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On June 1, 1812, President James Madison gave a speech to the U.S. Congress, recounting American grievances against Great Britain, though not specifically calling for a declaration of war. After Madison’s speech, the House of Representatives quickly voted (79 to 49) to declare war, and the Senate by 19 to 13. The conflict formally began on June 18, 1812 when Madison signed the measure into law. This was the first time that the United States had declared war on another nation, and the Congressional vote would prove to be the closest vote to declare war in American history. None of the 39 Federalists in Congress voted in favor of the war; critics of war subsequently referred to it as “Mr. Madison’s War.”
The declaration of war was passed by the smallest margin recorded on a war vote in the United States Congress. On May 11, Prime Minister Spencer Perceval was shot and killed by an assassin, resulting in a change of the British government, putting Lord Liverpool in power. Liverpool wanted a more practical relationship with the United States. He issued a repeal of the Orders in Council, but the U.S. was unaware of this, as it took three weeks for the news to cross the Atlantic.
1812 – 1814
New York (hosted at US GenWeb Archives or USGenWeb War 1812 Project)
- St. Lawrence County
- Bounty Land
- Payroll Records
New York Subscription Military Databases
- Index of Awards On Claims of the Soldiers of the War of 1812
- New York Military Equipment Claims, War of 1812
- Annual report of the Adjutant General of the State of New York, Vols. 1-2
- New York Pensioners, 1835