A history of naval operations during the civil war in the united states

Comparison of North and South At first glance it seemed that the 23 states that remained in the Union after secession were more than a match for the 11 Southern states. Approximately 21 million people lived in the North, compared with some nine million in the South of whom about four million were slaves. In addition, the North was the site of more thanmanufacturing plants, against 18, south of the Potomac Riverand more than 70 percent of the railroads were in the Union. Furthermore, the Federals had at their command a to-1 superiority in arms production, a 2-to-1 edge in available manpower, and a great preponderance of commercial and financial resources.

A history of naval operations during the civil war in the united states

The frigate Alliancewhich had fired the last shots of the American Revolutionary War, was also the last ship in the Navy. A faction within Congress wanted to keep the ship, but the new nation did not have the funds to keep her in service. Other than a general lack of money, factors for the disarmament of the navy were the loose confederation of the states, a change of goals from war to peace, and more domestic and fewer foreign interests.

National income was desperately needed and most came from tariffs on imported goods. Because of rampant smugglingthe need was immediate for strong enforcement of tariff laws. The fledgling nation did not have the funds to pay annual tribute to the Barbary statesso their ships were vulnerable for capture after Bythe new Constitution of the United States authorized Congress to create a navy, but during George Washington's first term — little was done to rearm the navy.

Soon after, the pirates sailed into the Atlantic, and captured 11 American merchant ships and more than a hundred seamen. Supporters were mostly from the northern states and the coastal regions, who argued the Navy would result in savings in insurance and ransom payments, while opponents from southern states and inland regions thought a navy was not worth the expense and would drive the United States into more costly wars.

After considerable debate, three of the six frigates were authorized to be completed: United States, Constitution and Constellation.

The military background of the war

The United States preferred to take a position of neutrality in the conflicts between France and Britain, but this put the nation at odds with both Britain and France. After the Jay Treaty was authorized with Great Britain inFrance began to side against the United States and by they had seized over American vessels.

The newly inaugurated President John Adams took steps to deal with the crisis, working with Congress to finish the three almost-completed frigates, approving funds to build the other three, and attempting to negotiate an agreement similar to the Jay Treaty with France.

The XYZ Affair originated with a report distributed by Adams where alleged French agents were identified by the letters X, Y, and Z who informed the delegation a bribe must be paid before the diplomats could meet with the foreign minister, and the resulting scandal increased popular support in the country for a war with France.

The remainder of the ships in service were sold and the dismissed officers were given four months pay. This policy proved completely ineffective within a decade. They proved useless in wartime. Leopard severely damaged Chesapeake when she refused.

The most violent of many such encounters, the affair further fueled the tensions and in June the U. Much of the war was expected to be fought at sea; and within an hour of the announcement of war, the diminutive American navy set forth to do battle with an opponent outnumbering it to Lawrence was mortally wounded and famously cried out, "Don't give up the ship!

The capital fell to the British almost without a fight, and several ships were burned at the Washington Navy Yardincluding the gun frigate USS Columbia. At Baltimore, the bombardment by Fort McHenry inspired Francis Scott Key to write " The Star-Spangled Banner ", and the hulks blocking the channel prevented the fleet from entering the harbor; the army reembarked on the ships, ending the battle.

Navy until World War II. Continental Expansion — [ edit ] Further information: However, the expense of the larger ships was prohibitive, and many of them stayed in shipyards half-completed, in readiness for another war, until the Age of Sail had almost completely passed.

The main force of the Navy continued to be large sailing frigates with a number of smaller sloops during the three decades of peace.

United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Naval operations

By the s, the Navy began to adopt steam power and shell guns, but they lagged behind the French and British in adopting the new technologies. It was unlawful for black men to serve in the Navy, but the shortage of men was so acute this law was frequently ignored. Sodomy was rarely prosecuted. The Army abolished flogging as a punishment inbut the Navy kept it until After the Treaty of Ghent was signed, the United States looked at ending the piracy in the Mediterranean which had plagued American merchants for two decades.

On 3 Marchthe U. Congress authorized deployment of naval power against Algiers, beginning the Second Barbary War. Two powerful squadrons under the command of Commodores Stephen Decatur, Jr. Shortly after departing Gibraltar en route to Algiers, Decatur's squadron encountered the Algerian flagship Meshudaand, in the Action of 17 Junecaptured it.

By June, the squadrons had reached Algiers and peace was negotiated with the Dey, including a return of captured vessels and men, a guarantee of no further tributes and a right to trade in the region.

A history of naval operations during the civil war in the united states

InCongress authorized President James Madison to deal with this threat, and since many of the pirates were privateers of the newly independent states of Latin America, he decided to embark on a strategy of diplomacy backed up by the guns of the Navy.

Politically, the suppression of the slave trade was unpopular, and the squadron was withdrawn in ostensibly to deal with piracy in the Caribbean, and did not return to the African coast until the passage of the Webster—Ashburton treaty with Britain in After the treaty was passed, the United States used fewer ships than the treaty required, ordered the ships based far from the coast of Africa, and used ships that were too large to operate close to shore.

Between andthe United States Navy captured only 10 slave vessels, while the British captured vessels carrying 27, captives. The poor quality of officer training in the U. He formed a council led by Commodore Perry to create a new system for training officers, and turned the old Fort Severn at Annapolis into a new institution in which would be designated as the United States Naval Academy by Congress in During those years, the United States evolved from a new nation fighting Great Britain for independence (–), through the monumental American Civil War (–) and, after collaborating in triumph during World War II (–), to the world's sole remaining superpower from the late 20th century to present.

Deftly written, a wealth of both scholarship and his own experience during the war combine to make this a "must read" for any serious student of America's naval operations in WW2.

The shorter version, "The Two-Ocean War," gives but an incomplete taste of Morison's skill as a writer as well as the technical and factual detail that make /5. The Great Contest: A History of Military and Naval Operations During the Civil War in the United States of America, (Classic Reprint) [Willis C.

Humphrey] on iridis-photo-restoration.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Excerpt from The Great Contest: A History of Military and Naval Operations During the Civil War in the United States of America, The histories that have been given to the public are in two, three, four, or more volumes, and are expensive; and the military and naval operations narrated in them are so interlaced with civil and polit ical history that it becomes tedious to the reader to Author: Willis C.

Humphrey. iridis-photo-restoration.com Summary - United States -- Navy -- History -- 20th century Genre the Civil War Naval Museum at Port Columbus; includes exhibitions, events, and resources related to naval and riverine operations during the American Civil War.

Web Site. electronic | Electronic (Form). The history of the United States Navy divides into two major periods: the "Old Navy", a small but respected force of sailing ships that was also notable for innovation in the use of ironclads during the American Civil War, and the "New Navy", the result of a modernization effort that began in the s and made it the largest in the world by the .

American Civil War - The military background of the war | iridis-photo-restoration.com