When Has Congress Declared War?
Hill hasn't formally declared war since 1942
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Sep 2, 2013 9:55 AM CDT
Updated Sep 2, 2013 10:33 AM CDT
Congress hasn't formally declared war since 1942.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – With President Obama turning to Congress for a decision on Syria, BuzzFeed offers a quick Hill history lesson. Congress hasn't formally declared war since 1942, the site notes. But before that, it wasn't such a rare move:

  1. Congress backed war against Britain in 1812, by way of a joint resolution that passed the Senate 19-13. The conflict was fueled by trade and other disagreements following the American Revolution.
  2. Congress declared war on Mexico in 1846 amid border conflicts; Mexico surrendered the following year, and the southwestern US expanded quite a bit.

  1. Capitol Hill declared war on Spain in 1898 following the explosion of the USS Maine, sent to protect US interests in a volatile Cuba.
  2. War with Germany was declared in 1917 after evidence emerged that Germany planned to help Mexico regain southwestern US territories.
  3. And in 1941, after Pearl Harbor, a unanimous Senate backed war with Japan, Germany, and Italy; the next year, it was Bulgaria, Hungary, and "Rumania."
Head to BuzzFeed for the full, illustrated story.

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Showing 3 of 46 comments
Sep 3, 2013 1:35 PM CDT
Why does the USA need to stick its war mongering nose in Syria's business? How about the USA keeping its frggin nose out of this one for a change. We, the citizens of the USA are sick and tired of war and are fed up with the crooked corrupt pigs that claim to represent us. We are going to change things dramatically in 2014. Which means that about 100 friggin crooked congress a wipes better start looking for another job.
Sep 2, 2013 8:39 PM CDT
For the record, Obama is not asking Congress to declare war.
Sep 2, 2013 3:45 PM CDT
....however, and to set the record straight, in 1941 it was Germany to first declared war on the United States, and consequently as a result of it the U.S. Congress had no other choice but to vote on the resolution. Sincerely, Truesoy