The state of a nation which takes no part between two or more other. nations at war with each other.
Neutrality consists in the observance of a strict and honest impartiality, so as not to afford advantage in the war to either party; and particularly in so far restraining its trade to the accustomed course which is held in time of peace, as not to render assistance to one of the belligerents in escaping the effects of the other's hostilities Even a loan of money to one of the belligerent parties is considered a violation of neutrality. A fraudulent neutrality is considered as no neutrality.
In policies of insurance there is frequently a warranty of neutrality. The meaning of this warranty is, that the property insured is neutral in fact, and it shall be so in appearance and conduct; that the property does belong to neutrals; that it is or shall be documented so as to prove its neutrality, and that no act of the insured or his agents shall be done which can legally compromise its neutrality. The violation of neutrality by citizens of the United States, contrary to the provisions oflaw, renders the individual liable to an indictment. One fitting out and arming a vessel in the United States, to commit hostilities against a foreign power at peace with them, is therefore indictable.
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