From Boston Harbor to Yorktown; from wars with France and Tripoli to the dramatic Battle of Lake Champlain in the War of 1812, the definitive history of the creation of the American NavyFrom Boston Harbor to Yorktown; from wars with France and Tripoli to the dramatic Battle of Lake Champlain in the War of 1812, the definitive history of the creation of the American NavyRead Less
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Publishers Weekly, 2008-04-07 Daughan brings a long academic career and solid command of his sources to this provocative history of the origins of the U.S. Navy. Conventional wisdom has the navy beginning in the 1790s. Daughan instead traces its roots to the Revolution. The fleet established by the Continental Congress had a relatively undistinguished career, but Daughan demonstrates that the Americans gained technical experience, produced talented officers, trained seamen and developed a basic understanding of how a navy should be employed. The question then was whether a navy would concentrate too much authority in the central government and risk embroiling the new country in foreign quarrels. By contrast, a coastal defense force of small ships threatened nobody, foreign or domestic. Daughan traces the debate through four administrations, smoothly integrating political with external influences like the Quasi-War with France (1798-1800) and the campaign against the Barbary pirates. Not until the War of 1812, when the navy proved critical, did a national consensus emerge that preparing for war was the best way of avoiding one--a lesson that remains worth remembering. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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