Research Programs: Summer Stipends

Period of Performance

7/1/2004 - 8/31/2004

Funding Totals

$5,000.00 (approved)
$5,000.00 (awarded)

Declaring War and Making Peace in Early Modern Europe

FAIN: FT-52179-04

Frederic Joseph Baumgartner
Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, VA 24061-2000)

A noteworthy recent trend is the disappearance of formal declarations of war and peace treaties. Many Americans argue that this has abrogated the US Constitution, which delegates declaring war to Congress. The goal of this project is to examine the history of declaring war and making peace in the Early Modern era to the time when the Constitution was written in order to understand what its framers had in mind when they gave the power to declare war to Congress. In the Middle Ages, declaring war and signing peace treaties were highly ritualistic acts, but by the seventeenth century they had changed considerably. A key issue is determining how and when the medieval practices gave way to the usage that the Constitution's authors had in mind when it was written.