The War Powers Clause, Article One, Section Eight of the Constitution, grants Congress the power to declare war:
"The Congress shall have power to...declare war; To raise and support armies...To provide and maintain a navy; To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces; To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions."
Despite this apparent Constitutional mandate for Congressional authorization, the United States has entered a great many conflicts in its 237 years, and Congress has only declared war only 11 times.
As President Obama seeks to convince members of the 113th Congress to intervene in Syria, Jennifer Weber, professor of history at the University of Kansas, explores Washington's relationship with war. Weber, author of "Copperheads: The Rise and Fall of Lincoln's Opponents in the North," focuses her analysis on the Civil War, and compares President Obama's current situation in Lincoln's back in 1861.
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