These two quotes tell you the reasons why you
should know what happened in the past. By studying
history, you can avoid the mistakes made in the past. By
studying both the failures and successes of the past, you
can plan for future success.
There is another reason to study historyhistory is an
adventure story. History is full of daring deeds, good luck
and bad, heroes, cowards, and spies. The history of a
country or an organization is like the biography of a
person. A biography is the story of a persons life. Naval
history is the story of the life of the Navy. Since this
chapter is the biography of the life of the United States
THE BIRTHDAY OF THE UNITED
Learning Objectives: When you finish this chapter,
you will be able to
Identify the important events of naval history.
Recognize the importance of naval actions and
In school, you learned about the birthday of the
United States. You were told about the events that
happened on July 4, 1776. The United States Navy had
its birth on October 13, 1775. How could this be? How
could the Navy be older than the United States?
Just as there wasnt a United States of America on
July 4, 1776, there wasnt a United States Navy on
October 13, 1775. But, what led to the formation of the
United States Navy happened on October 13, 1775.
Remember when the Second Continental Congress
met on May 10, 1775, the colonists were already
fighting the British. Before long, it was clear that if the
Colonies were to survive, a Navy was necessary.
Therefore, on October 13, 1775, the Second Continental
Congress authorized the purchase of two vessels; the
United States Navy was born.
THE CONTINENTAL NAVY
Learning Objective: When you finish this chapter, you
will be able to
Identify the ships of the Continental Navy to
include the importance of their actions.
Navies are created from the spirit of independence
and under the threat of war. They become mature by
defending their country. This is the way it was with the
first American Navy.
The American Colonies depended on the sea for
their livelihood. All along the coast, harbors and
shipbuilding docks offered work to many and provided
income to thousands more. When the conflict between
the Americans and the British began, these were the first
ports the British attacked. These were also the ports
from which the Continental Congress and the States
sought to send out ships of a tiny and hastily organized
naval force to harass the mightiest sea power in the
world and its merchant fleet. This tiny naval force
sought to capture enemy supply and munitions vessels.
What was life like in that first Navy? Where did its
ships and men come from? How was it organized? And,
importantly, what role did it play in building the proud
tradition of the United States Navy today?
Like its beginnings, the Navy of the American
Revolution was fragmented into many parts, each acting
independently of the others. For instance, several naval
engagements between the Americans and the British
actually occurred before the Continental Congress
authorized a Navy. Though the American Navy officially
began in October 1775, some time passed before the new
Navy had any effect on the mighty British Navy.
Why should I bother to learn or read history? Isnt it dead and gone? Read on
.The quotes from
George Santayana and Alfred Thayer Mahan tell the story!
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
George Santayana, American Philosopher, 1863 - 1952
The study of history lies at the foundation of all sound military conclusions and practice.
Alfred Thayer Mahan, Philosopher of Naval Strategy, 1840 - 1914