Blue Water Patriots: The American Revolution Afloat (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007 - History - 307 pages
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In 1775, it seemed inconceivable that the American colonists could overcome the overwhelming military superiority of Great Britain. Yet the belligerent colonists were certain they could defeat the British army they so despised. On the other hand, their one great fear was that they would not be able to overcome the presence of the Royal Navy. Somehow though, the colonists were able to resist the British at sea, attract capable allies, and successfully conclude their quest for independence. The primary focus of this work is the period prior to 1779 before the French had come to the aid of the fledgling American nation--when the Blue Water Patriots confronted the Royal Navy alone, relying on little more than ingenuity and courage.

In 1775, it was inconceivable that the American colonists could have overcome the overwhelming military superiority of Great Britain. Yet the belligerent colonists seemed certain that they could defeat the British army they so despised. On the other hand, the one great fear shared by all colonists was that they would not be able to overcome the presence of the Royal Navy. Yet, somehow, the colonists were able to resist the British at sea, attract capable allies to aid them, and successfully conclude their quest for independence. The American Revolution can safely be viewed as part of a prolonged worldwide naval conflict between France and Britain beginning with the Glorious Revolution in 1688 and ending with the British victory at Trafalgar in 1805 during the Napoleonic Wars. This was a period in which the armed merchantmen of the age of trade were replaced by genuine warships whose task was to control the sea lanes. The American Revolution was a watershed in this regard with improved warship designs, new technologies, improved gunpowder and communications, and innovative tactics. Although French participation in the war for independence was crucial, the primary focus of this work is the period before 1779, when the colonists confronted the Royal Navy alone with only their ingenuity and courage to defend them.

Every school child knows that the American Revolution began on Lexington Green in April, 1775, but how many are aware that in 1764 a Royal Navy cutter, St. John, engaged in the suppression of smuggling, was fired upon by Rhode Islanders; that in 1769, the revenue sloop Liberty was seized and burned by the people of Newport; or that in 1772, the navy cutter Gaspee was burned in the night by armed patriots attacking from small boats. These Blue Water Patriots fought the first battles on the road to American independence. This is their story.

  

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Contents

2 The Rebels Under Sail
37
3 Naval Administration
51
4 The Art of War at Sea
67
5 Sea Officers
87
6 The Continental Navy
105
7 Warships
115
8 Cannon and Powder
137
9 George Washingtons Private Navy
149
13 The French Alliance
231
14 Prisoners of War
245
15 Epilogue
251
Important Vessels and Commanders Belonging to the North American Squadron during the Enforcement Crisis 17641767
255
Disposition of the Royal Navy on the North American Station January 1775
257
1794 Admiralty List of Vessels of War in Service or Built before 1783
259
Maps
271
Notes
277

10 The Invasion of New York
177
11 Whaleboat Warriors and Bateaux Battalions
199
12 Invoking Poseidon
217

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About the author (2007)

DR. JAMES M. VOLO, Ph.D., has been teaching Physics, Physical Science, and Astronomy for the past 39 years. He received his bachelor's from City College in New York, his masters from American Military University, and his doctorate from Berne University. He has taught on the Graduate level for more than 15 years and authored several reference works regarding U.S. military, social, and cultural history. In addition, he has consulted on TV and movie productions. Among his published works are Blue Water Patriots: The American Revolution Afloat (Greenwood, 2006), Daily Life in Civil War America (Greenwood, 1998), Family Life in the 19th Century (Greenwood, 2007), the Popular Culture of the Antebellum Period (Greenwood, 2004), and the Encyclopedia of the Antebellum South (Greenwood, 2000). Several of which were co-authored with his wife Dorothy Denneen Volo. Presently, Dr. Volo teaches at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut.

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