Message from the President of the United States, transmitting the Treaty of Peace and Amity between the United States and His Britannic Majesty
According to President James Madison, the War of 1812 between the United States and Great Britain was necessary to “assert the rights and independence of the nation.” The war continued for more than two years with victories and losses on both sides, all while Britain simultaneously fought the Napoleonic Wars in Europe.
This pamphlet contains the speech delivered by President Madison to Congress on February 18, 1815, proclaiming the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the war, to be in effect. Madison makes no mention of the issues that caused the war, including the impressment of American sailors into the Royal Navy, the harassment of merchant vessels, and the blockading of commerce, though he claims it to be a “most brilliant success.” His message is followed by the text of the treaty signed on December 24, 1814. This pamphlet was printed by Roger C. Weightman in Washington, D.C.
The Senate ratified the treaty on February 16, 1815. It was then signed by Madison and exchanged a day later, officially ending the War of 1812 on February 17, 1815. The United States and Great Britain have not gone to war against each other since.