James Madison went to Congress to ask for a declaration of war against England that started the War of 1812. This was because the British would not stop harassing American ships and impressing soldiers. The Americans struggled at the beginning, losing Detroit without a fight. The Navy fared better, with Commodore Perry leading the defeat of the British on Lake Erie. However, the British were still able to march on Washington, not being stopped until they were on their way to Baltimore. The war ended in 1814 with a stalemate.