Common Defense

Wood engraving, interior of the Merrimac during combat with the Monitor, Le Monde Illustré, ca. 1862–1865

The Congress shall have Power To ... provide for the common Defense

Congress appropriates funds for national defense and has the power to declare war. By approving international agreements and the appointment of ambassadors, Congress also supports efforts to resolve conflict through diplomacy. Congressional contributions to matters of war and peace throughout the nation's history are registered in these documents.