50. HISTORY OF ARBITRATIONS. International arbitration is a voluntary sub mission of certain definite points in an inter national dispute to the decision of a third party. (The decision of the arbitrator or court of arbi tration is binding except when the award is outside of the points submitted, equivocal, im possible, influenced by fraud or corruption, or a denial of justice). It is largely the outgrowth of the complex international relations of the 19th century which have resulted in a growth in the recognition of international duties and lia bilities. From 1800 to 1900 there were 136 im portant international arbitrations and many minor commissions.
The United States, pre-eminent in the ad vocacy of arbitration between states, took the lead in several very important international ad justments. She began her national existence with many unsettled questions, and as she set tled them there arose many new problems de manding solution. With a desire to substitute reason for force in settling disputes, she ac cepted international arbitration as a prominent feature of her policy. Her arbitrations em braced many kinds of international controversy, i and many important questions of law, both public and private, some of which might have resulted in expensive wars.
I. The chief arbitrations of the 19th century to which the United States was a party can be only briefly summarized here.
With Great Britain.—Arbitrations with Great Britain were the most important. The first cases arose under the Jay Treaty of 1894, articles 5, 6 and 7 of which provided for three mixed commissions: (1) To settle the identity of the Saint Croix River, which was specified in the treaty of 1783. The commission in 1798 decided upon the Schoodiac. (2) To decide what compensation, if any, was due British sub jects who had been unable to collect debts in some of the States where the terms of the treaty of 1783 had been disregarded. The board of five arbitrators met at Philadelphia in 1797, quarreled and adjourned in 1798. The matter
was finally settled by the treaty of 1802 which awarded Great Britain i600,000. (3) To settle questions regarding contraband, rights of neutrals and prize court decisions. This com mission met at London. There were several interruptions (and the disagreement of the Philadelphia commission caused a suspension from July 1799 to February 1802), but it com pleted its work in 1804. Its work was very important in determining subsequent interna tional law (q.v.).
After the cases wisely provided under the Jay Treaty, there followed a period in which the effects of European wars rendered arbitra tion practically impossible, and produced an extraordinary train of circumstances which finally precipitated the Anglo-American War of 1812. Since that war every vexatious ques tion which has arisen with Great Britain has been settled by arbitration in case direct nego tiation failed. Articles 4, 5, 6 and 7 of the Treaty of Ghent of 1814 provided for three commissions or boards of arbitration: (1) To determine the title to certain islands in Passa maquoddy Bay. At New York, in 1817, the board made its award, substantiating in the main the British claims. (2) To determine the northeast boundary of the United States, from the source of Saint Croix to the Saint Law rence. The board met at Saint Andrews in 1816, and held its last meeting at New York in 1822, but reached no agreement. By a con vention of 1827 the points of difference were referred to the king of the Netherlands, who, in 1831, proposed a compromise line which neither party was willing to accept. The mat ter was finally settled by the Webster-Ash burton Treaty of 1842. (3) To determine the boundary through the middle of the lakes to the upper end of Lake Huron and then to the Lake of the Woods. The commission agreed upon the first part in 1822 and finally adjourned in 1827, leaving the boundary westward from Lake Huron through Lake Superior to the Lake of the Woods unsettled till the Webster-Ash burton Treaty of 1842.