June 1, 1812: Madison Requests that Congress Declare War on Great Britain

 

The declaration of war by Congress in 1812 was the first time that Congress declared war.  It was not an auspicious start.  Although most Republicans were hot for war, the Federalists were not.  Every Federalist voted against the Declaration and a substantial number of Republicans also cast their votes against the Declaration.  In the House the vote was 79-49, 22 Republicans siding with the Federalists, and in the Senate 19-13, seven Republicans joining the 6 Federalist Senators.  The War was popular in the South and in the West, and highly unpopular in New England and parts of Virginia.  Here is the text of the Declaration of War that passed on June 17, 1812 and signed by Madison the next day:

 

An Act Declaring War Between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the Dependencies Thereof and the United States of America and Their Territories.

 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That war be and the same is hereby declared to exist between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the dependencies thereof, and the United States of America and their territories; and that the President of the United States is hereby authorized to use the whole land and naval force of the United States to carry the same into effect, and to issue to private armed vessels of the United States commissions or letters of marque and general reprisal, in such form as he shall think proper, and under the seal of the United States, against the vessels, goods, and effects of the government of the said United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and the subjects thereof

APPROVED, June 18, 1812

 

 

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Published in: on June 3, 2016 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on June 1, 1812: Madison Requests that Congress Declare War on Great Britain  
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