Armed neutrality


Armed neutrality

Armed neutrality, in international politics, is the posture of a state or group of states which makes no alliance with either side in a war, but asserts that it will defend itself against resulting incursions from all parties.

The phrase armed neutrality sometimes refers specifically to the League of Armed Neutrality, an alliance of minor naval powers organized in 1780 by Catherine II of Russia to protect neutral shipping in the War of American Independence. There was an effort to revive this during the French Revolutionary Wars.

Switzerland and Sweden are, independently of each other, famed for their armed neutrality, which they maintained throughout both World War I and World War II.

During the Second World War, Ireland stated that it would take the British side if invaded by Germany but the German side if the British stationed troops on Irish soil. In light of Ireland's unofficial but heartfelt cooperation with the Allies at many levels throughout what it called The Emergency, the latter part of the declaration can be regarded as an overstatement, though public opinion did strongly oppose the idea of a British presence (as in the Treaty Ports).


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  • Armed neutrality — Armed Armed, a. 1. Furnished with weapons of offense or defense; furnished with the means of security or protection. And armed host. Dryden. [1913 Webster] 2. Furnished with whatever serves to add strength, force, or efficiency. [1913 Webster] A… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Armed neutrality — Neutrality Neu*tral i*ty, n. [Cf. F. neutralit[ e].] 1. The state or quality of being neutral; the condition of being unengaged in contests between others; state of taking no part on either side; indifference. [1913 Webster] Men who possess a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • armed neutrality — noun : the position taken by a neutral country during war in which it is prepared to maintain its neutral rights against the belligerents by force if necessary * * * military preparedness without commitment, esp. as the expressed policy of a… …   Useful english dictionary

  • armed neutrality — An attitude of neutrality between belligerents which the neutral state is prepared to maintain by armed force if necessary …   Black's law dictionary

  • armed neutrality — An attitude of neutrality between belligerents which the neutral state is prepared to maintain by armed force if necessary …   Black's law dictionary

  • armed neutrality — military preparedness without commitment, esp. as the expressed policy of a neutral nation in wartime; readiness to counter with force an invasion of rights by any belligerent power. [1770 80] * * * …   Universalium

  • armed neutrality — The state of a country which is neutral as to the belligerents but arms to resist attack or invasion …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • Armed Neutrality, League of —    An essentially anti British and Russian instigated alliance of Russia, Denmark, Sweden, and, at one point, Prussia, designed to protect the members’ shipping against British search and seizure. The league was initially formed during the… …   Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914

  • League of Armed Neutrality — refers to one of two alliances of minor European naval powers (1780 1783 and 1800 1801), both intended to protect neutral shipping against the British Royal Navy s wartime policy of unlimited search of neutral shipping for French contraband.… …   Wikipedia

  • Armed — Armed, a. 1. Furnished with weapons of offense or defense; furnished with the means of security or protection. And armed host. Dryden. [1913 Webster] 2. Furnished with whatever serves to add strength, force, or efficiency. [1913 Webster] A… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English


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