How Did the US Navy get so Powerful? – Evolution from the 13 Colonies to WWII

US Navy get so Powerful

In this history documentary we explore the history of the US Navy. We begin in the colonial period of British rule where most of the coastal defenses were undertaken by jerry-rigged sloops and schooners while the Royal Navy handled the larger engagements.
With the outbreak of the American Revolution however the Continental Congress was forced to create its own Continental Navy. This was composed of a small number of small frigates while the bulk of the American fleet actually consisted of privateers. The US fleet managed to score some wins at sea but it was the assistance of the French Navy which helped turn the tides of war. After the revolution, the new but bankrupt United States was forced to disband its navy.
This had the effect of leaving it incredibly vulnerable. Over the following decades, the US Navy would slowly invest in rebuilding its fleet to combat threats from the Barbary Pirates and others who preyed on American shipping.
The War of 1812 with the British saw the US score some early wins but saw it be utterly dominated at sea when the Royal Navy sailed in with a strong fleet that had just recently won the Battle of Trafalgar. The US Navy was expanded as a result of this embarrassment but it would be the conflict of the US Civil War which truly brought about a renaissance for American Fleet. During the conflict, the northern strategy at sea involved a blockade of the south which prompted an arms race between the Union Navy and the Confederate Navy.
Ironclads and steam ships emerged from this evolutionary process and came dominate the waves. By the end of the war, the US Navy was the second largest in the world after the Royal Navy. The post war years however saw a decline in the Navy that would only be turned around with renewed conflict during the Spanish-American war. From this point on, the United States Navy was recognized as being critical to United States foreign policy. President Roosevelt would overseen it’s renovation with the construction of the Great White Fleet which sailed around the world. However new technologies like the HMS Dreadnought risked making all contemporary warships obsolete. World War 1 came soon after and poured gasoline on the fire of innovation.
Now the battle at sea extended to the air above the waves and the depths below it with the deployment of planes and submarines. Coming out of the First World War, the US Navy was recognized as an equal to the Royal Navy. The interwar years saw more funds poured into the American Fleet including the construction of new aircraft carriers. Word War 2 would see a massive overhaul of the US Navy as it battled the Imperial Japanese Navy across the Pacific. This conflict and the Cold War that followed solidified the power of the US Fleet and led it to become the force it is today.

Credit to : Invicta

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