Rhett Donnelly

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War of 1812, Baltimore, William Bond Martin, Jay Treaty, Quasi-War, Saint Thomas, Aux Cayes, Les Cayes, Hispaniola, Jacqumel, Jacmel, Coffee, Flour, West Indies, United States, France, Great Britain, Haitian Revolution, The Act of Congress June 13 1798, An Act to Suspend the Commercial Intercourse between the United States and France and the Dependencies Thereof, An Act Further to Suspend the Commercial Intercourse between the United States and France and the Dependencies Thereof, Saint-Domingue, Federalism, Federalists, Republicans, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Napoleonic Wars, Napoleon, The Act of Congress February 9 1799


Stewart v. M’Intosh was argued during the time period of the Jay Treaty, the Quasi-War, the Haitian Revolution, and the War of 1812. The facts begin at the end of the 18th century and extend into the early 19th century. The arguments and ruling were based on trade restrictions between United States citizens and territories under French control. The plaintiffs focused their arguments on the specific language of the Congressional acts, which outlawed trade with French territories but did not directly mention the regions at issue, while the defendants looked at the implications of the acts and the context of the struggles between the United States and France to shape their arguments. Though the case only includes the notes and final verdict, a close examination of the intricacies of the arguments and historical context that shaped the world during this time help explain the mindset and political agenda of the justices of the Court of Appeals. The defendants were successful in showing that the plaintiffs attempted to circumvent Congressional acts by trading with territories specifically outlawed by legislation in order to profit, as they donned Danish flags to fly above their ships in order to disguise themselves and engage in forbidden trade. The political influences of the justices sitting on the Court of Appeals, though, may explain how this controversial decision was reached.


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