A City Guide To Yizheng for When James MADISON became president in 1809, he eased the embargo slightly, but continued Jefferson’s overall policy of economic retaliation. As this proved continually ineffective, Congress declared war on June 18, 1812. The vote was the closest for any war in American history; Federalists were overwhelmingly against a military conflict, fearing it would irreparably damage commercial relations with England, which they deemed vital to the United States’ economic development. The war was a major military challenge for the young nation; its army and navy were still woefully small, inexperienced and under-funded, and the American public was unenthusiastic. The initial strategy of a Canadian invasion went disastrously wrong. Not only did CANADA remain in British hands, by the end of 1812, the British had conquered sizable territory in the northwestern United States, including the outposts of Detroit and Ft. Dearborn on the Great Lakes. A City Guide To Yizheng 2016.