To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of
I transmit to the Congress for its consideration and appropriate
action, copies of correspondence recently had with the representative of
Spain in the United States, with the United States minister at Madrid,
and through the latter with the Government of Spain, showing the action
taken under the joint resolution approved April 20, 1898, "for the recognition
of the independence of the people of Cuba, demanding that the Government
of Spain relinquish its authority and Government in the island of Cuba,
and to withdraw its land and naval forces from Cuba and Cuban waters, and
directing the President of the United States to use the land and naval
forces of the United States to carry these resolutions into effect."
Upon communicating to the Spanish minister in Washington the demand
which it became the duty of the Executive to address to the Government
of Spain in obedience, to said resolution, the minister asked for his passports
and withdrew. The United States minister at Madrid was in turn notified
by the Spanish minister for foreign affairs that the withdrawal of the
Spanish representative from the United States had terminated diplomatic
relations between the two countries, and that all official communications
between their respective representatives ceased therewith.
I commend to your especial attention the note addressed to the United
States minister at Madrid by, the Spanish minister of foreign affairs on
the 21st instant, whereby the foregoing notification was conveyed.
It will be perceived therefrom that the Government of Spain, having cognizance
of the joint resolution of the United States Congress, and in view of the
things which the President is thereby required and authorized to do, responds
by treating the reasonable demands of this Government as measures of hostility,
following with that instant and complete severance of relations by its
action which by the usage of nations accompanies an existent state of war
between sovereign powers.
The position of Spain being thus made known, and the demands of the
United States being denied, with a complete rupture of intercourse, by
the act of Spain, I have been constrained, in the exercise of the power
conferred upon me by the joint resolution aforesaid, to proclaim, under
date of April 22, 1898, a blockade of certain ports of the north coast
of Cuba, between Cardenas and Bahia Honda, and the port of Cienfugos, on
the south coast of Cuba, and to issue my proclamation dated April 23, 1898,
calling forth volunteers.
I now recommend the adoption of a joint resolution declaring that
a state of war exists between the United States of America and the Kingdom
of Spain, that the definition of the international status of the United
States as a belligerent power may be made known and the assertion of all
its rights in the conduct of a public war may be assured.
DECLARATION OF WAR WITH SPAIN
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
States of America in Congress assembled, First. That war be, and
the same is hereby, declared to exist, and that war has existed since the
21st day of April, A. D. 1898, including said day, between the United States
of America and the Kingdom of Spain.
Second. That the President of the United States be, and he
hereby is, directed and empowered to use the entire land and naval forces
of the United States and to call into the actual service of the United
States the militia of the several States to such extent as may be necessary
to carry this act into effect.