The vote in the House of Representatives was held on June 4, 1812, and members voted 79 to 49 to go to war.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That war be and is hereby declared to exist between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the dependencies thereof, 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, and to issue private armed vessels of the United States commissions or letters of marque and general reprisal, in such form as he shall think proper, and under the seal of the United States, against the vessels, goods, and effects of the government of the said United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and the subjects thereof.
Though patriotism often ran high, and was boosted by some of the successes of the underdog U. Navy, the general feeling in some parts of the country, particularly New England, was that the war had been a bad idea.
As it became obvious that the war would be costly and might prove to be impossible to win militarily, the desire to find a peaceful end to the conflict intensified.
And given the slowness of communication, some American ships in the early summer of 1812 attacked British ships whose commanders had not yet learned of the official outbreak of the war.
Even before the fighting began, opposition to the war caused major problems.The invasion proved to be a disaster when Hull surrendered Fort Detroit to the British that summer.American naval forces had also prepared for the outbreak of war.Representing the views of Americans living in the West, Clay believed that war with Britain would not only restore American prestige, it would also provide a great benefit to the country—an increase in territory.An openly stated goal of the western War Hawks was for the United States to invade and seize Canada.American officials were eventually dispatched to Europe to work toward a negotiated settlement, the result of which was the Treaty of Ghent, signed December 24, 1814.However, in a realistic sense, the United States had proven itself to be an independent nation capable of defending itself.In Baltimore a riot broke out when a vocal anti-war faction was attacked.In other cities speeches against the war were popular.But British actions, and a continuing drumbeat for war in the U. Congress, seemed destined to make make a new war with Britain unavoidable.Henry Clay (1777–1852), a leader of the War Hawks, was a young member of Congress from Kentucky.