The Revolutionary War

The Revolutionary War

USS Constellation vs Insurgente class=

The recognized date for the official beginning of the United States Navy is the October 13th, 1775; this is when the Continental Congress passed a resolution, creating the Continental Navy. Shortly after the Revolutionary War ended, the Continental Navy was disbanded and the ships were sold. It wasn't until there were issues with pirates that the Naval Act of 1794 was passed and the United States Navy was reborn. For the next twenty years the American Navy fought in many wars, including fighting the French in the Quasi-War, the Barbary States in the first and second Barbary Wars, and the British in the War of 1812.

After 1812, the Navy had peace until the Mexican-American War in 1846, and the rise in piracy at that time; while this was going on, the Naval Academy was created in 1845. In 1861, the Navy fought the small Confederate Army with both sailing ships and ironclads. They made a successful blockade and aided very much in the success of the North. After the war, the ships were put in reserve; by 1878, the United States Navy only included 6,000 men.

In the early 1880's the Navy had many outdated ships. Congress approved the building of updated ships, such as Armored Cruisers and Battleships, to bring the Navy up to par with the rest of the world, but primarily to aid in the Quasi-War against France, which was fought, for the most part, at sea. Soon though, peace was declared, and the world moved on. There was worry that the Navy would be disarmed a second time, but then the continuing issues with the Barbary states caused the United States to refocus on the Navy’s development. After that, the Navy’s further development was rapid; in 1870 the US Navy was in twelfth place concerning the number of ships in their command, yet by 1900 they had moved up to fifth.

Article Citation (MLA format):

"The Revolutionary War." Military Ranks Online. 04 Feb 2012. 25 Sep 2023. <>