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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