Regions

Main

CNR

1812

VNZ

1812

EARTHQUAKE

Primary Debate: Most efficient means of assisting Venezuelans (lift embargo)

Resolution: Embargo not lifted; unanimous approval of $50,000 to send five ships laden with provisions to Caracass

GRC

1822

HUMANITARIAN AID DURING WAR FOR INDEPENDENCE

Primary Debate: Whether providing aid will compromise the neutrality of the United States

Resolution: Federal assistance not authorized, but private citizens gave generously

GRC

1826

HUMANITARIAN AID DURING WAR FOR INDEPENDENCE

Primary Debate: Whether providing aid will compromise the neutrality of the United States

Resolution: Federal assistance not authorized, but private citizens gave generously

IRL

1846

FAMINE

Primary Debate: Constitutionality of appropriating funds; not in U.S. national interests and is the responsibility of Great Britain (see Deep Dive #1)

Resolution: No funds appropriated, but Congress directed the USS Jamestown and USS Macedonian to be placed at the public’s disposal (unique in Navy history)

CVD

1855

FAMINE*

Primary Debate: Constitutionality of using Navy (which is a pro tanto donation); Navy may not have men to spare

Resolution: Passed in Congress (123/24) and referred to Secretary of the Navy. It appears Navy did not provide the requested seamen.

*Note: this request was for 25 Navy seamen to crew a private vessel laden with private donations from New York

JPN

1867

GRC

1867

Public Law #82 - sympathy for

FNG

1870

HUMANITARIAN AID AFTER FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR

Primary Debate: Impartiality – should American vessel transport aid to Germany, or only France?

Resolution: U.S. Navy ship provided for Americans to donate to any country they so desired.

IRL

1879

Expressing sympathy for Irish in struggle for independence

JEW

1882

JEW

1889

persecution of Jews

JEW

1891

RUS

1891

FAMINE

Primary Debate: Not aligned with new policy of “entrenchment and reform”, the Great Russian Empire is capable of responding to the need, we deny requests from our own citizens for charity so shouldn’t help foreigners. (See Deep Dive #2)

Resolution: Referred to Committee on Appropriations indefinitely; nothing done.

ARM

1895

ARMENIAN ATROCITIES

Primary Debate: How should the U.S. respond to the cries of the American people regarding atrocities in Armenia? Some said let the “delicate and difficult” process of diplomacy run its course. Others argued that Congress should issue a strong statement, to the point of threatening war, if Turkey did not stop atrocities and/or European powers did not uphold obligations of the 1878 Treaty of Berlin.

Resolution: Joint Resolution adopted, with vote of 143/26 in House, with most opposition on the Democratic side. First time that emphasis of debate was on political action to remove causes of situation, rather than on authorizing temporary relief.

IND

1896

FAMINE

Primary Debate: Strong support for charity, but Great Britain’s inhumane laws as cause of suffering debated (Senate), and inability to find American ship led to quibbles over Navigation Laws (House)

Resolution: US Navy authorized to charter three ships: the Everett sailed from San Fransisco, but the crisis had passed before the Navy was able to charter a ship for the east coast donations

CUB

1897

MILITARY AND HUMANITARIAN SUPPLIES TO INSURGENTS

Primary Debate: Minimal debate over wording – “belligerents” changed to “inhabitants”, etc. First draft offered citizenship and positions in U.S. Army to Cuban belligerents, but that was removed early-on by Committees.

Resolution: S.4518 provided “arms, munitions, and military stores” as well as “medical and quartermaster supplies and other aid” to inhabitants of the island… who are in danger of perishing, and to increase their effective fighting force against Spain.

IND

1897

ZAF

1899

IND

1899

ZAF

1901

VIN

1901

MTQ

1901

VOLCANO ERUPTION

Primary Debate: It is not proper for “legislative spasms” to be used as a means for expressing our personal sympathy – this is for private citizens to respond to as they see fit. France is a wealthy nation and has not asked us to interfere.

Result: Up to $200,000 authorized to purchase clothing, medicines, and other necessary articles to be distributed by US Navy, passed in House with vote of 197/9 (Senate y/n not recorded)

JAM

1906

EARTHQUAKE

Primary Debate: No debate.

Result: US Navy authorized to distribute clothing, medicines and other necessary articles from its existing stores (the well-stocked USS Celtic was in the nearby port of Guantanamo)

ITA

1908

EARTHQUAKE

Primary Debate: No dissent. Reasons to give: friendship/immense debt, connections through Italian immigrants to America, American has an abundance.

Result: US President authorized: $800,000 to procure and distribute provisions, clothing, medicines and other necessary articles; and to employ any vessels of the US Navy and to charter and employ any other suitable steamship or vessels necessary.

Note: this was the largest natural disaster of the 20th century.

RUS

1909

HUMAN RIGHTS

Primary Debate: no debate

Result: Public Resolution passed in congress and signed by President stating sympathy for the Jews in Russia who “are being persecuted and massacred on account of their race and religion”.

CRI

1909

EARTHQUAKE

Primary Debate: No debate.

Result: US President authorized to use and distribute such tents, blankets, and other necessary articles belonging to the stores of the military establishment, the naval establishment, and the Isthmian Canal Commission*. No dollar amount specified.

*The Isthmian Canal Commission was established in 1904 to oversee the construction of the Panama Canal.

CHN

1910

ARC

1913

CHN

1913

FAMINE

Primary Debate: No debate recorded, though the issue went back-and-forth in committees and conference (presumably over language – perhaps regarding amount and specifying number of trips)

Result: Secretary of War authorized to transport, under supervision of American National Red Cross Society, the supplies donated by the people of the United States provided that the total expenses incurred shall not exceed $50,000.

EUR

1914

allows Red Cross to charter two ships with American flag to transport supplies

LTU

1915

EE

ARM

1915

EE

JEW

1915

EE

POL

1915

EE

SYR

1915

ME

UKR

1916

EE

RUS

1917

EE

EUR

1917

EE

BEL

1917

EE

EUR

1917

EE

IRL

1918

EE

EUR

1918

EE

EUR

1918

EE

IRL

1919

EE

JEW

1919

EE

EUR

1919

EE

ARM

1919

EE

MISC

1919

MS

MISC

1919

MS

CHN

1919

AS

AUS

1921

EE

MISC

1921

EE

RUS

1921

EE

JEW

1921

EE

RUS

1921

EE

MISC

1921

MS

CHN

1921

AS

ARM

1921

EE

MISC

1922

EE

EUR

1922

EE

AUS

1922

EE

FNG

1923

EE

FIN

1923

EE

HUN

1923

EE

JPN

1923

AS

JPN

1923

AS

ARM

1923

EE

EUR

1924

EE

EUR

1925

EE

ARM

1925

EE

MISC

1925

LC

EUR

1927

EE

JEW

1927

EE

MISC

1930

MS

MISC

1931

MS

MISC

1931

AS

EUR

1932

EE

EUR

1933

EE

RUS

1933

EE

FNG

1933

EE

UKR

1934

EE

MISC

1938

MS

CHN

1938

AS

CHL

1939

LC

MISC

1939

MS

FIN

1940

EE

POL

1940

EE

EUR

1940

EE

MISC

1940

EE

MISC

1940

LC

EUR

1940

EE

EUR

1941

EE

POL

1941

EE

MEX

1941

LC

MISC

1941

MS

MISC

1941

MS

MISC

1941

MS

EUR

1942

EE

MISC

1942

MS

CHN

1942

AS

MISC

1943

MS

IND

1943

AS

CUB

1943

LC

EUR

1943

EE

JEW

1943

EE

MISC

1944

MS

MISC

1945

MS

MISC

1946

MS

MISC

1947

EE

MISC

1947

LC

MISC

1947

MS

MISC

1947

EE

MISC

1948

MS

MISC

1948

MS

War

War of Independence

1775 - 1783

War of 1812

1812 - 1815

Second Barbary War

1815

In the Second Barbary War, an American fleet commanded by Stephen Decatur and William Bainbridge defeated the Barbary Pirates (Ottoman Empire's North African regencies).

Mexican-American War

1846 - 1847

U.S. Civil War

1861 - 1865

Spanish-American War

1898

WWI

1914 - 1918

WWII

1939 - 1945