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As America approaches the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, naval historian and award-winning author Daughan presents a new account of the conflict. Based on 15-plus years of archival research of the era, the text incorporates political, diplomatic, economic, and military history to examine ways that the War of 1812 changed the shape of the world. Daughan examines how the War of 1812--dubbed our "Second War of Independence"--led to the development of a strong military, renewed America's confidence as a unified nation, and forced Europe to recognize the country as a strong power. The text also highlights the key role played by the U. S. Navy in the winning the war, reasons why that role has not been sufficiently recognized before now, and lessons of the War of relevance today. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)
The American Revolution-and thus the history of the United States-began not on land but on the sea. Paul Revere began his famous midnight ride not by jumping on a horse, but by scrambling into a skiff with two other brave patriots to cross Boston Harbor to Charlestown. Revere and his companions rowed with muffled oars to avoid capture by the British warships closely guarding the harbor. As they paddled silently, Revere's neighbor was flashing two lanterns from the belfry of Old North Church, signaling patriots in Charlestown that the redcoats were crossing the Charles River in longboats. In every major Revolutionary battle thereafter the sea would play a vital, if historically neglected, role. When the American colonies took up arms against Great Britain, they were confronting the greatest sea-power of the age. And it was during the War of Independence that the American Navy was born. But following the British naval model proved crushingly expensive, and the Founding Fathers fought viciously for decades over whether or not the fledgling republic truly needed a deep-water fleet. The debate ended only when the Federal Navy proved indispensable during the War of 1812. Drawing on decades of prodigious research, historian George C. Daughan chronicles the embattled origins of the U. S. Navy. From the bloody and gunpowder-drenched battles fought by American sailors on lakes and high seas to the fierce rhetorical combat waged by the Founders in Congress,If By Seacharts the course by which the Navy became a vital and celebrated American institution.
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