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Declaration of War on Germany, December 11, 1941

On December 8, 1941, one day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States declared war on Japan. This prompted Germany to declare war on the United States, which, in turn, led to the United States to declare war on Germany on December 11, 1941. Responding to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s solemn affirmation that “the forces endeavoring to enslave the entire world now are moving toward this hemisphere,” the House adopted the war resolution on Germany 393–0, while the Senate voted 88–0. This marked only the seventh time in its history Congress had declared war.

General Records of the U.S. Government, National Archives and Records Administration

Declaration of War on Germany, December 11, 1941

Legislative Highlights

The U.S. Constitution states that “The Congress shall have Power…To make all Laws.” The original laws enacted by Congress are preserved at the National Archives. This page highlights some of the most historically significant laws Congress has passed throughout the nation’s history.