U.S. maritime grievances against Britain in the American Civil War. Although Britain had declared official neutrality in the war, it allowed the Confederate cruiser Alabama, which later destroyed 68 Union ships, to be constructed in England. U.S. ambassador Charles Francis Adams demanded that the British take responsibility for these damages, and he advocated arbitration to settle the matter. In May 1871 the parties signed the Treaty of Washington, which established certain wartime obligations of neutrals. The tribunal also held Britain liable for losses and awarded the U.S. damages of $15.5 million.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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