly to be an element in warfare. The Dutch provinces of Spain, in their great fight for independence, were the first to make use of it, when they established the commercial blockade of the Scheldt.

The blockade which the United States proclaimed, and at last succeeded in enforcing, against the ports of the Southern Confederacy was of a twofold character; it was both military and commercial, and was recognized by the Supreme Court of the United States as being valid, and sanctioned by both municipal and international law. By the amended proclamation of President Lincoln on the 27th of April, 1861, the whole seacoast of the South Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, from Virginia to the Rio Grande, a stretch of over three thousand miles, was interdicted from commercial relations with any foreign shore. But had the President or his advisers perceived the magnitude of the task or apprehended its difficulties and

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