MUTINY (Fr. mutin, refractory, stubborn; mutiner, to rise in arms). Two hundred years ago the word mutiny was often used in de scribing insurrection or sedition in civil society; but it is now applied exclusively to certain offenses by sailors and soldiers. Properly it is the act of numbers in resistance of authority; but by statutes, certain acts of individuals are declared to be mutiny. The act of Congress of 3 March 1835 defines mutiny or revolt in the following language: If any one or =we of the ctew of any American ship or vessel on the high seas, or on any other waters within the maritime and admiralty jurisdiction of the United States. shall unlawfully, wilfully, and with force or by fraud, threats, or other intimidations. usurp the command of such ship or vessel from the master or other !awful commanding offim thereof; or deprive him of his authority and command on board thereof; or resist or vent him in the free and lawful exercise thereof; or er such authority and command to any other person not legally entitled thereto; every such person so offending, his eiders and abettors, shall be deemed guilty of a revolt or mutiny and felony.
The same statute provides for endeavors and conspiracies to excite mutiny. In construction of the act it has been held that mere disobedi ence of orders by one or two of the seamen, without any attempt to excite a general resist ance or disobedience, and insolent conduct or language toward the master or violence to his person, if unaccompanied by other acts showing an intention to subvert his authority as master, are not sufficient to constitute the offense of endeavoring to excite mutiny. An indictment
for this crime, it is said, must set forth a confederacy of at least two of the men to refuse to do further duty, and to resist the lawful commands of the officers. The offense of making a revolt was by the act of April, 1790, punishable by death. By the act of 1835, it is punished by fine not exceeding $2,000, and by imprisonment and confinement at hard labor for not more than 10 years, according to the nature and aggravation of the offense; while attempts to excite a mutiny are punishable by fine not exceeding $1,000, or by imprisonment not exceeding five years, or by both. Mutinous conduct in the army and navy is provided for by the acts of 10 April 1806 and of 23 April 1800. By the former, officer or soldier who shall begin, excite, cause or join in any mutiny or sedition, in any troop or company in the serv ice of the United States, or in any party, post, detachment, or guard, shall suffer death, or such other punishment as by a court martial shall be inflicted?' Under the latter, aif any person in the navy shall make, or attempt to make any mutinous assembly, he shall, on conviction thereof by a court martial, suffer death.' These laws are embodied in the present articles of war and articles for the government of the navy, except that death is not now mandatory in the navy. The law of mutiny in Great Britain is in general similar to the United States statute, except that the 'penalty of death is not imposed.