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p. 122. Establishing an American Navy

The Age of Sail (1783–1809)locked

  • Craig L. Symonds


With independence secured, the American navy ceased to exist. The 1787 Constitution gave Congress the authority to provide and maintain a navy, but it was not until the emergence of Barbary threats to American shipping in the Mediterranean that the need for a standing navy was accepted. The order for six large frigates was authorized and then for further smaller ships during the Quasi War (1798–1801) against the French in the Caribbean. ‘Establishing an American navy: the Age of Sail (1783–1809)’ outlines the role of the U.S. Navy during the Anglo–French conflict, as well as the development of the gunboat navy during Jefferson’s second term to enforce his unpopular trading embargo.

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