- Passed by the U.S. Congress on 3/17/1794
- Established the 1st U.S. naval force, which became the U.S. Navy.
From 1783 (last fighting ship of the Revolution was sold) until 1797, America's only armed
maritime service was the Revenue
The U.S. Navy was established to protect trade.
And, it is still used to protect trade.
The Constitution gives Presidents the power to use
it with impunity.
U.S. merchant shipping began to be harassed by France
and the Barbary
Coast pirates, (especially Algiers).
11 ships were seized by pirates.
The Act provided for the construction of four ships
(40 guns each)
and two ships (36 guns each). Opponents thought it was
too expensive, too imperialistic, and
Europe to increase there naval sizes and activities.
The deal was to be annulled if a peace treaty was
signed to end the impasse w/ the Barbary Pirates
Peace accord was announced between the U.S. and the Dey
all six ships was halted.
After heated debate, Congress agrees to
funding of the three ships closest to
USS United States, the 1st of the nation's
was launched in Philadelphia.
The other ships were launched on:
USS Constellation - 9/7/1797
USS Constitution - 10/27/97.
USS Chesapeake, USS Congress, and USS President
were completed and entered service