The Life and Letters of John Paul Jones - Vol. 2

By Anna De Koven | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXII
PRIZE-MONEY NEGOTIATION

ALTHOUGH the United States of America, before the close of the war for independence, had adopted in the Articles of Confederation a form of association under which they had announced their existence as a united nation, the further consolidation of the government was yet to demand the utmost efforts of its leading statesmen. The maintenance of the independence of the nation called also imperatively for the establishment of a sound and centralized fiscal policy, as well as for adequate forces of defence. The armies of Washington, reinforced by the regiments of Rochambeau and the fleet of De Grasse, having attained the ultimate success of the American cause, had finally been paid and disbanded, and the navy of the Revolution had totally disappeared. Although Washington, the author and director of the first colonial fleet for national defence, was likewise the founder of the reorganized navy of the United States, which began its existence in the year 1794, Alexander Hamilton, the originator of the national fiscal system, the strong abettor of the Federal Constitution, was also convinced of the necessity of establishing a permanent marine and was occupied as early as the year 1783 with the preliminaries of its proper organization. The agent designated to carry out Hamilton's designs and to pro-

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