While America’s rebels cobbled a navy to go up against Great Britain, the Continental Congress was composing a defense strategy comprised of privateers to defy them.
On November 2, 1777, John Paul Jones—then at the helm of the USS Ranger with a crew of 140—sailed from Portsmouth, NH to take the war to the enemy. According to History.com his destination was “the naval port at Brest, France, where [he would] stop before heading toward the Irish Sea to begin raids on British warships. This was the first mission of its kind during the Revolutionary War.”
The Grateful American Book Prize recommends Evan Thomas’s John Paul Jones: Sailor, Hero, Father of the American Navy.
On November 10, the U.S. Marine Corps will celebrate its 248th birthday. History.com says “During the American Revolution, the Continental Congress passe[d] a resolution… ‘two Battalions of Marines be raised’ for service as landing forces for the recently formed Continental Navy. The resolution, drafted by future U.S. president John Adams and adopted in Philadelphia, created the Continental Marines, and is now observed as the birth date of the United States Marine Corps.” That position conforms to their motto of Semper Fidelis— a promise–to be “Always Faithful.”
The Grateful American Book Prize recommends USMC: United States Marine Corps- A Complete History by Jon J. Hoffman.
After decades of British persecution, American patriots found a way to govern themselves. On November 15, 1777, the Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation. It took more than four years–but–on March of 1781– the last of the 13 states ratified the declaration.
History.com says “Patriot leaders, stinging from British oppression, were reluctant to establish any form of government that might infringe on the right of individual states to govern their own affairs. The Articles of Confederation, then, provided for only a loose federation of American states. Congress was a single house, with each state having one vote, and a president elected to chair the assembly. Although Congress did not have the right to levy taxes, it did have authority over foreign affairs and could regulate a national army and declare war and peace … On March 4, 1789, the modern United States was established when the U.S. Constitution formally replaced the Articles of Confederation.”
The Grateful American Book Prize recommends Professor George William Van Cleve’s We Have Not a Government: The Articles of Confederation and the Road to the Constitution.
History Matters is a biweekly feature courtesy of The Grateful American Book Prize.