An ultimatum (Latin: the last one) is a demand whose fulfillment is requested in a specified period of time and which is backed up by a threat to be followed through in case of noncompliance. An ultimatum is generally the final demand in a series of requests. As such, the time allotted is usually short, and the request is understood not to be open to further negotiation.

The threat which backs up the ultimatum can vary depending on the demand in question and on the other circumstances. The following are commonly encountered:

  • in diplomacy, the threat to declare war, to take other military action or to impose sanctions such as trade restrictions or embargoes.
  • in a kidnapping, the threat by the kidnappers that they will kill the hostages if their demands are not met

In everyday life, ultimatums are also sometimes made in various contexts, such as in:

  • a legal proceeding (e.g. the demand to strike a plea bargain or face a trial)
  • a business relationship (e.g. the demand to accept a certain price or to forgo the deal)
  • a labor dispute (e.g. the demand to grant a hike in salaries or another improvement in the employees' conditions, or face a strike)
  • a marital affair (e.g. the demand to stop the affair or face divorce proceedings.)

Such ultimatums may or may not be legal and/or socially acceptable. Ultimatums are also a regular part of the crime of extortion.

Other articles related to "ultimatum":

Carlos Eugénio Correia Da Silva, Count Of Paço De Arcos - Civil Governor of Lisbon
... police crackdown after days of rioting followed the issuing of the British Ultimatum regarding Portuguese colonies in Africa ... The republican underground in Portugal seized the opportunity of the humiliating British Ultimatum to blame the monarchy and the King for Portugal's loss of prestige ... After news of the Ultimatum and Portugal's concessions in Africa (present day Zimbabwe) reached the Portuguese people, Lisbon was thrown into a state of turmoil following massive rioting which threatened to ...
Lisbon Regicide - Motivations - Ultimatum
... Minister Lord Salisbury, delivered what is known as the 1890 British Ultimatum a rejection of the territorial claims defined by the Pink Map of Portuguese Africa ... The ultimatum provoked a crisis of authority in the State, which was simultaneously discredited by its diplomatic and military weakness, a failed Republican rising in Oporto in ... Ultimately, Luciano de Castro's government fell not because of the ultimatum but because of opposition to the new tobacco-monopoly contract this led to disorder ...
Battle Of Rotterdam - The Battle - 14 May
... On the morning of 14 May, General Schmidt prepared a quick note in the form of an ultimatum, which was to be handed over to the Dutch commander of Rotterdam ... The text of the ultimatum was set in Dutch ... Three German negotiators carried the ultimatum to the Maas bridges ...
HMS Ultimatum (P34)
... HMS Ultimatum (P34) was a Royal Navy U-class submarine built by Vickers-Armstrong at Barrow-in-Furness, and part of the third group of that class ... So far she has been the only ship of the Royal Navy to bear the name Ultimatum ...

Famous quotes containing the word ultimatum:

    [The health plan was] constructed to be deconstructed. [Instead,] it was described as an ultimatum by our opponents and therefore used to undermine the process of reaching agreement.
    Hillary Rodham Clinton (b. 1947)