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smuggling was so enormously profitable

that, along the borders of Holland and

Denmark, thousands grew rich by it.

The entrance of the United States into the

war vastly simplified the problem. The

Allies no longer found it necessary to avoid

offending American susceptibilities. Furthermore, Great Britain and the United States,

between them, virtually controlled most of

the articles the Germans desired and practically all the coaling facilities of the Atlantic

Ocean; also they controlled both the Suez

and the Panama Canals. In an infinite

variety of ways the Allies were able to bring

such pressure upon the neutral states adjoining Germany as to force them to cease much

of their trade with Germany. The ships of

such neutrals found it almost impossible to

make voyages unless they conformed to the

wishes of the Allies. The United States

would refuse to send food or fodder to such

neutrals unless they would enter into satisfactory agreements. The neutrals, of course,

protested, but we retorted that we did not

feel ourselves bound to send food to Holland,

for example, in order that Holland could

send food into Germany. Neither did we

think fit to send corn or oil cake to Denmark

or Holland in order that these countries

could make butter and cheese for our bitter

enemies. Gradually the blockade was tightened. Gradually it became more and more

difficult for the Teutons to obtain food,

copper, nickel, rubber, and other articles of

which they stood in need. In the end, the

stranglehold of the blockade was undoubtedly a strong factor in ending the war.

Another weapon employed by the Allies

was the blacklisting of firms in neutral

countries that were owned by their enemies

or that traded with their enemies or otherwise rendered them aid. In many cases

such firms had actively worked against the

Allies by propaganda, by supplying enemy

vessels, or by inciting sabotage. No Allied

citizens were permitted to do business with

such firms; goods could not be carried to

them in Allied ships; and neutral firms

dealing with them were themselves liable to

be blacklisted. So great was the financial

power of the Allies that many such enemy

firms were ruined. Thus in South America

the financial stability of enemy firms was

very generally shaken. For example, in

Argentina, the great firm of Brauss, Mahn

& Company, at one time agents for the

German Government, were forced to eliminate the German interests in order to be

removed from the blacklist.

Before entering the war, the United States

protested against the blacklist policy, though

we were hardly justified in doing so, for the

Allies were well within their rights. When

we ourselves declared war, we helped to

enforce the blacklist policy and greatly

simplified the Allied task.

Through their control of food, coal; and

other articles the British and Americans

were able practically to compel some of the

neutral states to employ their merchant

shipping in ways that would benefit the

Allies. A drastic step was taken with regard

to Holland. German threats so terrified the

Dutch that they laid up some of their

ships. Having failed to reach an agreement with Holland regarding shipping, the

British and Americans, in March, 1918,

seized Dutch shipping lying in their harbors,

the total amounting to about 750,000 tons.

The largest Dutch ship in New York harbor,

namely the Nieuw Amsterdam, was, however,

in accordance with a previous agreement,

permitted to return to Holland with a cargo

of food. Moreover, all Dutch ships outward

bound to American waters were also permitted to return to home ports. The vessels

seized were speedily set to work, though

ordinarily outside the submarine zones.

The seizures were made under the international law of "angary," which gives a

belligerent the right, in times of military

exigency, to take over and utilize neutral

vessels lying within its jurisdiction. Nevertheless, the Dutch protested vigorously.

Some of the protests were sincere; others

were designed for effect in Germany. There

can be no doubt that many Dutch ship owners were glad to see their ships taken

over rather than have them lying idle in port.

The Allies, of course, paid the owners a big

rental, reimbursed them for losses, and

returned the vessels after the war. Those

seized by the United States, 87 in all, were

released in February, 1919.