Academic journal article The Journal of Southern History

American Naval History, 1607-1865: Overcoming the Colonial Legacy

Academic journal article The Journal of Southern History

American Naval History, 1607-1865: Overcoming the Colonial Legacy

Article excerpt

American Naval History, 1607-1865: Overcoming the Colonial Legacy. By Jonathan R. Dull. Studies in War, Society, and the Military. (Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press, 2012. Pp. [xii], 194. $27.95, ISBN 978-0-8032-4052-0.) Despite dramatic naval victories during the American Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, the United States Navy was largely unsuccessful and undersized during the age of sail. It was not until the Civil War, Jonathan R. Dull contends, that the United States built a competent navy that later served as the basis for the impressive maritime expansion during the decades before the outbreak of World War I. Dull points to a "colonial legacy" that hampered naval growth as a fear of central power, aversion to taxation, and enthusiasm for continental expansion were all inherited from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and persisted into the nineteenth century. American naval growth responded to crises during the century before the Civil War. …

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