Milan Decree, issued Dec., 1807, by Napoleon I of France in an attempt to enforce the Continental System. Designed to strengthen the Berlin Decree, it authorized French warships and privateers to capture neutral vessels sailing from any British port or from countries occupied by British armies. It also declared that neutral ships that submitted to search by British authorities on the high seas were to be considered lawful prizes if captured by the French or their allies. The British government issued replies by orders in council.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.