• 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.

Fourteenth Congress: March 4, 1815, to March 3, 1817
Fourteenth Congress: March 4, 1815, to March 3, 1817
  • First session—December 4, 1815, to April 30, 1816
  • Second session—December 2, 1816, to March 3, 1817
  • (Second administration of James Madison, 1813–1817)
Historical Background

While the Capitol was under reconstruction, Congress met until December 1819 in the hastily built Brick Capitol on the site of the current Supreme Court building. When the postwar Fourteenth Congress convened, it had to wrestle with a depleted federal Treasury and chaotic economic conditions. In his December 5, 1815, message to Congress, President Madison stressed the need for a protective tariff to increase “domestic wealth,” enhance “external commerce,” and help “enterprising citizens” whose interests would be threatened by foreign competition. He also spoke of needed reforms in ...

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