What is the Logan Act?

What is the Logan Act? Explore the read.

Logan Act is a United States Congress law (1799) prohibiting privately held citizens from communicating with foreign governments unauthorized. In the amended version of the Act:

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Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without the authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

This section shall not abridge the right of a citizen to apply, himself or his agent, to any foreign government or the agents thereof for redress of any injury which he may have sustained from such government or any of its agents or subjects.

The United States and France had high tensions in the 1790s. In 1778, France formally had allied itself with 13 US colonies and French military and funding was essential to the American Revolution ‘s success. With the intensification of the French Revolution and the resignation of the former regime in 1789, the revolutionary government of France sought support from the USA. Within the U.S. cabinet factions have shaken France’s attempts to export its revolution. A series of replies to the French Revolutionary War was supported by Pres. George Washington.

Washington wanted strict neutrality between the warlords, whilst Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton sought closer links with Britain. Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State, who was just returning from a five year Paris mission, promoted a pro-French policy pursuant to the 1778 Treaty. In the end, the Federalists of Hamilton held the debate and, when the United States adopted the Jay Treaty in 1794, the French were outraged.

The Treaty has smoothed relations with Britain and expanded trade relations. In its understanding that France had broken the 1778 Treaty, the U.S. merchant ships were embargoed and seamen detained.

In 1797 the United States. Pres. John Adams sent three US ministers to France to negotiate a US shipping trade agreement. Three French officials (identified as X, Y, and Z by diplomatic correspondence) approached these representatives, who even applied for a bribe before negotiations began. In the United States, the resulting XYZ affair caused an outcry.

In 1798, stateman George Logan, a private citizen, visited France to meet government officials to stop the war. Although he successfully signed a pact that would allow France, upon his return to the United States, to end all detrimental measures against US merchant ships. His acts are considered traitorous by political opponents. The Logan Act was therefore passed by the United States on 30 January 1799. Congress to prevent any person from corresponding without permission of the US government to the foreign government. The Logan Act was only used in a one-off indictment (at the beginning of the 19th century).

The Law

This Logan Act is named for George Logan, a Philadelphia doctor, who visited Paris in 1798 in a period of increasing tension between the United States and the French government. The Mission of Logan was probably a success: the United States was lifted by France and ships and sailors were liberated. On his return, however, Dr Logan was condemned by former President George Washington, then-President John Adams and the Federalist Party’s hostile members.

What is the Logan Act?

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