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commentary on history
Wholy lite -
You say Congress alone has the power to declare war. But the U.S.
Constitution is a living, growing instrument.
A. The US Constitution is a set piece containing words and from them
sentences and from them paragraphs. The Supreme Court's job is to decide
from the words present whether such and such a case is constitutional or
To reiterate Sinclair's post:
The United States Constitution declares That Congress alone has in the
power to declare war. The Constitution makes no provision for undeclared
"Article. I. Section 8 Clause 11: To declare War, grant Letters of
Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and
Throughout our two hundred year history the Commander in Chief, the
President, has undertaken military actions without the consent of
Congress. A. NO!
Washington and Adams were in a great undeclared naval war with France.
A. The American Revolution ended in 1789, from that time until the end
of the war of 1812, which ended in 1814, both the British and French
kept up a running Naval war with the Americans. Most of it one sided -
the two Navy's British and French raided and sank merchant shipping in
the Atlantic and Caribbean. In that time - France and Britain sent mens
and arms to various islands in the Caribbean. At various times they
would allow merchants to buy and sell at these islands and at other
times send them away after having sat off the port for some weeks. Other
times they boarded the ships, taking captain and crew prisoner and
taking the cargo. America's retaliation for this was to embargo any
trading with any nation in the Caribbean. So the American merchant
shipping turned to direct shipment to Europe only to be attacked by the
Spanish bent on the same idea. One of these attacks was off the Channel
Island of Guernsey in 1803.
Thomas Jefferson sent the navy to fight as the Marine hymn says on the
shores of Tripoli against the pirates.
A. Very rightly so, the pirates of the Mediterreanian were doing the
same thing as the French and British. We traded in the "Med" and had
diplomats there, but would find our ships attacked the same way as in
the Caribbean. This time we asked Britain and France, who were also
attacked to assist. Their answer was that it is a minor problem. It was
not for the US. We sent our tiny Navy to put an end to these attacks -
we did it.
There was never a declaration of war in any of the Indian wars, such as
when Custer was wiped out.
A Depending upon how you read history. The "Indian Wars" were to force
the indians off their land so that the whites could have it. The indians
were protecting what they considered theirs. The whites were
"protecting the white settlers against the incursions of the indians"
It was not a 'war' per se - an ongoing guerrilla war between two
cultures and lasted from the Massacre at Martin's Hundred (1600
something) and other places until the "Seminole Wars" in Florida in the
1840s. Custer's last stand, was one attempt to keep the indians on the
reservation grounds the whites had placed them on.
Lincoln did not declare war against the South, Congress was not in
session when the southern secession started, and he did not bother to
call it into session.
A. "On March 4, 1861 Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated as the sixteenth
president of the United States. In his inaugural address Lincoln tried
to strike a balance between the competing interests of the North and the
South. He assured the South that he had no intention of interfering with
slavery where it already exixsted. He cautioned, however, that the Union
was perpetual, and that secession presented and anarchical threat to
that perpetuity. As such, he would use Federal power, not to invade the
South, but to protect federal interests in the seceded states. " quoted
from a web site.
Lincoln sent arms and men to fortify Fort Sumpter more strongly. South
Carolina is the state where Fort Sumpter is an island just off
Charleston, SC. Now if the enemy were making a military buildup just
off your doorstep, would you just sit there and wait for the first gun
shot to destroy your home? The South fired the first shot! The build
up to the beginning of the Civil War (War of the Northern Aggression)
began many years before 1861 - more like 1840.
He just got on with it, and the Republic did not fall, it was saved.!
A. By 1863, the Union ideal was faltering, it was suggested that this
was the time to make the Emancipation Proclamation a fact instead of a
threat. As stated, the proclamation did not free slaves everywhere,
only in the Southern states which by now are very much the enemy. At
first the union was able to get men to fight on a volunteer basis and
then turned to constription as the war wore on. The civilians were very
tired of sending their men to fight. The Civil War was a political war
- whether the south had the right to sell its goods - in this case
cotton wherever it could for the best price or whether it should sell to
the Northern states at a substantial discount. Then the South could buy
the the finished goods at a substantial price giving the North a very
It's true that the victor writes the history - but there are many
writers willing to talk about the "War" in other than which general was
at what battle and who won. I suggest you catch up on your American
History. Start with the newspaper files in microfilm in your state
There was no declaration of war for Korea. It was always called a
A There was no declaration of war in French Indo China (Viet Nam,
Cambodia and Laos), either. Both were political wars where the US went
in to 'protect' whatever. In the case of French Indo China, the French
left and the land became their own entities. The US at first provided
assistance - whose acronym was MAAG - Military Assistance Advisory
Group(both places, both times). As time went on the assistance became
participation and then the US was in a war they couldn't get themselves
out of. Both ended with treaties - neither of which was particularly
advantageous to the US! The last two political wars were well
documented in Time, Newsweek, National Geographic magazines and well
propagandized by the newspapers.
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