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thorize the troops of the United States to follow invading enemies back into the territory from which they came. This right was first asserted, in a message dated March 25, 1818, by President Monroe, who, however, recognizing the great danger of abuse inherent in such a right, gave positive assurances to Congress that it would be kept within its constitutional bounds:

As almost the whole of this tribe (i. e., the Seminoles) inhabits the country within the limits of Florida, Spain was bound by the treaty of 1795 to restrain them from committing hostilities against the United States. We have seen with regret that her Government has altogether failed to fulfill this obligation, nor are we aware that it made any effort to that effect. When we consider her utter inability to check, even in the slightest degree, the movements of this tribe by her very small and incompetent forces in Florida, we are not disposed to ascribe the failure to any other cause. The inability, however, of Spain to maintain her authority over the territory and Indians within her limits, and in consequence to fulfill the treaty, ought not to expose the United States to other and greater injuries. When the authority of Spain ceases to exist there, the United States have a right to pursue their enemy on a principle of self-defense. In this instance the right is more complete and obvious because we shall perform only what Spain was bound to have performed herself. To the high obligations and privileges of this great and sacred right of self-defense will the movement of our troops be strictly confined. Orders have been given to the general in command not to enter Florida unless it be in pursuit of the enemy.

The most famous event in the history of the foreign relations of the United States during the administration of President Monroe was the proclamation of the Monroe doctrine.12

This, as is shown by its wording, was not an assertion by the President of the right of the Executive to make war upon his own authority in the support of this doctrine, but a recommendation to Congress as to what their action should be:

We owe it, therefore, to candor and to the amicable relations existing between the United States and these powers to declare that we should consider any attempt on their part to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety.

President Monroe was not a man who would use the pronoun "we,” in speaking of what he had done, or intended to do, himself. It was a characteristic of his style to write of his own acts or those of his administration in the third person.

As to the meaning of the Monroe doctrine, it was a courageous, outspoken_declaration in favor of the independence of the Latin American Republics. Its authors never imagined that the day would come when an attempt would be made to use this doctrine as the justification for destroying such independence.

The attitude of the members of the Monroe administration is indicated by the following statement by President Monroe's Secretary of State, Mr. John Quincy Adams, after the latter in turn had become President:

Disclaiming alike all right and all intention of interfering in those concerns which it is the prerogative of their independence to regulate as to them shall seem fit, we hail with joy every indication of their prosperity, of their harmony, of their persevering and inflexible homage to those principles of freedom and of equal rights which are alone suited to the genius and temper of the American nations.18

In this connection it may be well to refer, out of its chronological order, to another official statement as to the true meaning of the Monroe doctrine.

1 Contained in seventh annual message, under date of Dec. 2, 1823. 18 Third annual message, Dec. 4, 1827.

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In a report dated July 14, 1870, to Congress through the President, Hon. Hamilton Fish, then Secretary of State, said relative to this doctrine:

This policy is not a policy of aggression; but it opposes the creation of European dominion on American soil, or its transfer to other European powers and it looks hopefully to the time when, by the voluntary departure of European governments from this continent and the adjacent islands, America shall be wholly American.

It does not contemplate forcible intervention in any legitimate contest, but it protests against permitting such a contest to result in the increase of European power or influence.

Numerous other statements of a similar character, made by the great American statesmen of the past, could be easily added.

No President of the United States ever was more tenacious of the rights which he felt belonged to him in virtue of his high office, and less inclined to surrender such rights to other departments of the Government, than was Andrew Jackson.

This determined President, however, clearly and frankly recognized not only that the war-making power was exclusively in Congress but also that such power included all cases where armed force was to be employed abroad.

The attitude of President Jackson on this question was well stated by a later President belonging to a different political party: These are the words of the resolute and patriotic Jackson.

This extreme test was, in fact, applied in the case of Texas. The Congress to whom President Jackson referred the question as one "probably leading to war,” and therefore a proper subject for “a previous understanding with that body by whom war can alone be declared and by whom all the provisions for sustaining its perils must be furnished,” left the matter of the recognition of Texas to the discretion of the Executive, providing merely for the sending of a diplomatic agent "when the President should be satisfied that the Republic of Texas had become an independent State." 14

Here President Jackson is shown as holding that even any preliminary question which was one "probably looking to war” should be referred to Congress.

Two extracts from his third annual message, dated December 6, 1831, present further evidence of how rigidly that President gave his obedience to the constitutional provision that the power to declare war belonged to Congress:

In the course of the present year one of our vessels, engaged in the pursuit of a trade which we have always enjoyed without molestation, has been captured by a band acting, as they pretend, under the authority of the Government of Buenos Aires, I have therefore given orders for the dispatch of an armed vessel to join our squadron in those seas and aid in affording all lawful protection to our trade which shall be necessary, and shall without delay send a minister to inquire into the nature of the circumstances and also of the claim, if any, that is set up by that Government to those islands. In the meantime, I submit the case to the consideration of Congress, to the end that they may clothe the Executive with such authority and means as they may deem necessary for providing a force adequate to the complete protection of our fellow citizens fishing and trading in these seas.


They (i. e., the Spaniards) captured many of our vessels prosecuting a lawful commerce and sold them and their cargoes, and at one time to our demands for restoration and indemnity opposed the allegation that they were taken in the violation of a blockade of all the ports of these States. This blockade was declaratory only, and the inadequacy of the force to maintain it was so manifest that this allegation was varied to a charge of trade in contrabrand of war. This, in its turn, was also found untenable and the minister whom I sent with instruc

14 From message of President McKinley of Apr, 11, 1898.



tions to press for the reparation that was due to our injured fellow citizens has transmitted an answer to his demand by which the captures are declared to have been legal, and are justified because the indepenience of the States of America never having been acknowledged by Spain she had a right to prohibit trade under her old colonial laws

I have therefore dispatched a special messenger with instructions to our minister to bring the case once more to his (i. e., the King of Spain) consideration, to the end that if (which I can not bring myself to believe) the same decision (that can not but be deemed an unfriendly denial of justice) should be persisted in the matter may before your adjournment be laid before you, the constitutional judges of what is proper to be done when negotiations for redress of injury fails.

Shortly before the middle of the ninteenth century one very unsuccessful attempt was made by one of the most discredited of American Presidents to assert the war-making power to exactly the same extent as that to which it has recently been actually (at least temporarily) assumed by the Executive department of our Government.

While the treaty for the annexation of Texas to the United States was pending before Congress, there was an attempt by President Tyler, aided by his Secretary of State, John C. Calhoun, to have the United States render military assistance to Texas. The unconstitutionality of such an action caused such opposition to it, even in those portions of the country where the project for the annexation of Texas was exceedingly popular, that the attempt was abandoned before any belligerent action had been taken by the United States; and on March 11, 1843, Mr. Nelson, Secretary of State ad interim, wrote Mr. Murphy, the American Minister to Texas, that “the employment of the Army or Navy against a foreign power, with which the United States are at peace, is not within the competency of the President." 15

This unsuccessful attempt by President Tyler was bitterly denounced by Senator Benton in his Thirty Years' View (Vol. IŤ, pp. 642-643):

As to secretly lending the Army and Navy of the United States to Texas to fight Mexico while we were at peace with her, it would be a crime against God and man and our own Constitution, for which heads might be brought to the block, if Presidents and then Secretaries, like constitutional kings and ministers, should be held capitally responsible for capital crimes

And that no circumstances of contradiction or folly should be wanting to crown this plot of crime and imbecility, it so happened that on the same day that our new Secretary here was giving his written assumpsit to lend the Army and Navy to fight Mexico while we were at peace with her, the agent Murphy was communicating to the Texas government in Texas, the refusal of Mr. Tyler, through Mr. Nelson, to do so, because of its unconstitutionality

The engagement to fight Mexico for Texas, while we were at peace with Mexico, was to make war with Mexico, a piece of business which belonged to Congress and should have been referred to them, and which on the contrary, was concealed from them though in session and present.

However much such a view may be criticized by some historians, Congress and the President united in holding that the Mexican War was begun by Mexico and, therefore, there was here no possibility of raising any question as to the respective powers of the legislative and executive departments.

President Buchanan was another of the Presidents who clearly recognized that troops can not be constitutionally employed outside






1 Senate documents, Vol. V, 1843, 1844, No. 349, p. 10.

of the territory of the United States for an offensive purpose without the express authorization of Congress.

In his annual message of December 8, 1857, President Buchanan said:

Under our treaty with New Granada of the 12th December, 1846, we are bound to guarantee the neutrality of the Isthmus of Pa ma, through which the Panama Railroad passes, “as well as the rights of sovereignty and property which New Granada has and possesses over the said territory.” This obligation is founded upon equivalents granted by the treaty to the Government and people of the United States. Under these circumstances I recommend to Congress the passage of an act authorizing the President, in case of necessity, to employ the land and naval forces of the United States to carry into effect this guaranty of neutrality and protection.

In his annual message of December 6, 1858, the same President said:

The executive government of this country in its intercourse with foreign nations is limited to the employment of diplomacy alone. When this fails it can proceed no further. It can not legitimately resort to force without the direct authority of Congress, except in resisting and repelling hostile attacks.

In a special message of February 18, 1859, the President again said:

The executive governments of Great Britain, France, and other countries, possessing the war-making power, can promptly employ the necessary means to enforce immediate redress for similar outrage upon their subjects. Not so the executive government of the United States. If the President orders a vessel of war to any of these ports to demand prompt redress for outrages committed, the offending parties are well aware that in case of refusal the commander can do no more than remonstrate, he can resort to no hostile act. The question must then be referred to diplomacy, and in many cases adequate redress can never be obtained. Thus American citizens are deprived of the same protection under the flag of their country which subjects of other nations enjoy. The remedy for this state of things can only be supplied by Congress, since the Constitution has confided to that body alone the power to make war.

In his third annual message dated December 19, 1859, the President said:

I deem it my duty once more earnestly to recommend to Congress the passage of a law authorizing the President to employ the naval forces at his command for the purpose of protecting the lives and property of American citizens passing in transit across the Panama, Nicaragua, and Tehuantepec routes.

Congress possesses the sole and exclusive power under the Constitution "to declare war. They alone can “raise and support armies" and “provide and maintain a navy.” But after Congress shall have declared war and provided the force necessary to carry it on the President as Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, can alone employ this force in making war against the enemy. This is the plain language and history proves that it was the wellknown intention of the framers of the Constitution. It will not be denied that the general power to declare war” is without limitation and embraces within itself not only what writers on the law of nations term a public or perfect war, but also an imperfect war, and, in short, every species of hostility, however confined or limited. Without the authority of Congress the President can not fire a hostile gun in any case except to repel the attacks of an enemy."

During the Civil War it was, perhaps, only natural that the United States should attempt to avoid any conflict with foreign States. Congress was called upon to sanction, in advance, the use of force on the high seas. In his first annual message (December 3, 1861) President Lincoln said:

By the act of 5th of August last Congress authorized the President to instruct the commanders of suitable vessels to defend themselves against and to capture pirates. This authority has been exercised in a single instance only. For the more effective protection of our extensive and valuable commerce in the eastern



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seas especially, it seems to me that it would also be admissible to authorize the commanders of sailing vessels to recapture any prizes which pirates may make of United States vessels and their cargoes.

At no time did President Lincoln ever indicate that he believed that the President had the power to employ force abroad without the consent of Congress.

President Johnson was impeached by the House of Representatives on account of his attempt to exercise various powers, which Congress believed did not appertain to the executive department; but the right to exercise force abroad was not one of these powers. While there is little in the history of that administration, which bears directly on the question under consideration, what little there is shows that President Johnson recognized the exclusiveness and the completeness of the war-making power possessed by Congress.

The withdrawal from Mexico of the foreign troops which were supporting Emperor Maximilian was secured without the use of force by the United States, but President Johnson kept Congress fully informed as to the process of the diplomatic negotiations leading up to this result 16_--the matter being one which might very possibly lead to war.

In another connection he indicated his belief in the extent of the control by Congress, over questions where international troubles might arise, as follows:

The present seems to be a favorable time for an assertion by Congress of the principles so long maintained by the executive department that naturalization by one State fully exempts the native-born subject of any other State from the performance of military service under any foreign government, so long as he does not voluntarily renounce its rights and benefits. 17

President Grant, who had had a long experience in high military commands, but none as a civil official prior to his election to the Presidency, made one unsuccessful attempt, at the threshold of his administration, to assert the right of the Executive to employ force abroad, to a limited extent, by his own authority.

On November 29, 1869, a treaty was signed by the plenipotentiaries of the United States and of the Dominican Republic, providing for the annexation of the latter country to the former. While this treaty was pending before the United States Senate attacks were made upon the Dominican Republic by Haiti. The naval forces of the United States were authorized by the President to aid in resisting these attacks.

This action occasioned the introduction of a series of eight resolutions into the Senate by Senator Sumner, of Massachusetts, which were partly as follows:

Whereas any negotiation by one nation with a people inferior in population and power, having in view the acquisition of territory, should be above all suspicion of influence from superior force.


5. Resolved, That under the Constitution of the United States the power to declare war is placed under the safeguard of an act of Congress; that the President alone can not declare war, that this is a peculiar principle of our Government by which it is distinguished from monarchial governments, where power to declare war, as also the treaty making power is in the Executive alone, that in pursuance of this principle the President can not, by any act of his own, as by an unratified treaty, obtain any such power, and thus divest Congress of its

16 See message of Dec. 3, 1866.

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