In order to allow for the installation of scaffolding and floor, statuary, and artwork protection in conjunction with the Dome Restoration Project, the Rotunda of the Capitol will be closed from Monday, July 27 through Monday, September 7. While the Rotunda is unavailable for tours, an alternate tour route will be provided. The Capitol Visitor Center is open during the closure of the Rotunda and will offer special activities which do not require advance reservations. You can also download our new U.S. Capitol Rotunda app.

Exhibit Theme

The War of 1812

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House Declaration of War, June 4,...
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House Declaration of War, June 4, 1812, with Senate Amendments, June 17, 1812

After President James Madison asked Congress to declare war against Britain, the House of Representatives voted 79–49 to pass this declaration. “War hawks,” led by Speaker of the House Henry Clay of Kentucky, prevailed over members favoring neutrality and Federalists sympathetic to Britain. Clay argued that war was justified to defend U.S. rights against British offenses.

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war . . . is hereby declared to exist between Great Britain and her dependencies and the United States of America and their Territories and …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.

Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, National Archives and Records Administration