Naval Power Essay

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Why the United States Developed Naval Power 1775-1815

The United States developed the Navy out of necessity. Although their naval strength was dwarfed by the might of the British fleet during the American Revolution, creating some sort of resistance to hinder the British and to get them away from their naval assets proved to be an integral element in eventually gaining independence in 1783. Also in the nation’s formative years, attacks against U.S. ships by foreign powers including the French and British forced the United States to develop their Navy. An excellent example of the important role of the grossly inferior U.S. navy in the American Revolution was during the Battle of Valcour Island. The battle was fought on Lake Champlain, a point of great geographical significance for the British. The British needed control of the lake, because it allowed them to transport troops
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Navy understood the importance of harassing the British without actually trying to defeat their fleet. The informal policy of the U.S. was to attack ships that were weaker, and to be to able outrun ships that were stronger. John Paul Jones is perhaps the most famous U.S. Naval commander for the significant blows he inflicted on the British. The British forces soon learned to fear the name of Jones. He experienced several victories from attacking merchant convoys in the Caribbean to his defeat of the Serapis and the Countess of Scarborough in the North Sea (Britannica 1). Jones was significant, because he was the first to bring the war to the British homeland, something that could only be done with the use of a navy. While Jones was indeed successful, it would be incorrect to assume that he posed any real threat to the British Navy as a whole. Rather he simply acted as a disruption to the British Blue Water Strategy which was at that time being challenged around the world, mostly by the French and the

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