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When isolationism ruled the land

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In January 1938, Rep. Louis Ludlow, an Indiana Democrat, proposed a constitutional amendment strongly supported by the public: “Except in the event of an invasion of the United States or its territorial possessions and attack upon its citizens residing therein, the authority of Congress to declare war shall not become effective until confirmed by a majority of all votes cast thereon in a nationwide referendum.” Although narrowly defeated, 209-188, it might have passed without President Franklin Roosevelt’s last-minute opposition.

During…

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