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of the Committee on Foreign Relations on relations with Great Britain,
June 3, 1812
November 1811 Speaker of the House Henry Clay of Kentucky appointed a
Select Committee on Foreign Affairs to deal with the crisis with Great
Britain. The Committee took a combative stance, calling for a larger army
and navy and for the arming of merchant ships. The next year, the Committee
issued the above report justifying the decision for war. Its militant
language catches the American indignation with Great Britain. The United
States had endured Great Britains "many acts of violence and
oppression" with "patient forbearance." In the face of
such British arrogance, war was the only alternative to "a loss of
character and Independence."