Describes the inherent nature and enduring principles of naval forces.
Naval vessels that existed at the inception of the Navy
- Ships-of-the-Line: The battleships of the sailing days. These ships were the largest of all sailing warships. These battleships carried 64 to 100 guns of various sizes.
- Frigates: The cruisers of the 18th century. These cruisers were next in size, usually smaller than average ships-of-the-line and usually faster. They carried 28 to 44 guns.
- Sloops-of-War: The small sailing warships. These ships carried 10 to 20 guns.
Conditions that led to the formation of the U.S. Navy
The areas of our country that became the 13 original states were colonies of England in the mid-1700's. The king of England allowed the colonies to trade only with England. Problems arose between the colonists and England as the years passed.
English Parliament passed several tax laws that affected the colonists in a problem known as "taxation without representation". The colonists formed Committees of Correspondence to communicate the problems to England. They convened a Continental Congress to discuss these problems. This first congress met in 5 September 1774. At the meeting, the Congress produced a statement of rights it believed England should grant to the colonists. Then in October of 1774 the statement of rights was presented to the king. A second Continental Congress convened on 10 May 1775. The colonists appointed George Washington as Commander in Chief of the Continental American army on 15 June 1775. The Continental Congress felt forced to act as the provisional government for the colonies. They issued money, established a postal service, and created a Continental navy. The U.S. Navy has its birth on 13 October 1775. On this date the Second Continental Congress authorized the purchase of two vessels. The first commander in chief was Esek Hopkins, who put the first squadron of the Continental Navy to sea in February 1776.
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