Editors. “1794 – President Washington and Congress authorized creation of the U.S. Navy.” This Day in U.S. Military History. N.d. https://thisdayinusmilhist.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/march-27/. Accessed 26 Mar 2015.
1794 – President Washington and Congress authorized creation of the U.S. Navy. The bill authorizes construction of 6 frigates, including Constitution. In the early stages of the American Revolutionary War, Massachusetts had its own navy. The establishment of a national navy was an issue of debate among the members of the Continental Congress. Supporters argued that a navy would protect shipping, defend the coast, and make it easier to seek out support from foreign countries. Detractors countered that challenging the British Royal Navy, then the world’s preeminent naval power, was a foolish undertaking. Commander in Chief George Washington resolved the debate when he commissioned seven ocean-going cruisers, starting with the schooner USS Hannah, to interdict British supply ships, and reported the captures to the Congress. The Continental Navy achieved mixed results; it was successful in a number of engagements and raided many British merchant vessels, but it lost 24 of its vessels and at one point was reduced to two in active service.