• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

A manual offering information on the most important laws and treaties approved by Congress in more than 200 years since the first session in 1789. Each Congress is covered in a separate chapter introduced by a historical essay setting the actions of the legislators in the context of their times.

Thirteenth Congress: March 4, 1813, to March 3, 1815
Thirteenth Congress: March 4, 1813, to March 3, 1815
  • First session—May 24, 1813, to August 2, 1813
  • Second session—December 6, 1813, to April 18, 1814
  • Third session—September 19, 1814, to March 3, 1815
  • (Second administration of James Madison, 1813–1817)
Historical Background

The early months of the War of 1812 went poorly for the Americans. By 1813, the British had effectively blockaded the American coast. Near the end of December they captured Fort Niagara and burned Buffalo, New York. In 1814 exports and imports fell to less than 20 percent of prewar levels. Congress passed several financial measures that dramatically escalated the cost of the war, and a possible land-sea invasion became an increasing concern. After the British raided Washington and burned the ...

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