Maritime history

Maritime history

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Maritime history is the study of human activity at sea. It covers a broad thematic element of history
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

 that often uses a global approach, although national and regional histories remain predominant. As an academic subject, it often crosses the boundaries of standard disciplines, focusing on understanding mankind's various relationships to the ocean
Ocean
An ocean is a major body of saline water, and a principal component of the hydrosphere. Approximately 71% of the Earth's surface is covered by ocean, a continuous body of water that is customarily divided into several principal oceans and smaller seas.More than half of this area is over 3,000...

s, sea
Sea
A sea generally refers to a large body of salt water, but the term is used in other contexts as well. Most commonly, it means a large expanse of saline water connected with an ocean, and is commonly used as a synonym for ocean...

s, and major waterway
Waterway
A waterway is any navigable body of water. Waterways can include rivers, lakes, seas, oceans, and canals. In order for a waterway to be navigable, it must meet several criteria:...

s of the globe. Nautical history records and interprets past events involving ships, shipping, navigation, and seamen.

Maritime history is the broad overarching subject that includes fishing
Fishing
Fishing is the activity of trying to catch wild fish. Fish are normally caught in the wild. Techniques for catching fish include hand gathering, spearing, netting, angling and trapping....

, whaling
Whaling
Whaling is the hunting of whales mainly for meat and oil. Its earliest forms date to at least 3000 BC. Various coastal communities have long histories of sustenance whaling and harvesting beached whales...

, international maritime law, naval history
Naval history
Naval history is the area of military history concerning war at sea and the subject is also a sub-discipline of the broad field of maritime history....

, the history of ship
Ship
Since the end of the age of sail a ship has been any large buoyant marine vessel. Ships are generally distinguished from boats based on size and cargo or passenger capacity. Ships are used on lakes, seas, and rivers for a variety of activities, such as the transport of people or goods, fishing,...

s, ship design, shipbuilding
Shipbuilding
Shipbuilding is the construction of ships and floating vessels. It normally takes place in a specialized facility known as a shipyard. Shipbuilders, also called shipwrights, follow a specialized occupation that traces its roots to before recorded history.Shipbuilding and ship repairs, both...

, the history of navigation
Navigation
Navigation is the process of monitoring and controlling the movement of a craft or vehicle from one place to another. It is also the term of art used for the specialized knowledge used by navigators to perform navigation tasks...

, the history of the various maritime-related sciences (oceanography
Oceanography
Oceanography , also called oceanology or marine science, is the branch of Earth science that studies the ocean...

, cartography
Cartography
Cartography is the study and practice of making maps. Combining science, aesthetics, and technique, cartography builds on the premise that reality can be modeled in ways that communicate spatial information effectively.The fundamental problems of traditional cartography are to:*Set the map's...

, hydrography
Hydrography
Hydrography is the measurement of the depths, the tides and currents of a body of water and establishment of the sea, river or lake bed topography and morphology. Normally and historically for the purpose of charting a body of water for the safe navigation of shipping...

, etc.), sea exploration, maritime economics and trade, shipping
Shipping
Shipping has multiple meanings. It can be a physical process of transporting commodities and merchandise goods and cargo, by land, air, and sea. It also can describe the movement of objects by ship.Land or "ground" shipping can be by train or by truck...

, yachting
Yachting
Yachting refers to recreational sailing or boating, the specific act of sailing or using other water vessels for sporting purposes.-Competitive sailing:...

, seaside resort
Seaside resort
A seaside resort is a resort, or resort town, located on the coast. Where a beach is the primary focus for tourists, it may be called a beach resort.- Overview :...

s, the history of lighthouse
Lighthouse
A lighthouse is a tower, building, or other type of structure designed to emit light from a system of lamps and lenses or, in older times, from a fire, and used as an aid to navigation for maritime pilots at sea or on inland waterways....

s and aids to navigation, maritime themes in literature, maritime themes in art, the social history of sailor
Sailor
A sailor, mariner, or seaman is a person who navigates water-borne vessels or assists in their operation, maintenance, or service. The term can apply to professional mariners, military personnel, and recreational sailors as well as a plethora of other uses...

s and sea-related communities.

Ancient times


In ancient maritime history
Ancient maritime history
Maritime history dates back thousands of years. In ancient maritime history, the first boats are presumed to have been dugout canoes which were developed independently by various stone age populations. In ancient history, various vessels were used for coastal fishing and travel.-Prehistory:The...

, the first boats are presumed to have been dugout canoes
Dugout (boat)
A dugout or dugout canoe is a boat made from a hollowed tree trunk. Other names for this type of boat are logboat and monoxylon. Monoxylon is Greek -- mono- + ξύλον xylon -- and is mostly used in classic Greek texts. In Germany they are called einbaum )...

, developed independently by various stone age populations, and used for coastal fishing and travel. The Indigenous of the Pacific Northwest
Pacific Northwest
The Pacific Northwest is a region in northwestern North America, bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the west and, loosely, by the Rocky Mountains on the east. Definitions of the region vary and there is no commonly agreed upon boundary, even among Pacific Northwesterners. A common concept of the...

 are very skilled at crafting wood. Best known for totem poles up to 80 feet (24 m) tall, they also construct dugout canoes over 60 feet (18.3 m) long for everyday use and ceremonial purposes.

The earliest seaworthy boats may have been developed as early as 45,000 years ago, according to one hypothesis explaining the habitation of Australia
Prehistory of Australia
The prehistory of Australia is the period between the first human habitation of the Australian continent and the first definitive sighting of Australia by Europeans in 1606, which may be taken as the beginning of the recent history of Australia...

. In the history of whaling
History of whaling
The history of whaling is very extensive, stretching back for millennia. This article discusses the history of whaling up to the commencement of the International Whaling Commission moratorium on commercial whaling in 1986....

, humans began whaling in pre-historic times. The oldest known method of catching whales is to simply drive them ashore by placing a number of small boats between the whale and the open sea and attempting to frighten them with noise, activity, and perhaps small, non-lethal weapons such as arrows. Typically, this was used for small species, such as Pilot Whales, Belugas and Narwhals.

The earliest known reference to an organization devoted to ships in ancient India is to the Mauryan Empire from the 4th century BC. It is believed that the navigation as a science originated on the river Indus some 5000 years ago.

The Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

ians had knowledge to some extent of sail
Sail
A sail is any type of surface intended to move a vessel, vehicle or rotor by being placed in a wind—in essence a propulsion wing. Sails are used in sailing.-History of sails:...

 construction. This is governed by the science
Science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

 of aerodynamics
Aerodynamics
Aerodynamics is a branch of dynamics concerned with studying the motion of air, particularly when it interacts with a moving object. Aerodynamics is a subfield of fluid dynamics and gas dynamics, with much theory shared between them. Aerodynamics is often used synonymously with gas dynamics, with...

. According to the Greek
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 historian Herodotus
Herodotus
Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian who was born in Halicarnassus, Caria and lived in the 5th century BC . He has been called the "Father of History", and was the first historian known to collect his materials systematically, test their accuracy to a certain extent and arrange them in a...

, Necho II
Necho II
Necho II was a king of the Twenty-sixth dynasty of Egypt .Necho II is most likely the pharaoh mentioned in several books of the Bible . The Book of Kings states that Necho met King Josiah of the Kingdom of Judah at Megiddo and killed him...

 sent out an expedition of Phoenicians, which in three years sailed from the Red Sea
Red Sea
The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. In the north, there is the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez...

 around Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

 to the mouth of the Nile
Nile
The Nile is a major north-flowing river in North Africa, generally regarded as the longest river in the world. It is long. It runs through the ten countries of Sudan, South Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Egypt.The Nile has two major...

. Some current historians believe Herodotus on this point, even though Herodotus himself was in disbelief that the Phoenicians had accomplished the act.

Pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact
Pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact
Theories of Pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact are those theories that propose interaction between indigenous peoples of the Americas who settled the Americas before 10,000 BC, and peoples of other continents , which occurred before the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Caribbean in 1492.Many...

 refers to hypothesised interactions between the Natives populations of the Americas and peoples of other continents before
Pre-Columbian
The pre-Columbian era incorporates all period subdivisions in the history and prehistory of the Americas before the appearance of significant European influences on the American continents, spanning the time of the original settlement in the Upper Paleolithic period to European colonization during...

 the arrival of Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus was an explorer, colonizer, and navigator, born in the Republic of Genoa, in northwestern Italy. Under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, he completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean that led to general European awareness of the American continents in the...

 in 1492. Many such events have been proposed at various times, based on historical reports, archaeological finds, and cultural comparisons.

Age of Navigation



In early modern India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 and Arabia the lateen
Lateen
A lateen or latin-rig is a triangular sail set on a long yard mounted at an angle on the mast, and running in a fore-and-aft direction....

-sail ship known as the dhow
Dhow
Dhow is the generic name of a number of traditional sailing vessels with one or more masts with lateen sails used in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean region. Some historians believe the dhow was invented by Arabs but this is disputed by some others. Dhows typically weigh 300 to 500 tons, and have a...

 was used on the waters of the Red Sea
Red Sea
The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. In the north, there is the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez...

, Indian Ocean, and Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

. There were also Southeast Asian Seafarers
Seafarers
Seafarers can refer to ethnic groups living by the sea in Southeast Asia, and also other sea-living ethnic groups in the world. The ethnic group name refers to a large distribution area, reaching from the islands of Indonesia to Burma...

 and Polynesians
Polynesian culture
Polynesian culture refers to the indigenous peoples' culture of Polynesia who share common traits in language, customs and society. Chronologically, the development of Polynesian culture can be divided into four different historical eras:...

, and the Northern European Vikings, developed oceangoing vessels and depended heavily upon them for travel and population movements prior to 1000 AD. China's ships in the medieval period were particularly massive; multi-mast sailing junks
Junk (ship)
A junk is an ancient Chinese sailing vessel design still in use today. Junks were developed during the Han Dynasty and were used as sea-going vessels as early as the 2nd century AD. They evolved in the later dynasties, and were used throughout Asia for extensive ocean voyages...

 were carrying over 200 people as early as 200 AD. The Astrolabe
Astrolabe
An astrolabe is an elaborate inclinometer, historically used by astronomers, navigators, and astrologers. Its many uses include locating and predicting the positions of the Sun, Moon, planets, and stars, determining local time given local latitude and longitude, surveying, triangulation, and to...

 was the chief tool of Celestial navigation
Celestial navigation
Celestial navigation, also known as astronavigation, is a position fixing technique that has evolved over several thousand years to help sailors cross oceans without having to rely on estimated calculations, or dead reckoning, to know their position...

 in early maritime history. It was invented in ancient Greece
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

 and developed by Islamic astronomers
Islamic astronomy
Islamic astronomy or Arabic astronomy comprises the astronomical developments made in the Islamic world, particularly during the Islamic Golden Age , and mostly written in the Arabic language. These developments mostly took place in the Middle East, Central Asia, Al-Andalus, and North Africa, and...

. In ancient China, the engineer Ma Jun
Ma Jun
Ma Jun , style name Deheng , was a Chinese mechanical engineer and government official during the Three Kingdoms era of China...

 (c. 200-265 AD) invented the South Pointing Chariot
South Pointing Chariot
The south-pointing chariot was an ancient Chinese two-wheeled vehicle that carried a movable pointer to indicate the south, no matter how the chariot turned. Usually, the pointer took the form of a doll or figure with an outstretched arm...

, a wheeled device employing a differential gear that allowed a fixed figurine
Figurine
A figurine is a statuette that represents a human, deity or animal. Figurines may be realistic or iconic, depending on the skill and intention of the creator. The earliest were made of stone or clay...

 to always point in the southern cardinal direction
Cardinal direction
The four cardinal directions or cardinal points are the directions of north, east, south, and west, commonly denoted by their initials: N, E, S, W. East and west are at right angles to north and south, with east being in the direction of rotation and west being directly opposite. Intermediate...

.

The magnetic needle compass
Compass
A compass is a navigational instrument that shows directions in a frame of reference that is stationary relative to the surface of the earth. The frame of reference defines the four cardinal directions – north, south, east, and west. Intermediate directions are also defined...

 for navigation
Navigation
Navigation is the process of monitoring and controlling the movement of a craft or vehicle from one place to another. It is also the term of art used for the specialized knowledge used by navigators to perform navigation tasks...

 was not written of until the Dream Pool Essays
Dream Pool Essays
The Dream Pool Essays was an extensive book written by the polymath Chinese scientist and statesman Shen Kuo by 1088 AD, during the Song Dynasty of China...

 of 1088 AD by the author Shen Kuo
Shen Kuo
Shen Kuo or Shen Gua , style name Cunzhong and pseudonym Mengqi Weng , was a polymathic Chinese scientist and statesman of the Song Dynasty...

 (1031–1095), who was also the first to discover the concept of true north
True north
True north is the direction along the earth's surface towards the geographic North Pole.True geodetic north usually differs from magnetic north , and from grid north...

 (to discern against a compass' magnetic declination towards the North Pole
North Pole
The North Pole, also known as the Geographic North Pole or Terrestrial North Pole, is, subject to the caveats explained below, defined as the point in the northern hemisphere where the Earth's axis of rotation meets its surface...

). By at least 1117 AD, the Chinese used a magnetic needle that was submersed in a bowl of water, and would point in the southern cardinal direction. The first use of a magnetized needle for seafaring navigation in Europe was written of by Alexander Neckham, circa 1190 AD. Around 1300 AD, the pivot-needle dry-box compass was invented in Europe, its cardinal direction pointed north, similar to the modern-day mariners compass. There was also the addition of the compass-card in Europe, which was later adopted by the Chinese through contact with Japanese pirates
Wokou
Wokou , which literally translates as "Japanese pirates" in English, were pirates of varying origins who raided the coastlines of China and Korea from the 13th century onwards...

 in the 16th century.

Ships and vessels


Various ships were in use during the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

. The longship
Longship
Longships were sea vessels made and used by the Vikings from the Nordic countries for trade, commerce, exploration, and warfare during the Viking Age. The longship’s design evolved over many years, beginning in the Stone Age with the invention of the umiak and continuing up to the 9th century with...

 was a type of ship that was developed over a period of centuries and perfected by its most famous user, the Vikings, in approximately the 9th century. The ships were clinker-built, utilizing overlapping wooden strakes. The knaar
Knaar
A knarr is a type of Norse merchant ship famously used by the Vikings. Knarr is of the same clinker-built method used to construct longships, karves, and faerings.-History:...

, a relative of the longship, was a type of cargo vessel. It differed from the longship in that it was larger and relied solely on its square rigged sail for propulsion. The cog
Cog (ship)
A cog is a type of ship that first appeared in the 10th century, and was widely used from around the 12th century on. Cogs were generally built of oak, which was an abundant timber in the Baltic region of Prussia. This vessel was fitted with a single mast and a square-rigged single sail...

 was a design which is believed to have evolved from (or at least been influenced by) the longship, and was in wide use by the 12th century. It too used the clinker method of construction. The caravel
Caravel
A caravel is a small, highly maneuverable sailing ship developed in the 15th century by the Portuguese to explore along the West African coast and into the Atlantic Ocean. The lateen sails gave her speed and the capacity for sailing to windward...

 was a ship invented in Islamic Iberia
Al-Andalus
Al-Andalus was the Arabic name given to a nation and territorial region also commonly referred to as Moorish Iberia. The name describes parts of the Iberian Peninsula and Septimania governed by Muslims , at various times in the period between 711 and 1492, although the territorial boundaries...

 and used in the Mediterranean from the 13th century. Unlike the longship
Longship
Longships were sea vessels made and used by the Vikings from the Nordic countries for trade, commerce, exploration, and warfare during the Viking Age. The longship’s design evolved over many years, beginning in the Stone Age with the invention of the umiak and continuing up to the 9th century with...

 and cog
Cog (ship)
A cog is a type of ship that first appeared in the 10th century, and was widely used from around the 12th century on. Cogs were generally built of oak, which was an abundant timber in the Baltic region of Prussia. This vessel was fitted with a single mast and a square-rigged single sail...

, it used a carvel
Carvel (boat building)
In boat building, carvel built or carvel planking is a method of constructing wooden boats and tall ships by fixing planks to a frame so that the planks butt up against each other, edge to edge, gaining support from the frame and forming a smooth hull...

 method of construction. It could be either square rigged (Caravela Redonda) or lateen rigged (Caravela Latina). The carrack
Carrack
A carrack or nau was a three- or four-masted sailing ship developed in 15th century Western Europe for use in the Atlantic Ocean. It had a high rounded stern with large aftcastle, forecastle and bowsprit at the stem. It was first used by the Portuguese , and later by the Spanish, to explore and...

 was another type of ship invented in the Mediterranean in the 15th century. It was a larger vessel than the caravel. Columbus’s ship, the Santa María
Santa María (ship)
La Santa María de la Inmaculada Concepción , was the largest of the three ships used by Christopher Columbus in his first voyage. Her master and owner was Juan de la Cosa.-History:...

 was a famous example of a carrack.

Arab age of discovery


The Arab Empire
Caliphate
The term caliphate, "dominion of a caliph " , refers to the first system of government established in Islam and represented the political unity of the Muslim Ummah...

 maintained and expanded a wide trade network across parts of Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

, Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

 and Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

. This helped establish the Arab Empire (including the Rashidun
Rashidun Empire
The Rashidun Caliphate , comprising the first four caliphs in Islam's history, was founded after Muhammad's death in 632, Year 10 A.H.. At its height, the Caliphate extended from the Arabian Peninsula, to the Levant, Caucasus and North Africa in the west, to the Iranian highlands and Central Asia...

, Umayyad
Umayyad
The Umayyad Caliphate was the second of the four major Arab caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. It was ruled by the Umayyad dynasty, whose name derives from Umayya ibn Abd Shams, the great-grandfather of the first Umayyad caliph. Although the Umayyad family originally came from the...

, Abbasid
Abbasid
The Abbasid Caliphate or, more simply, the Abbasids , was the third of the Islamic caliphates. It was ruled by the Abbasid dynasty of caliphs, who built their capital in Baghdad after overthrowing the Umayyad caliphate from all but the al-Andalus region....

 and Fatimid caliphates) as the world's leading extensive economic power throughout the 7th-13th centuries.

Apart from the Nile
Nile
The Nile is a major north-flowing river in North Africa, generally regarded as the longest river in the world. It is long. It runs through the ten countries of Sudan, South Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Egypt.The Nile has two major...

, Tigris
Tigris
The Tigris River is the eastern member of the two great rivers that define Mesopotamia, the other being the Euphrates. The river flows south from the mountains of southeastern Turkey through Iraq.-Geography:...

 and Euphrates
Euphrates
The Euphrates is the longest and one of the most historically important rivers of Western Asia. Together with the Tigris, it is one of the two defining rivers of Mesopotamia...

, navigable rivers in the Islamic regions were uncommon, so transport by sea was very important. Islamic geography
Islamic geography
Geography and cartography in medieval Islam refers to the advancement of geography, cartography and the earth sciences in the medieval Islamic civilization....

 and navigational sciences were highly developed, making use of a magnetic compass
Compass
A compass is a navigational instrument that shows directions in a frame of reference that is stationary relative to the surface of the earth. The frame of reference defines the four cardinal directions – north, south, east, and west. Intermediate directions are also defined...

 and a rudimentary instrument known as a kamal, used for celestial navigation
Celestial navigation
Celestial navigation, also known as astronavigation, is a position fixing technique that has evolved over several thousand years to help sailors cross oceans without having to rely on estimated calculations, or dead reckoning, to know their position...

 and for measuring the altitude
Altitude
Altitude or height is defined based on the context in which it is used . As a general definition, altitude is a distance measurement, usually in the vertical or "up" direction, between a reference datum and a point or object. The reference datum also often varies according to the context...

s and latitude
Latitude
In geography, the latitude of a location on the Earth is the angular distance of that location south or north of the Equator. The latitude is an angle, and is usually measured in degrees . The equator has a latitude of 0°, the North pole has a latitude of 90° north , and the South pole has a...

s of the star
Star
A star is a massive, luminous sphere of plasma held together by gravity. At the end of its lifetime, a star can also contain a proportion of degenerate matter. The nearest star to Earth is the Sun, which is the source of most of the energy on Earth...

s. When combined with detailed maps of the period, sailors were able to sail across ocean
Ocean
An ocean is a major body of saline water, and a principal component of the hydrosphere. Approximately 71% of the Earth's surface is covered by ocean, a continuous body of water that is customarily divided into several principal oceans and smaller seas.More than half of this area is over 3,000...

s rather than skirt along the coast. According to the political scientist Hobson, the origins of the caravel
Caravel
A caravel is a small, highly maneuverable sailing ship developed in the 15th century by the Portuguese to explore along the West African coast and into the Atlantic Ocean. The lateen sails gave her speed and the capacity for sailing to windward...

 ship, used for long-distance travel by the Spanish and Portuguese since the 15th century, date back to the qarib used by Andalusian
Al-Andalus
Al-Andalus was the Arabic name given to a nation and territorial region also commonly referred to as Moorish Iberia. The name describes parts of the Iberian Peninsula and Septimania governed by Muslims , at various times in the period between 711 and 1492, although the territorial boundaries...

 explorers by the 13th century.

Hanseatic League



The Hanseatic League
Hanseatic League
The Hanseatic League was an economic alliance of trading cities and their merchant guilds that dominated trade along the coast of Northern Europe...

 was an alliance of trading guilds that established and maintained a trade monopoly over the Baltic Sea, to a certain extent the North Sea, and most of Northern Europe for a time in the Late Middle Ages and the early modern period, between the 13th and 17th centuries. Historians generally trace the origins of the League to the foundation of the Northern German town of Lübeck
Lübeck
The Hanseatic City of Lübeck is the second-largest city in Schleswig-Holstein, in northern Germany, and one of the major ports of Germany. It was for several centuries the "capital" of the Hanseatic League and, because of its Brick Gothic architectural heritage, is listed by UNESCO as a World...

, established in 1158/1159 after the capture of the area from the Count of Schauenburg and Holstein by Henry the Lion
Henry the Lion
Henry the Lion was a member of the Welf dynasty and Duke of Saxony, as Henry III, from 1142, and Duke of Bavaria, as Henry XII, from 1156, which duchies he held until 1180....

, the Duke of Saxony
Duchy of Saxony
The medieval Duchy of Saxony was a late Early Middle Ages "Carolingian stem duchy" covering the greater part of Northern Germany. It covered the area of the modern German states of Bremen, Hamburg, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, and Saxony-Anhalt and most of Schleswig-Holstein...

. Exploratory trading adventures, raid
Raid (military)
Raid, also known as depredation, is a military tactic or operational warfare mission which has a specific purpose and is not normally intended to capture and hold terrain, but instead finish with the raiding force quickly retreating to a previous defended position prior to the enemy forces being...

s and piracy
Piracy
Piracy is an act of robbery or criminal violence at sea. The term can include acts committed on land, in the air, or in other major bodies of water or on a shore. It does not normally include crimes committed against persons traveling on the same vessel as the perpetrator...

 had occurred earlier throughout the Baltic (see Viking
Viking
The term Viking is customarily used to refer to the Norse explorers, warriors, merchants, and pirates who raided, traded, explored and settled in wide areas of Europe, Asia and the North Atlantic islands from the late 8th to the mid-11th century.These Norsemen used their famed longships to...

s) — the sailor
Sailor
A sailor, mariner, or seaman is a person who navigates water-borne vessels or assists in their operation, maintenance, or service. The term can apply to professional mariners, military personnel, and recreational sailors as well as a plethora of other uses...

s of Gotland
Gotland
Gotland is a county, province, municipality and diocese of Sweden; it is Sweden's largest island and the largest island in the Baltic Sea. At 3,140 square kilometers in area, the region makes up less than one percent of Sweden's total land area...

 sailed up rivers as far away as Novgorod, for example — but the scale of international economy
Economic system
An economic system is the combination of the various agencies, entities that provide the economic structure that defines the social community. These agencies are joined by lines of trade and exchange along which goods, money etc. are continuously flowing. An example of such a system for a closed...

 in the Baltic area remained insignificant before the growth of the Hanseatic League. German cities achieved domination of trade in the Baltic with striking speed over the next century, and Lübeck became a central node in all the seaborne trade that linked the areas around the North Sea
North Sea
In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean. In the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively...

 and the Baltic Sea.

The 15th century saw the climax of Lübeck's hegemony. (Visby
Visby
-See also:* Battle of Visby* Gotland University College* List of governors of Gotland County-External links:* - Visby*...

, one of the midwives of the Hanseatic league in 1358, declined to become a member. Visby dominated trade in the Baltic before the Hanseatic league, and with its monopolistic ideology, suppressed the Gotland
Gotland
Gotland is a county, province, municipality and diocese of Sweden; it is Sweden's largest island and the largest island in the Baltic Sea. At 3,140 square kilometers in area, the region makes up less than one percent of Sweden's total land area...

ic free-trade competition.) By the late 16th century, the League imploded and could no longer deal with its own internal struggles, the social and political changes that accompanied the Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

, the rise of Dutch and English merchants, and the incursion of the Ottoman Turks
Ottoman Turks
The Ottoman Turks were the Turkish-speaking population of the Ottoman Empire who formed the base of the state's military and ruling classes. Reliable information about the early history of Ottoman Turks is scarce, but they take their Turkish name, Osmanlı , from the house of Osman I The Ottoman...

 upon its trade routes and upon the Holy Roman Empire itself. Only nine members attended the last formal meeting in 1669 and only three (Lübeck, Hamburg and Bremen) remained as members until its final demise in 1862.

Somali maritime enterprise


During the Age of the Ajuuraan
Ajuuraan State
The Ajuuraan state or Ajuuraan sultanate was a Somali Muslim empire that ruled over large parts of East Africa in the Middle Ages. Through a strong centralized administration and an aggressive military stance towards invaders, the Ajuuraan Empire successfully resisted an Oromo invasion from the...

, the Somali sultanates and republics of Merca
Merca
Merca is a port city on the coast of southern Somalia, facing the Indian Ocean. It is the main town in the Shabeellaha Hoose region, and is located approximately southwest of the nation's capital, Mogadishu.-History:...

, Mogadishu
Mogadishu
Mogadishu , popularly known as Xamar, is the largest city in Somalia and the nation's capital. Located in the coastal Benadir region on the Indian Ocean, the city has served as an important port for centuries....

, Barawa
Barawa
Barawa or Brava is a port town on the south-eastern coast of Somalia. The traditional inhabitants are the Tunni Somalis and the Bravanese people, who speak Bravanese, a Swahili dialect.-History:...

, Hobyo
Hobyo
Hobyo is an ancient harbor city in the Mudug region of Somalia. Hobyo literally means "here, water", and the plentiful fresh water to be had from the wells in and around the town has been the driving force behind Hobyo's ancient status as a favorite port-of-call for sailors.-Establishment:Hobyo's...

 and their respective ports flourished. They had a lucrative foreign commerce with ships sailing to and coming from Arabia, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, Venetia, Persia, Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 and as far away as China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

. In the 16th century, Duarte Barbosa
Duarte Barbosa
Duarte Barbosa was a Portuguese writer and Portuguese India officer between 1500 and 1516–17, with the post of scrivener in Cannanore factory and sometimes interpreter of the local language...

 noted that many ships from the Kingdom of Cambaya
Khambhat
Khambhat , formerly known as Cambay, is a city and a municipality in Anand district in the Indian state of Gujarat. It was formerly an important trading center, although its harbour has gradually silted up, and the maritime trade has moved elsewhere...

 in what is modern-day India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 sailed to Mogadishu with cloths and spices, for which they in return received gold
Gold
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

, wax
Wax
thumb|right|[[Cetyl palmitate]], a typical wax ester.Wax refers to a class of chemical compounds that are plastic near ambient temperatures. Characteristically, they melt above 45 °C to give a low viscosity liquid. Waxes are insoluble in water but soluble in organic, nonpolar solvents...

 and ivory
Ivory
Ivory is a term for dentine, which constitutes the bulk of the teeth and tusks of animals, when used as a material for art or manufacturing. Ivory has been important since ancient times for making a range of items, from ivory carvings to false teeth, fans, dominoes, joint tubes, piano keys and...

. Barbosa also highlighted the abundance of meat
Meat
Meat is animal flesh that is used as food. Most often, this means the skeletal muscle and associated fat and other tissues, but it may also describe other edible tissues such as organs and offal...

, wheat
Wheat
Wheat is a cereal grain, originally from the Levant region of the Near East, but now cultivated worldwide. In 2007 world production of wheat was 607 million tons, making it the third most-produced cereal after maize and rice...

, barley
Barley
Barley is a major cereal grain, a member of the grass family. It serves as a major animal fodder, as a base malt for beer and certain distilled beverages, and as a component of various health foods...

, horses, and fruit
Fruit
In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

 on the coastal markets, which generated enormous wealth for the merchants.

In the early modern period, successor states of the Adal
Adal Sultanate
The Adal Sultanate or the Kingdom of Adal was a medieval multi-ethnic Muslim state located in the Horn of Africa.-Overview:...

 and Ajuuraan
Ajuuraan State
The Ajuuraan state or Ajuuraan sultanate was a Somali Muslim empire that ruled over large parts of East Africa in the Middle Ages. Through a strong centralized administration and an aggressive military stance towards invaders, the Ajuuraan Empire successfully resisted an Oromo invasion from the...

 empire
Empire
The term empire derives from the Latin imperium . Politically, an empire is a geographically extensive group of states and peoples united and ruled either by a monarch or an oligarchy....

s began to flourish in Somalia who continued the seaborne trade established by previous Somali empires. The rise of the 19th century Gobroon Dynasty
Gobroon Dynasty
The Gobroon dynasty or Geledi sultanate was a Somali royal house that ruled parts of East Africa during the 18th and 19th centuries. It was established by the Ajuuraan soldier Ibrahim Adeer, who had defeated various vassals of the Ajuuraan Empire and established the House of Gobroon...

 in particular saw a rebirth in Somali maritime enterprise. During this period, the Somali agricultural output to Arabian markets was so great that the coast of Somalia came to be known as the Grain Coast of Yemen
Yemen
The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....

 and Oman
Oman
Oman , officially called the Sultanate of Oman , is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the...

.

Age of Discovery


The Age of Discovery was a period from the early 15th century and continuing into the early 17th century, during which Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an ships traveled around the world to search for new trading routes and partners to feed burgeoning capitalism
Capitalism
Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category...

 in Europe. They also were in search of trading goods such as gold
Gold
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

, silver
Silver
Silver is a metallic chemical element with the chemical symbol Ag and atomic number 47. A soft, white, lustrous transition metal, it has the highest electrical conductivity of any element and the highest thermal conductivity of any metal...

, and spices. In the process, Europeans encountered peoples and mapped lands previously unknown to them.

Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus was an explorer, colonizer, and navigator, born in the Republic of Genoa, in northwestern Italy. Under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, he completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean that led to general European awareness of the American continents in the...

 was a navigator
Navigator
A navigator is the person on board a ship or aircraft responsible for its navigation. The navigator's primary responsibility is to be aware of ship or aircraft position at all times. Responsibilities include planning the journey, advising the Captain or aircraft Commander of estimated timing to...

 and maritime explorer who is one of several historical figures credited as the discoverer of the Americas
Discoverer of the Americas
The discovery of the Americas in modern western history is mainly attributed to the voyages of Christopher Columbus. The discovery of the Americas has also variously been attributed to others, depending on context and definition....

. It is generally believed that he was born in Genoa
Genoa
Genoa |Ligurian]] Zena ; Latin and, archaically, English Genua) is a city and an important seaport in northern Italy, the capital of the Province of Genoa and of the region of Liguria....

, although other theories and possibilities exist. Columbus' voyages across the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

 began a Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an effort at exploration
Exploration
Exploration is the act of searching or traveling around a terrain for the purpose of discovery of resources or information. Exploration occurs in all non-sessile animal species, including humans...

 and colonization
European colonization of the Americas
The start of the European colonization of the Americas is typically dated to 1492. The first Europeans to reach the Americas were the Vikings during the 11th century, who established several colonies in Greenland and one short-lived settlement in present day Newfoundland...

 of the Western Hemisphere
Western Hemisphere
The Western Hemisphere or western hemisphere is mainly used as a geographical term for the half of the Earth that lies west of the Prime Meridian and east of the Antimeridian , the other half being called the Eastern Hemisphere.In this sense, the western hemisphere consists of the western portions...

. While history places great significance on his first voyage of 1492, he did not actually reach the mainland
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

 until his third voyage in 1498. Likewise, he was not the earliest European explorer to reach the Americas, as there are accounts of European transatlantic contact
Pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact
Theories of Pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact are those theories that propose interaction between indigenous peoples of the Americas who settled the Americas before 10,000 BC, and peoples of other continents , which occurred before the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Caribbean in 1492.Many...

 prior to 1492. Nevertheless, Columbus's voyage came at a critical time of growing national imperialism
Imperialism
Imperialism, as defined by Dictionary of Human Geography, is "the creation and/or maintenance of an unequal economic, cultural, and territorial relationships, usually between states and often in the form of an empire, based on domination and subordination." The imperialism of the last 500 years,...

 and economic competition
Competition
Competition is a contest between individuals, groups, animals, etc. for territory, a niche, or a location of resources. It arises whenever two and only two strive for a goal which cannot be shared. Competition occurs naturally between living organisms which co-exist in the same environment. For...

 between developing nation states
History of Europe
History of Europe describes the history of humans inhabiting the European continent since it was first populated in prehistoric times to present, with the first human settlement between 45,000 and 25,000 BC.-Overview:...

 seeking wealth from the establishment of trade route
Trade route
A trade route is a logistical network identified as a series of pathways and stoppages used for the commercial transport of cargo. Allowing goods to reach distant markets, a single trade route contains long distance arteries which may further be connected to several smaller networks of commercial...

s and colonies
Colonialism
Colonialism is the establishment, maintenance, acquisition and expansion of colonies in one territory by people from another territory. It is a process whereby the metropole claims sovereignty over the colony and the social structure, government, and economics of the colony are changed by...

. Therefore, the period before 1492 is known as Pre-Columbian
Pre-Columbian
The pre-Columbian era incorporates all period subdivisions in the history and prehistory of the Americas before the appearance of significant European influences on the American continents, spanning the time of the original settlement in the Upper Paleolithic period to European colonization during...

.

John Cabot
John Cabot
John Cabot was an Italian navigator and explorer whose 1497 discovery of parts of North America is commonly held to have been the first European encounter with the continent of North America since the Norse Vikings in the eleventh century...

 was a Genoese
Genoa
Genoa |Ligurian]] Zena ; Latin and, archaically, English Genua) is a city and an important seaport in northern Italy, the capital of the Province of Genoa and of the region of Liguria....

 navigator
Navigator
A navigator is the person on board a ship or aircraft responsible for its navigation. The navigator's primary responsibility is to be aware of ship or aircraft position at all times. Responsibilities include planning the journey, advising the Captain or aircraft Commander of estimated timing to...

 and explorer
Exploration
Exploration is the act of searching or traveling around a terrain for the purpose of discovery of resources or information. Exploration occurs in all non-sessile animal species, including humans...

 commonly credited as one of the first early modern Europe
Early modern Europe
Early modern Europe is the term used by historians to refer to a period in the history of Europe which spanned the centuries between the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, roughly the late 15th century to the late 18th century...

ans to land on the North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

n mainland aboard the Matthew
Matthew (ship)
The Matthew was a caravel sailed by John Cabot in 1497 from Bristol to North America, presumably Newfoundland. After a voyage which had got no further than Iceland, Cabot left again with only one vessel, the Matthew, a small ship , but fast and able. The crew consisted of only 18 people. The...

 in 1497. Sebastian Cabot
Sebastian Cabot (explorer)
Sebastian Cabot was an explorer, born in the Venetian Republic.-Origins:...

 was an Italian
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 explorer and may have sailed with his father John Cabot in May 1497. John Cabot and perhaps Sebastian, sailing from Bristol
Bristol
Bristol is a city, unitary authority area and ceremonial county in South West England, with an estimated population of 433,100 for the unitary authority in 2009, and a surrounding Larger Urban Zone with an estimated 1,070,000 residents in 2007...

, took their small fleet along the coasts of a "New Found Land". There is much controversy over where exactly Cabot landed, but two likely locations that are often suggested are Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the most populous province in Atlantic Canada. The name of the province is Latin for "New Scotland," but "Nova Scotia" is the recognized, English-language name of the province. The provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the...

 and Newfoundland. Cabot and his crew (including perhaps Sebastian) mistook this place for China, without finding the passage to the east they were looking for. Some scholars maintain that the name America comes from Richard Amerik, a Bristol merchant and customs officer, who is claimed on very slender evidence to have helped finance the Cabot voyages.

Jacques Cartier
Jacques Cartier
Jacques Cartier was a French explorer of Breton origin who claimed what is now Canada for France. He was the first European to describe and map the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and the shores of the Saint Lawrence River, which he named "The Country of Canadas", after the Iroquois names for the two big...

 was a French
French people
The French are a nation that share a common French culture and speak the French language as a mother tongue. Historically, the French population are descended from peoples of Celtic, Latin and Germanic origin, and are today a mixture of several ethnic groups...

 navigator
Navigator
A navigator is the person on board a ship or aircraft responsible for its navigation. The navigator's primary responsibility is to be aware of ship or aircraft position at all times. Responsibilities include planning the journey, advising the Captain or aircraft Commander of estimated timing to...

 who first explored and described the Gulf of St-Lawrence and the shores of the Saint Lawrence River
Saint Lawrence River
The Saint Lawrence is a large river flowing approximately from southwest to northeast in the middle latitudes of North America, connecting the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean. It is the primary drainage conveyor of the Great Lakes Basin...

, which he named Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

. Juan Fernández was a Spanish
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 explorer and navigator. Probably between 1563 and 1574 he discovered the Juan Fernández Islands
Juan Fernández Islands
The Juan Fernández Islands are a sparsely inhabited island group reliant on tourism and fishing in the South Pacific Ocean, situated about off the coast of Chile, and is composed of three main volcanic islands; Robinson Crusoe Island, Alejandro Selkirk Island and Santa Clara Island, the first...

 west of Valparaíso
Valparaíso
Valparaíso is a city and commune of Chile, center of its third largest conurbation and one of the country's most important seaports and an increasing cultural center in the Southwest Pacific hemisphere. The city is the capital of the Valparaíso Province and the Valparaíso Region...

, Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

. He also discovered the Pacific islands of San Félix and San Ambrosio (1574). Among the other famous explorer
Exploration
Exploration is the act of searching or traveling around a terrain for the purpose of discovery of resources or information. Exploration occurs in all non-sessile animal species, including humans...

s of the period were Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama, 1st Count of Vidigueira was a Portuguese explorer, one of the most successful in the Age of Discovery and the commander of the first ships to sail directly from Europe to India...

, Pedro Álvares Cabral
Pedro Álvares Cabral
Pedro Álvares Cabral was a Portuguese noble, military commander, navigator and explorer regarded as the discoverer of Brazil. Cabral conducted the first substantial exploration of the northeast coast of South America and claimed it for Portugal. While details of Cabral's early life are sketchy, it...

, Yermak
Yermak Timofeyevich
Yermak Timofeyevich , Cossack leader, Russian folk hero and explorer of Siberia. His exploration of Siberia marked the beginning of the expansion of Russia towards this region and its colonization...

, Juan Ponce de León
Juan Ponce de León
Juan Ponce de León was a Spanish explorer. He became the first Governor of Puerto Rico by appointment of the Spanish crown. He led the first European expedition to Florida, which he named...

, Francisco Coronado, Juan Sebastián Elcano
Juan Sebastián Elcano
Juan Sebastián Elcano was a Basque Spanish explorer who completed the first circumnavigation of the world. As Ferdinand Magellan's second in command, Elcano took over after Magellan's death in the Philippines.-Early life:Elcano was born to Domingo Sebastián Elcano I and Catalina del Puerto...

, Bartolomeu Dias
Bartolomeu Dias
Bartolomeu Dias , a nobleman of the Portuguese royal household, was a Portuguese explorer who sailed around the southernmost tip of Africa in 1488, the first European known to have done so.-Purposes of the Dias expedition:...

, Ferdinand Magellan
Ferdinand Magellan
Ferdinand Magellan was a Portuguese explorer. He was born in Sabrosa, in northern Portugal, and served King Charles I of Spain in search of a westward route to the "Spice Islands" ....

, Willem Barentsz, Abel Tasman
Abel Tasman
Abel Janszoon Tasman was a Dutch seafarer, explorer, and merchant, best known for his voyages of 1642 and 1644 in the service of the VOC . His was the first known European expedition to reach the islands of Van Diemen's Land and New Zealand and to sight the Fiji islands...

, Jean Alfonse
Jean Alfonse
Jean Fonteneau dit Alfonse de Saintonge was a French navigator, explorer and corsair, prominent in the European age of discovery....

, Samuel de Champlain
Samuel de Champlain
Samuel de Champlain , "The Father of New France", was a French navigator, cartographer, draughtsman, soldier, explorer, geographer, ethnologist, diplomat, and chronicler. He founded New France and Quebec City on July 3, 1608....

, Willem Jansz, Captain James Cook
James Cook
Captain James Cook, FRS, RN was a British explorer, navigator and cartographer who ultimately rose to the rank of captain in the Royal Navy...

, Henry Hudson
Henry Hudson
Henry Hudson was an English sea explorer and navigator in the early 17th century. Hudson made two attempts on behalf of English merchants to find a prospective Northeast Passage to Cathay via a route above the Arctic Circle...

, and Giovanni da Verrazzano.

Peter Martyr d'Anghiera
Peter Martyr d'Anghiera
Peter Martyr d'Anghiera was an Italian-born historian of Spain and its discoveries during the Age of Exploration...

 was an Italian
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

-born historian
Historian
A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is...

 of Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 and of the discoveries of her representatives during the Age of Exploration. He wrote the first accounts of explorations in Central
Central America
Central America is the central geographic region of the Americas. It is the southernmost, isthmian portion of the North American continent, which connects with South America on the southeast. When considered part of the unified continental model, it is considered a subcontinent...

 and South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

 in a series of letters and reports, grouped in the original Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 publications of 1511-1530 into sets of ten chapters called "decades." His Decades are thus of great value in the history of geography and discovery. His De Orbe Novo (published 1530; "On the New World") describes the first contacts of Europeans and native Americans
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

 and contains, for example, the first Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an reference to India rubber.

Richard Hakluyt
Richard Hakluyt
Richard Hakluyt was an English writer. He is principally remembered for his efforts in promoting and supporting the settlement of North America by the English through his works, notably Divers Voyages Touching the Discoverie of America and The Principal Navigations, Voiages, Traffiques and...

 was an English
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 writer, and is principally remembered for his efforts in promoting and supporting the settlement of North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

 by the English
English people
The English are a nation and ethnic group native to England, who speak English. The English identity is of early mediaeval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Anglecynn. England is now a country of the United Kingdom, and the majority of English people in England are British Citizens...

 through his works, notably Divers Voyages Touching the Discoverie of America (1582) and The Principal Navigations, Voiages, Traffiques and Discoueries of the English Nation (1598–1600).

European expansion



The maritime history of Europe
Maritime history of Europe
Maritime history of Europe is a term used to describe significant past events relating to the northwestern region of Eurasia in areas concerning shipping and shipbuilding, shipwrecks, naval battles, and military installations and lighthouses constructed to protect or aid navigation and the...

 is a term used to describe significant past events relating to the northwestern region of Eurasia
Eurasia
Eurasia is a continent or supercontinent comprising the traditional continents of Europe and Asia ; covering about 52,990,000 km2 or about 10.6% of the Earth's surface located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres...

 in areas concerning shipping
Shipping
Shipping has multiple meanings. It can be a physical process of transporting commodities and merchandise goods and cargo, by land, air, and sea. It also can describe the movement of objects by ship.Land or "ground" shipping can be by train or by truck...

 and shipbuilding
Shipbuilding
Shipbuilding is the construction of ships and floating vessels. It normally takes place in a specialized facility known as a shipyard. Shipbuilders, also called shipwrights, follow a specialized occupation that traces its roots to before recorded history.Shipbuilding and ship repairs, both...

, shipwrecks, naval battle
Naval battle
A naval battle is a battle fought using boats, ships or other waterborne vessels. Most naval battles have occurred at sea, but a few have taken place on lakes or rivers. The earliest recorded naval battle took place in 1210 BC near Cyprus...

s, and military
Military
A military is an organization authorized by its greater society to use lethal force, usually including use of weapons, in defending its country by combating actual or perceived threats. The military may have additional functions of use to its greater society, such as advancing a political agenda e.g...

 installations and lighthouses constructed to protect or aid navigation
Navigation
Navigation is the process of monitoring and controlling the movement of a craft or vehicle from one place to another. It is also the term of art used for the specialized knowledge used by navigators to perform navigation tasks...

 and the development of Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

. Although Europe is the world's second-smallest continent
Continent
A continent is one of several very large landmasses on Earth. They are generally identified by convention rather than any strict criteria, with seven regions commonly regarded as continents—they are : Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, and Australia.Plate tectonics is...

 in terms of area, is has a very long coastline, and has arguably been influenced more by its maritime history than any other continent. Europe is uniquely situated between several navigable sea
Sea
A sea generally refers to a large body of salt water, but the term is used in other contexts as well. Most commonly, it means a large expanse of saline water connected with an ocean, and is commonly used as a synonym for ocean...

s and intersected by navigable river
River
A river is a natural watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, a lake, a sea, or another river. In a few cases, a river simply flows into the ground or dries up completely before reaching another body of water. Small rivers may also be called by several other names, including...

s running into them in a way which greatly facilitated the influence of maritime traffic and commerce.

When the carrack
Carrack
A carrack or nau was a three- or four-masted sailing ship developed in 15th century Western Europe for use in the Atlantic Ocean. It had a high rounded stern with large aftcastle, forecastle and bowsprit at the stem. It was first used by the Portuguese , and later by the Spanish, to explore and...

 and then the caravel
Caravel
A caravel is a small, highly maneuverable sailing ship developed in the 15th century by the Portuguese to explore along the West African coast and into the Atlantic Ocean. The lateen sails gave her speed and the capacity for sailing to windward...

 were developed by Portuguese
Portuguese people
The Portuguese are a nation and ethnic group native to the country of Portugal, in the west of the Iberian peninsula of south-west Europe. Their language is Portuguese, and Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion....

 that European thoughts returned to the fabled East. These explorations have a number of causes. Monetarists believe the main reason the Age of Exploration began was because of a severe shortage of bullion in Europe. The European economy was dependent on gold and silver currency, but low domestic supplies had plunged much of Europe into a recession. Another factor was the centuries long conflict between the Iberians and the Muslims to the south. The eastern trade routes
Silk Road
The Silk Road or Silk Route refers to a historical network of interlinking trade routes across the Afro-Eurasian landmass that connected East, South, and Western Asia with the Mediterranean and European world, as well as parts of North and East Africa...

 were controlled by the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 after the Turk
Turkish people
Turkish people, also known as the "Turks" , are an ethnic group primarily living in Turkey and in the former lands of the Ottoman Empire where Turkish minorities had been established in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Romania...

s took control of Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

 in 1453, and they barred Europeans from those trade routes. The ability to outflank the Muslim states of North Africa was seen as crucial to their survival. At the same time, the Iberians learnt much from their Arab neighbours. The carrack and caravel both incorporated the Mediterranean lateen sail that made ships far more manoeuvrable. It was also through the Arabs that Ancient Greek geography was rediscovered, for the first time giving European sailors some idea of the shape of Africa and Asia.

European colonization


In 1492, Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus was an explorer, colonizer, and navigator, born in the Republic of Genoa, in northwestern Italy. Under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, he completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean that led to general European awareness of the American continents in the...

 reached the Americas
Americas
The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...

, after which European exploration and colonization rapidly expanding. The post-1492 era is known as the Columbian Exchange
Columbian Exchange
The Columbian Exchange was a dramatically widespread exchange of animals, plants, culture, human populations , communicable disease, and ideas between the Eastern and Western hemispheres . It was one of the most significant events concerning ecology, agriculture, and culture in all of human history...

 period. The first conquests were made by the Spanish
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, who quickly conquered most of South
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

 and Central America
Central America
Central America is the central geographic region of the Americas. It is the southernmost, isthmian portion of the North American continent, which connects with South America on the southeast. When considered part of the unified continental model, it is considered a subcontinent...

 and large parts of North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

. The Portuguese
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 took Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

. The British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 and Dutch
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 conquered islands in the Caribbean Sea
Caribbean Sea
The Caribbean Sea is a sea of the Atlantic Ocean located in the tropics of the Western hemisphere. It is bounded by Mexico and Central America to the west and southwest, to the north by the Greater Antilles, and to the east by the Lesser Antilles....

, many of which had already been conquered by the Spanish or depopulated by disease. Early European colonies in North America included Spanish Florida
Spanish Florida
Spanish Florida refers to the Spanish territory of Florida, which formed part of the Captaincy General of Cuba, the Viceroyalty of New Spain, and the Spanish Empire. Originally extending over what is now the southeastern United States, but with no defined boundaries, la Florida was a component of...

, the British settlements in Virginia
Colony and Dominion of Virginia
The Colony of Virginia was the English colony in North America that existed briefly during the 16th century, and then continuously from 1607 until the American Revolution...

 and New England
New England
New England is a region in the northeastern corner of the United States consisting of the six states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut...

, French settlements in Quebec
New France
New France was the area colonized by France in North America during a period beginning with the exploration of the Saint Lawrence River by Jacques Cartier in 1534 and ending with the cession of New France to Spain and Great Britain in 1763...

 and Louisiana
Louisiana (New France)
Louisiana or French Louisiana was an administrative district of New France. Under French control from 1682–1763 and 1800–03, the area was named in honor of Louis XIV, by French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle...

, and Dutch settlements in New Netherlands. Denmark-Norway revived its former colonies in Greenland from the 18th until the 20th century, and also colonised a few of the Virgin Islands.

From its very outset, Western colonialism was operated as a joint public-private venture. Columbus' voyages to the Americas were partially funded by Italian investors, but whereas the Spanish state maintained a tight reign on trade with its colonies (by law, the colonies could only trade with one designated port in the mother country and treasure was brought back in special convoys
Spanish treasure fleet
The Spanish treasure fleets was a convoy system adopted by the Spanish Empire from 1566 to 1790...

), the English, French and Dutch granted what were effectively trade monopolies to joint-stock companies
Joint stock company
A joint-stock company is a type of corporation or partnership involving two or more individuals that own shares of stock in the company...

 such as the East India Companies
British East India Company
The East India Company was an early English joint-stock company that was formed initially for pursuing trade with the East Indies, but that ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent and China...

 and the Hudson's Bay Company
Hudson's Bay Company
The Hudson's Bay Company , abbreviated HBC, or "The Bay" is the oldest commercial corporation in North America and one of the oldest in the world. A fur trading business for much of its existence, today Hudson's Bay Company owns and operates retail stores throughout Canada...

.

In the exploration of Africa, there was the proliferation of conflicting Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an claims to Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

n territory. By the 15th century, Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

ans explored the Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

n coast in search of a water route to India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

. These expeditions were mostly conducted by the Portuguese
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

, who had been given papal authority to exploit all non-Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 lands of the Eastern Hemisphere
Eastern Hemisphere
The Eastern Hemisphere, also Eastern hemisphere or eastern hemisphere, is a geographical term for the half of the Earth that is east of the Prime Meridian and west of 180° longitude. It is also used to refer to Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australasia, vis-à-vis the Western Hemisphere, which includes...

. The Europeans set up coastal colonies to prosecute the slave trade, but the interior of the continent remained unexplored until the 19th century. This was a cumulative period that resulted in European colonial rule in Africa and altered the future of the African continent.

Imperialism in Asia
Imperialism in Asia
Imperialism in Asia traces its roots back to the late 15th century with a series of voyages that sought a sea passage to India in the hope of establishing direct trade between Europe and Asia in spices. Before 1500 European economies were largely self-sufficient, only supplemented by minor trade...

 traces its roots back to the late 15th century with a series of voyages that sought a sea passage to India in the hope of establishing direct trade between Europe and Asia in spices. Before 1500 European economies were largely self-sufficient, only supplemented by minor trade with Asia and Africa. Within the next century, however, European and Asian economies were slowly becoming integrated through the rise of new global trade routes; and the early thrust of European political power, commerce, and culture in Asia gave rise to a growing trade in lucrative commodities—a key development in the rise of today's modern world capitalist economy. European colonies in India were set up by several European nations beginning at the beginning of the 16th century. Rivalry between reigning European powers saw the entry of the Dutch, British and French among others.

Clipper route




During this time, the clipper route
Clipper route
In sailing, the clipper route was the traditional route sailed by clipper ships between Europe and the Far East, Australia and New Zealand. The route ran from west to east through the Southern Ocean, in order to make use of the strong westerly winds of the Roaring Forties...

 was established by clipper ships
Clipper
A clipper was a very fast sailing ship of the 19th century that had three or more masts and a square rig. They were generally narrow for their length, could carry limited bulk freight, small by later 19th century standards, and had a large total sail area...

 between Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 and the Far East
Far East
The Far East is an English term mostly describing East Asia and Southeast Asia, with South Asia sometimes also included for economic and cultural reasons.The term came into use in European geopolitical discourse in the 19th century,...

, Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 and New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

. The route ran from west to east through the Southern Ocean
Southern Ocean
The Southern Ocean comprises the southernmost waters of the World Ocean, generally taken to be south of 60°S latitude and encircling Antarctica. It is usually regarded as the fourth-largest of the five principal oceanic divisions...

, in order to make use of the strong westerly winds of the Roaring Forties
Roaring Forties
The Roaring Forties is the name given to strong westerly winds found in the Southern Hemisphere, generally between the latitudes of 40 and 49 degrees. Air displaced from the Equator towards the South Pole, which travels close to the surface between the latitudes of 30 and 60 degrees south, combines...

. Many ships and sailors were lost in the heavy conditions along the route, particularly at Cape Horn
Cape Horn
Cape Horn is the southernmost headland of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago of southern Chile, and is located on the small Hornos Island...

, which the clippers had to round on their return to Europe. In September 1578, Sir Francis Drake
Francis Drake
Sir Francis Drake, Vice Admiral was an English sea captain, privateer, navigator, slaver, and politician of the Elizabethan era. Elizabeth I of England awarded Drake a knighthood in 1581. He was second-in-command of the English fleet against the Spanish Armada in 1588. He also carried out the...

, in the course of his circumnavigation of the world, discovered Cape Horn. This discovery went unused for some time, as ships continued to use the known passage through the Strait of Magellan. By the early 17th century, the Dutch merchant Jacob le Maire
Jacob Le Maire
Jacob Le Maire was a Dutch mariner who circumnavigated the earth in 1615-16. The strait between Tierra del Fuego and Isla de los Estados was named the Le Maire Strait in his honor, though not without controversy...

, together with navigator Willem Schouten
Willem Schouten
Willem Cornelisz Schouten was a Dutch navigator for the Dutch East India Company. He was the first to sail the Cape Horn route to the Pacific Ocean.- Biography :Willem Cornelisz Schouten was born in c...

, set off to investigate Drake's suggestion of a route to the south of Tierra del Fuego. At the time it was discovered, the Horn was believed to be the southernmost point of Tierra del Fuego; the unpredictable violence of weather and sea conditions in the Drake Passage made exploration difficult, and it was only in 1624 that the Horn was discovered to be an island. It is an interesting testament to the difficulty of conditions there that Antarctica, only 650 kilometres (400 mi) away across the Drake Passage, was discovered as recently as 1820, despite the passage having been used as a major shipping route for 200 years. The clipper route fell into commercial disuse with the introduction of steam ships
Steamboat
A steamboat or steamship, sometimes called a steamer, is a ship in which the primary method of propulsion is steam power, typically driving propellers or paddlewheels...

, and the opening of the Suez
Suez Canal
The Suez Canal , also known by the nickname "The Highway to India", is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Opened in November 1869 after 10 years of construction work, it allows water transportation between Europe and Asia without navigation...

 and Panama Canal
Panama Canal
The Panama Canal is a ship canal in Panama that joins the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean and is a key conduit for international maritime trade. Built from 1904 to 1914, the canal has seen annual traffic rise from about 1,000 ships early on to 14,702 vessels measuring a total of 309.6...

s.

End of exploration


The age of exploration is generally said to have ended in the early 17th century. By this time European vessels were well enough built and their navigators competent enough to travel to virtually anywhere on the planet. Exploration, of course, continued. The Arctic and Antarctic seas were not explored until the 19th century.

Age of Sail




The age of sail
Age of Sail
The Age of Sail was the period in which international trade and naval warfare were dominated by sailing ships, lasting from the 16th to the mid 19th century...

, technically and formally speaking, is the period in which international trade
International trade
International trade is the exchange of capital, goods, and services across international borders or territories. In most countries, such trade represents a significant share of gross domestic product...

 and naval warfare
Naval warfare
Naval warfare is combat in and on seas, oceans, or any other major bodies of water such as large lakes and wide rivers.-History:Mankind has fought battles on the sea for more than 3,000 years. Land warfare would seem, initially, to be irrelevant and entirely removed from warfare on the open ocean,...

 were both dominated by sailing ship
Sailing ship
The term sailing ship is now used to refer to any large wind-powered vessel. In technical terms, a ship was a sailing vessel with a specific rig of at least three masts, square rigged on all of them, making the sailing adjective redundant. In popular usage "ship" became associated with all large...

s. The age of sail
Sail
A sail is any type of surface intended to move a vessel, vehicle or rotor by being placed in a wind—in essence a propulsion wing. Sails are used in sailing.-History of sails:...

 mostly coincided with the age of discovery
Age of Discovery
The Age of Discovery, also known as the Age of Exploration and the Great Navigations , was a period in history starting in the early 15th century and continuing into the early 17th century during which Europeans engaged in intensive exploration of the world, establishing direct contacts with...

, from the 15th to the 18th century. After the 17th century, English naval maps stopped using the term of British Sea for the English Channel
English Channel
The English Channel , often referred to simply as the Channel, is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that separates southern England from northern France, and joins the North Sea to the Atlantic. It is about long and varies in width from at its widest to in the Strait of Dover...

. From 15th to the 18th centuries, the period saw square rig
Square rig
Square rig is a generic type of sail and rigging arrangement in which the primary driving sails are carried on horizontal spars which are perpendicular, or square, to the keel of the vessel and to the masts. These spars are called yards and their tips, beyond the last stay, are called the yardarms...

ged sailing ships carry European
European ethnic groups
The ethnic groups in Europe are the various ethnic groups that reside in the nations of Europe. European ethnology is the field of anthropology focusing on Europe....

 settlers to many parts of the world in one of the most important human migration
Human migration
Human migration is physical movement by humans from one area to another, sometimes over long distances or in large groups. Historically this movement was nomadic, often causing significant conflict with the indigenous population and their displacement or cultural assimilation. Only a few nomadic...

s in recorded history. This period was marked by extensive exploration and colonization efforts on the part of European kingdoms. The sextant
Sextant
A sextant is an instrument used to measure the angle between any two visible objects. Its primary use is to determine the angle between a celestial object and the horizon which is known as the altitude. Making this measurement is known as sighting the object, shooting the object, or taking a sight...

, developed in the 18th century, made more accurate charting of nautical position possible.

Notable individuals


Juan of Austria was a military leader whose most famous victory was in the naval Battle of Lepanto
Battle of Lepanto (1571)
The Battle of Lepanto took place on 7 October 1571 when a fleet of the Holy League, a coalition of Catholic maritime states, decisively defeated the main fleet of the Ottoman Empire in five hours of fighting on the northern edge of the Gulf of Patras, off western Greece...

 in 1571. Philip had appointed Juan to command the naval forces
Navy
A navy is the branch of a nation's armed forces principally designated for naval and amphibious warfare; namely, lake- or ocean-borne combat operations and related functions...

 of the Holy League
Holy League (Mediterranean)
The Holy League of 1571 was arranged by Pope St. Pius V and included almost all the major Catholic maritime states in the Mediterranean. It was intended to break the Ottoman Turks' control of the eastern Mediterranean Sea and was formally concluded on 25 May 1571...

 which was pitted against the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

. Juan, by dint of leadership ability and charisma, was able to unite this disparate coalition and inflict a historic defeat upon the Ottomans and their corsair
Corsair
Corsairs were privateers, authorized to conduct raids on shipping of a nation at war with France, on behalf of the French Crown. Seized vessels and cargo were sold at auction, with the corsair captain entitled to a portion of the proceeds...

 allies in the Battle of Lepanto
Battle of Lepanto (1571)
The Battle of Lepanto took place on 7 October 1571 when a fleet of the Holy League, a coalition of Catholic maritime states, decisively defeated the main fleet of the Ottoman Empire in five hours of fighting on the northern edge of the Gulf of Patras, off western Greece...

. His role in the battle is commemorated in the poem "Lepanto" by G. K. Chesterton
G. K. Chesterton
Gilbert Keith Chesterton, KC*SG was an English writer. His prolific and diverse output included philosophy, ontology, poetry, plays, journalism, public lectures and debates, literary and art criticism, biography, Christian apologetics, and fiction, including fantasy and detective fiction....

.

Maarten Tromp
Maarten Tromp
Maarten Harpertszoon Tromp was an officer and later admiral in the Dutch navy. His first name is also spelled as Maerten.-Early life:...

 was an officer and later admiral
Admiral
Admiral is the rank, or part of the name of the ranks, of the highest naval officers. It is usually considered a full admiral and above vice admiral and below admiral of the fleet . It is usually abbreviated to "Adm" or "ADM"...

 in the Dutch
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 navy
Navy
A navy is the branch of a nation's armed forces principally designated for naval and amphibious warfare; namely, lake- or ocean-borne combat operations and related functions...

. In 1639, during the Dutch struggle for independence from Spain, Tromp defeated a large Spanish
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 fleet bound for Flanders
Flanders
Flanders is the community of the Flemings but also one of the institutions in Belgium, and a geographical region located in parts of present-day Belgium, France and the Netherlands. "Flanders" can also refer to the northern part of Belgium that contains Brussels, Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp...

 at the Battle of the Downs
Battle of the Downs
The naval Battle of the Downs took place on 31 October 1639 , during the Eighty Years' War, and was a decisive defeat of the Spanish, commanded by Admiral Antonio de Oquendo, by the United Provinces, commanded by Lieutenant-Admiral Maarten Tromp.- Background :The entry of France in the Thirty...

, marking the end of Spanish naval power. In a preliminary battle, the Action of 18 September 1639
Action of 18 September 1639
This battle took place between 17 and 19 September 1639 when a Dutch squadron under Admiral Maarten Tromp and Admiral Witte Corneliszoon de With, met with a much larger but poorly led Spanish fleet under Antonio D'Oquendo, consisting of 40 to 45 men–of–war and 40 to 50 transport vessels filled with...

, Tromp was the first fleet commander known to deliberately use line of battle
Line of battle
In naval warfare, the line of battle is a tactic in which the ships of the fleet form a line end to end. A primitive form had been used by the Portuguese under Vasco Da Gama in 1502 near Malabar against a Muslim fleet.,Maarten Tromp used it in the Action of 18 September 1639 while its first use in...

 tactics. His flagship in this period was the Aemilia. In the First Anglo-Dutch War
First Anglo-Dutch War
The First Anglo–Dutch War was the first of the four Anglo–Dutch Wars. It was fought entirely at sea between the navies of the Commonwealth of England and the United Provinces of the Netherlands. Caused by disputes over trade, the war began with English attacks on Dutch merchant shipping, but...

 of 1652–1653 Tromp commanded the Dutch fleet in the battles of Dungeness
Battle of Dungeness
The naval Battle of Dungeness took place on 10 December 1652 during the First Anglo-Dutch War near the cape of Dungeness in Kent.- Background :...

, Portland
Battle of Portland
The naval Battle of Portland, or Three Days' Battle took place during 28 February-2 March 1653 , during the First Anglo-Dutch War, when the fleet of the Commonwealth of England under General at Sea Robert Blake was attacked by a fleet of the Dutch Republic under Lieutenant-Admiral Maarten Tromp...

, the Gabbard
Battle of the Gabbard
The naval Battle of the Gabbard, also known as the Battle of Gabbard Bank, the Battle of the North Foreland or the second Battle of Nieuwpoort took place on 2–3 June 1653 according to the Old Style of Julian calendar then used in England during the First Anglo-Dutch War near the Gabbard...

 and Scheveningen
Battle of Scheveningen
The Battle of Scheveningen was the final naval battle of the First Anglo-Dutch War...

. In the last of these, he was killed by a sharpshooter in the rigging of William Penn
William Penn (admiral)
Sir William Penn was an English admiral, and the father of William Penn, founder of the Province of Pennsylvania....

's ship. His acting flag captain, Egbert Bartholomeusz Kortenaer
Egbert Bartholomeusz Kortenaer
Egbert Bartholomeuszoon Kortenaer or Egbert Meussen Cortenaer was an admiral of the United Provinces of the Netherlands. His second name is also given as Bartolomeuszoon or Meeuwiszoon. All of these are variations on the patronym "Son of Bartholomew".Kortenaer was born in 1604 in Groningen of...

, on the Brederode
Dutch ship Brederode
Brederode was a ship of the line of the navy of the United Provinces of the Netherlands, and the flagship of the Dutch fleet in the First Anglo-Dutch War. Throughout her career, she carried from 53-59 guns...

 kept up fleet morale by not lowering Tromp's standard, pretending Tromp was still alive.

Cornelis Tromp
Cornelis Tromp
Sir Cornelis Maartenszoon Tromp, 1st Baronet was a Dutch naval officer. He was the son of Lieutenant Admiral Maarten Tromp. He became Lieutenant Admiral General in the Dutch Navy and briefly Admiral General in the Danish Navy...

 was a Commander in chief of the Dutch
Dutch Republic
The Dutch Republic — officially known as the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands , the Republic of the United Netherlands, or the Republic of the Seven United Provinces — was a republic in Europe existing from 1581 to 1795, preceding the Batavian Republic and ultimately...

 and Danish navy. In 1656 he participated in the relief of Gdańsk
Gdansk
Gdańsk is a Polish city on the Baltic coast, at the centre of the country's fourth-largest metropolitan area.The city lies on the southern edge of Gdańsk Bay , in a conurbation with the city of Gdynia, spa town of Sopot, and suburban communities, which together form a metropolitan area called the...

 (Danzig). In 1658 it was discovered he had used his ships to trade in luxury goods; as a result he was fined and not allowed to have an active command until 1662. Just before the Second Anglo-Dutch War
Second Anglo-Dutch War
The Second Anglo–Dutch War was part of a series of four Anglo–Dutch Wars fought between the English and the Dutch in the 17th and 18th centuries for control over the seas and trade routes....

 he was promoted to Vice-Admiral on 29 January 1665; at the Battle of Lowestoft
Battle of Lowestoft
The naval Battle of Lowestoft took place on 13 June 1665 during the Second Anglo-Dutch War.A fleet of more than a hundred ships of the United Provinces commanded by Lieutenant-Admiral Jacob van Wassenaer Obdam attacked an English fleet of equal size commanded by James Stuart, Duke of York forty...

 he prevented total catastrophe by taking over fleet command to allow the escape of the larger part of the fleet. In 1676 he became Admiral-General of the Danish navy and Knight in the Order of the Elephant
Order of the Elephant
The Order of the Elephant is the highest order of Denmark. It has origins in the 15th century, but has officially existed since 1693, and since the establishment of constitutional monarchy in 1849, is now almost exclusively bestowed on royalty and heads of state.- History :A Danish religious...

. He defeated the Swedish navy in the Battle of Öland
Battle of Öland
The battle of Öland was a naval battle between an allied Dano-Norwegian-Dutch fleet and the Swedish navy in the Baltic Sea off the east coast of the island of Öland on 1 June 1676. The battle was a part of the Scanian War that was fought for supremacy over the southern Baltic...

, his only victory as a fleet commander.

Charles Hardy
Charles Hardy
Admiral of the Fleet Sir Charles Hardy was a Royal Navy officer and colonial governor of New York.-Early career:Born at Portsmouth, the son of a vice admiral, Charles Hardy joined the Royal Navy as a volunteer in 1731....

 was a British
Kingdom of Great Britain
The former Kingdom of Great Britain, sometimes described as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain', That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN. was a sovereign...

 naval officer
Officer (armed forces)
An officer is a member of an armed force or uniformed service who holds a position of authority. Commissioned officers derive authority directly from a sovereign power and, as such, hold a commission charging them with the duties and responsibilities of a specific office or position...

 and colonial
Colonialism
Colonialism is the establishment, maintenance, acquisition and expansion of colonies in one territory by people from another territory. It is a process whereby the metropole claims sovereignty over the colony and the social structure, government, and economics of the colony are changed by...

 governor
Governor
A governor is a governing official, usually the executive of a non-sovereign level of government, ranking under the head of state...

. He was appointed governor and commander-in-chief of the British colony
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 of Newfoundland in 1744. In 1758, he and James Wolfe
James Wolfe
Major General James P. Wolfe was a British Army officer, known for his training reforms but remembered chiefly for his victory over the French in Canada...

 attacked French posts around the mouth of the St. Lawrence River and destroyed all of the French fishing stations along the northern shores of what is now New Brunswick
New Brunswick
New Brunswick is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the only province in the federation that is constitutionally bilingual . The provincial capital is Fredericton and Saint John is the most populous city. Greater Moncton is the largest Census Metropolitan Area...

 and along the Gaspé peninsula
Gaspé Peninsula
The Gaspésie , or Gaspé Peninsula or the Gaspé, is a peninsula along the south shore of the Saint Lawrence River in Quebec, Canada, extending into the Gulf of Saint Lawrence...

.

Augustus Keppel, 1st Viscount Keppel
Augustus Keppel, 1st Viscount Keppel
Admiral Augustus Keppel, 1st Viscount Keppel PC was an officer of the Royal Navy during the Seven Years' War and the War of American Independence...

 was a British
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

 admiral
Admiral
Admiral is the rank, or part of the name of the ranks, of the highest naval officers. It is usually considered a full admiral and above vice admiral and below admiral of the fleet . It is usually abbreviated to "Adm" or "ADM"...

 who held sea commands during the Seven Years' War
Seven Years' War
The Seven Years' War was a global military war between 1756 and 1763, involving most of the great powers of the time and affecting Europe, North America, Central America, the West African coast, India, and the Philippines...

 and the War of American Independence. During the final years of the latter conflict he served as First Lord of the Admiralty. During the Seven Years' War he saw constant service. He was in North America in 1755, on the coast of France in 1756, was detached on a cruise to reduce the French settlements on the west coast of Africa in 1758, and his ship the Torbay (74) was the first to get into action in the Battle of Quiberon Bay
Battle of Quiberon Bay
The naval Battle of Quiberon Bay took place on 20 November 1759 during the Seven Years' War in Quiberon Bay, off the coast of France near St. Nazaire...

 in 1759. In 1757 he had formed part of the court martial which had condemned Admiral Byng
John Byng
Admiral John Byng was a Royal Navy officer. After joining the navy at the age of thirteen he participated at the Battle of Cape Passaro in 1718. Over the next thirty years he built up a reputation as a solid naval officer and received promotion to Vice-Admiral in 1747...

, but was active among those who endeavoured to secure a pardon for him; but neither he nor those who had acted with him could produce any serious reason why the sentence should not be carried out. When Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 joined France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 in 1762 he was sent as second in command with Sir George Pocock
George Pocock
Sir George Pocock, KB was a British officer of the Royal Navy. He rose to the rank of admiral.Pocock was from Chieveley in Berkshire, the son of Thomas Pocock, a chaplain in the navy. George Pocock entered the navy in 1718, serving aboard under the patronage of his maternal uncle, Captain...

 in the expedition which took Havana
Havana
Havana is the capital city, province, major port, and leading commercial centre of Cuba. The city proper has a population of 2.1 million inhabitants, and it spans a total of — making it the largest city in the Caribbean region, and the most populous...

. His health suffered from the fever which carried off an immense proportion of the soldiers and sailors, but the £25,000 of prize money which he received freed him from the unpleasant position of younger son of a family ruined by the extravagance of his father.

Edward Hawke, 1st Baron Hawke
Edward Hawke, 1st Baron Hawke
Admiral of the Fleet Edward Hawke, 1st Baron Hawke KB, PC was an officer of the Royal Navy. He is best remembered for his service during the Seven Years' War, particularly his victory over a French fleet at the Battle of Quiberon Bay in 1759, preventing a French invasion of Britain...

 was a naval officer of the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

. During the War of the Austrian Succession
War of the Austrian Succession
The War of the Austrian Succession  – including King George's War in North America, the Anglo-Spanish War of Jenkins' Ear, and two of the three Silesian wars – involved most of the powers of Europe over the question of Maria Theresa's succession to the realms of the House of Habsburg.The...

 he was promoted to Rear Admiral
Rear Admiral
Rear admiral is a naval commissioned officer rank above that of a commodore and captain, and below that of a vice admiral. It is generally regarded as the lowest of the "admiral" ranks, which are also sometimes referred to as "flag officers" or "flag ranks"...

. In the Seven Years' War
Seven Years' War
The Seven Years' War was a global military war between 1756 and 1763, involving most of the great powers of the time and affecting Europe, North America, Central America, the West African coast, India, and the Philippines...

, Hawke replaced Admiral John Byng
John Byng
Admiral John Byng was a Royal Navy officer. After joining the navy at the age of thirteen he participated at the Battle of Cape Passaro in 1718. Over the next thirty years he built up a reputation as a solid naval officer and received promotion to Vice-Admiral in 1747...

 as commander in the Mediterranean in 1756.

Richard Howe, 1st Earl Howe
Richard Howe, 1st Earl Howe
Admiral of the Fleet Richard Howe, 1st Earl Howe KG was a British naval officer, notable in particular for his service during the American War of Independence and French Revolutionary Wars. He was the brother of William Howe and George Howe.Howe joined the navy at the age of thirteen and served...

 was a British
Kingdom of Great Britain
The former Kingdom of Great Britain, sometimes described as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain', That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN. was a sovereign...

 admiral
Admiral
Admiral is the rank, or part of the name of the ranks, of the highest naval officers. It is usually considered a full admiral and above vice admiral and below admiral of the fleet . It is usually abbreviated to "Adm" or "ADM"...

. During the rebellion in North America, Howe was known to be sympathetic to the colonists - he had in prior years sought the acquaintance of Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin
Dr. Benjamin Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A noted polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat...

, who was a friend of Howe's sister, a popular lady in London society. During his career, Howe displayed a tactical uncommon originality. His performance was unexcelled even by Nelson, who, like Howe's other successors, was served by more highly trained squadrons and benefitted from Howe's example.

Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson
Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson
Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson, 1st Duke of Bronté, KB was a flag officer famous for his service in the Royal Navy, particularly during the Napoleonic Wars. He was noted for his inspirational leadership and superb grasp of strategy and unconventional tactics, which resulted in a number of...

 was a British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 admiral
Admiral
Admiral is the rank, or part of the name of the ranks, of the highest naval officers. It is usually considered a full admiral and above vice admiral and below admiral of the fleet . It is usually abbreviated to "Adm" or "ADM"...

 famous for his participation in the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

, most notably in the Battle of Trafalgar
Battle of Trafalgar
The Battle of Trafalgar was a sea battle fought between the British Royal Navy and the combined fleets of the French Navy and Spanish Navy, during the War of the Third Coalition of the Napoleonic Wars ....

, a decisive British victory in the war, where he lost his life. Nelson was noted for his considerable ability to inspire and bring out the best in his men, to the point that it gained a name: "The Nelson Touch". His actions during these wars meant that before and after his death he was revered like few military figures have been throughout British history. Alexander Davison
Alexander Davison
Alexander Davison was an English businessman, born on 2 April 1750 in Lanton, Northumberland, England and who died in 1829 in Brighton, England. He was a contemporary and close friend of Admiral Lord Nelson....

 was a contemporary and close friend of Horatio Nelson. Davison is responsible for several acts that glorified Nelson's public image. These included the creation of a medal commemorating the victory at the Battle of the Nile
Battle of the Nile
The Battle of the Nile was a major naval battle fought between British and French fleets at Aboukir Bay on the Mediterranean coast of Egypt from 1–3 August 1798...

 and the creation of the Nelson Memorial
Nelson Memorial, Swarland
A relatively obscure memorial to Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson, victor of the Battle of Trafalgar, is situated by the old A1 , at Swarland in north Northumberland, England...

 at his estate at Swarland
Swarland
 Swarland is a small modern village in the county of Northumberland, England, situated about south of the market town of Alnwick and north of the city of Newcastle upon Tyne. Swarland's 'village rival' is Felton.- History :...

, Northumberland. As a close friend of the Admiral he acted as an intermediary when Nelson's marriage to his wife, Frances Nelson fell apart due in large part to his affair with Emma Hamilton.

Hyde Parker
Sir Hyde Parker, 5th Baronet
Vice-Admiral Sir Hyde Parker, 5th Baronet was a British naval commander.Parker was born at Tredington, Gloucestershire. His father, a clergyman, was a son of Sir Henry Parker. His paternal grandfather had married a daughter of Alexander Hyde, Bishop of Salisbury. He began his career at sea in the...

 in 1778 was engaged in the Savannah
Savannah, Georgia
Savannah is the largest city and the county seat of Chatham County, in the U.S. state of Georgia. Established in 1733, the city of Savannah was the colonial capital of the Province of Georgia and later the first state capital of Georgia. Today Savannah is an industrial center and an important...

 expedition, and in the following year his ship was wrecked on the hostile Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

n coast. His men, however, entrenched themselves, and were in the end brought off safely. Parker was with his father at the Dogger Bank, and with Richard Howe
Richard Howe, 1st Earl Howe
Admiral of the Fleet Richard Howe, 1st Earl Howe KG was a British naval officer, notable in particular for his service during the American War of Independence and French Revolutionary Wars. He was the brother of William Howe and George Howe.Howe joined the navy at the age of thirteen and served...

 in the two actions in the Straits of Gibraltar. In 1793, having just become Rear Admiral
Rear Admiral
Rear admiral is a naval commissioned officer rank above that of a commodore and captain, and below that of a vice admiral. It is generally regarded as the lowest of the "admiral" ranks, which are also sometimes referred to as "flag officers" or "flag ranks"...

, he served under Samuel Hood
Samuel Hood, 1st Viscount Hood
Samuel Hood, 1st Viscount Hood was a British Admiral known particularly for his service in the American War of Independence and French Revolutionary Wars...

 at Toulon
Toulon
Toulon is a town in southern France and a large military harbor on the Mediterranean coast, with a major French naval base. Located in the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur region, Toulon is the capital of the Var department in the former province of Provence....

 and in Corsica
Corsica
Corsica is an island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is located west of Italy, southeast of the French mainland, and north of the island of Sardinia....

, and two years later, now a Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral
Vice admiral is a senior naval rank of a three-star flag officer, which is equivalent to lieutenant general in the other uniformed services. A vice admiral is typically senior to a rear admiral and junior to an admiral...

, he took part, under The Lord Hotham
William Hotham, 1st Baron Hotham
Admiral William Hotham, 1st Baron Hotham was an officer in the Royal Navy. He was the son of Sir Beaumont Hotham , a lineal descendant of Sir John Hotham....

, in the indecisive fleet actions on 1795-03-13 and the 1795-07-13. From 1796 to 1800 he was in command at Jamaica
Jamaica
Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, in length, up to in width and 10,990 square kilometres in area. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about south of Cuba, and west of Hispaniola, the island harbouring the nation-states Haiti and the Dominican Republic...

 and ably conducted the operations in the West Indies.

Edward Pellew, 1st Viscount Exmouth
Edward Pellew, 1st Viscount Exmouth
Admiral Sir Edward Pellew, 1st Viscount Exmouth, GCB was a British naval officer. He fought during the American War of Independence, the French Revolutionary, and the Napoleonic Wars...

 was a British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 naval officer who fought during the American War of Independence, the French Revolutionary
French Revolutionary Wars
The French Revolutionary Wars were a series of major conflicts, from 1792 until 1802, fought between the French Revolutionary government and several European states...

, and the Napoleonic
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

 Wars. Pellew is remembered as an officer and a gentleman of great courage and leadership, earning his land and titles through courage, leadership and skill - serving as a paradigm of the versatility and determination of Naval Officers during the Napoleonic Wars.

Antoine de Sartine
Antoine de Sartine
Antoine Raymond Jean Gualbert Gabriel de Sartine, comte d'Alby was a French statesman who served as Lieutenant General of Police of Paris during the reign of Louis XV and as Secretary of State for the Navy under King Louis XVI.-Origins:Antoine de Sartine was born in Barcelona in 1729, the son of...

, a French statesman, was the Secretary of State for the Navy under King Louis XVI
Louis XVI of France
Louis XVI was a Bourbon monarch who ruled as King of France and Navarre until 1791, and then as King of the French from 1791 to 1792, before being executed in 1793....

. Sartine inherited a strong French Navy
French Navy
The French Navy, officially the Marine nationale and often called La Royale is the maritime arm of the French military. It includes a full range of fighting vessels, from patrol boats to a nuclear powered aircraft carrier and 10 nuclear-powered submarines, four of which are capable of launching...

, resurrected by Choiseul
Étienne François, duc de Choiseul
Étienne-François, comte de Stainville, duc de Choiseul was a French military officer, diplomat and statesman. Between 1758 and 1761, and 1766 and 1770, he was Foreign Minister of France and had a strong influence on France's global strategy throughout the period...

 after the disasters of the Seven Years' War
Seven Years' War
The Seven Years' War was a global military war between 1756 and 1763, involving most of the great powers of the time and affecting Europe, North America, Central America, the West African coast, India, and the Philippines...

 when France lost Canada
Canada, New France
Canada was the name of the French colony that once stretched along the St. Lawrence River; the other colonies of New France were Acadia, Louisiana and Newfoundland. Canada, the most developed colony of New France, was divided into three districts, each with its own government: Quebec,...

, Louisiana
Louisiana (New France)
Louisiana or French Louisiana was an administrative district of New France. Under French control from 1682–1763 and 1800–03, the area was named in honor of Louis XIV, by French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle...

, and India
French India
French India is a general name for the former French possessions in India These included Pondichéry , Karikal and Yanaon on the Coromandel Coast, Mahé on the Malabar Coast, and Chandannagar in Bengal...

, and which would later defeat the British Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 in the War of American Independence
France in the American Revolutionary War
France entered the American Revolutionary War in 1778, and assisted in the victory of the Americans seeking independence from Britain ....

.

James Saumarez, 1st Baron de Saumarez
James Saumarez, 1st Baron de Saumarez
Admiral James Saumarez, 1st Baron de Saumarez , GCB was an admiral of the British Royal Navy, notable for his victory at the Battle of Algeciras.-Early life:...

 was an admiral
Admiral
Admiral is the rank, or part of the name of the ranks, of the highest naval officers. It is usually considered a full admiral and above vice admiral and below admiral of the fleet . It is usually abbreviated to "Adm" or "ADM"...

 of the British Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

, notable for his victory at the Battle of Algeciras. In 1801 he was raised to the rank of Rear Admiral of the Blue, was created a baronet, and received the command of a small squadron which was destined to watch the movements of the Spanish fleet at Cadiz. Between 6 and 12 July he performed a brilliant piece of service, in which after a first repulse at Algeciras he routed a much superior combined force of French and Spanish ships at the Battle of Algeciras. For his services Saumarez received the order of the Bath
Order of the Bath
The Most Honourable Order of the Bath is a British order of chivalry founded by George I on 18 May 1725. The name derives from the elaborate mediæval ceremony for creating a knight, which involved bathing as one of its elements. The knights so created were known as Knights of the Bath...

 and the freedom of the City of London.

David Porter
David Porter (naval officer)
David Porter was an officer in the United States Navy in a rank of commodore and later the commander-in-chief of the Mexican Navy.-Life:...

 during the Barbary Wars
Barbary Wars
The Barbary Wars were a series of wars between the United States of America and the Barbary States of North Africa in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. At issue was the Barbary pirates' demand of tribute from American merchant vessels in the Mediterranean Sea. If ships failed to pay, pirates...

 (1801–07) was 1st lieutenant of Enterprise
USS Enterprise (1799)
The third USS Enterprise, a schooner, was built by Henry Spencer at Baltimore, Maryland, in 1799, and placed under the command of Lieutenant John Shaw...

, New York
USS New York (1800)
The second USS New York was a three-masted, wooden-hulled sailing frigate in the United States Navy that saw service during the Quasi-War with France....

 and Philadelphia
USS Philadelphia (1799)
The second USS Philadelphia was a 1240-ton, 36-gun sailing frigate of the United States Navy.Originally named City of Philadelphia, she was built in 1798–1799 for the United States government by the citizens of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Funding for her construction was the result of a...

 and was taken prisoner when Philadelphia ran aground in Tripoli
Tripoli
Tripoli is the capital and largest city in Libya. It is also known as Western Tripoli , to distinguish it from Tripoli, Lebanon. It is affectionately called The Mermaid of the Mediterranean , describing its turquoise waters and its whitewashed buildings. Tripoli is a Greek name that means "Three...

 harbor 31 October 1803. After his release 3 June 1805 he remained in the Mediterranean as acting captain of Constitution
USS Constitution
USS Constitution is a wooden-hulled, three-masted heavy frigate of the United States Navy. Named by President George Washington after the Constitution of the United States of America, she is the world's oldest floating commissioned naval vessel...

 and later captain of Enterprise. He was in charge of the naval forces at New Orleans 1808–10. As commander of USS Essex
USS Essex (1799)
The first USS Essex of the United States Navy was a 36-gun or 32-gun sailing frigate that participated in the Quasi-War with France, the First Barbary War, and in the War of 1812, during which she was captured by the British in 1814 and served as HMS Essex until sold at public auction on 6 June...

 in the War of 1812
War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States of America and those of the British Empire. The Americans declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions because of Britain's ongoing war with France, impressment of American merchant...

, Captain Porter achieved fame by capturing the first British warship of the conflict, Alert, 13 August 1812 as well as several merchantmen. In 1813 he sailed Essex around Cape Horn
Cape Horn
Cape Horn is the southernmost headland of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago of southern Chile, and is located on the small Hornos Island...

 and cruised in the Pacific warring on British whalers. On 28 March 1814 Porter was forced to surrender off Valparaiso
Valparaíso
Valparaíso is a city and commune of Chile, center of its third largest conurbation and one of the country's most important seaports and an increasing cultural center in the Southwest Pacific hemisphere. The city is the capital of the Valparaíso Province and the Valparaíso Region...

 after an unequal contest with the frigates HMS Phoebe
HMS Phoebe (1795)
HMS Phoebe was a 36-gun fifth rate of the British Royal Navy. She had a career of almost twenty years and fought in the French Revolutionary Wars, the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812...

 and Cherub
HMS Cherub (1806)
HMS Cherub was an 18-gun Royal Navy Cormorant-class sloop built in Dover in 1806.-West Indies and Pacific service:Cherub was stationed in the West Indies and took part in the capture of Guadeloupe in 1810 and remained on the Leeward Islands station until 1812. That year she returned to England with...

 and only when his ship was too disabled to offer any resistance.

Spanish and English Armadas



The Spanish Armada
Spanish Armada
This article refers to the Battle of Gravelines, for the modern navy of Spain, see Spanish NavyThe Spanish Armada was the Spanish fleet that sailed against England under the command of the Duke of Medina Sidonia in 1588, with the intention of overthrowing Elizabeth I of England to stop English...

 was the Spanish
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 fleet that sailed against England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 under the command of the Duke of Medina Sidona
Alonso de Guzmán El Bueno, 7th Duke of Medina Sidonia
Alonso Pérez de Guzmán y de Zúñiga-Sotomayor, 7th Duke of Medina Sidonia, , Grandee of Spain, a Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece since 1581, was the commander-in-chief of the Spanish Armada....

 in 1588. The Spanish Armada was sent by King Philip II of Spain
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

, who had been king consort of England until the death of his wife Mary I of England
Mary I of England
Mary I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from July 1553 until her death.She was the only surviving child born of the ill-fated marriage of Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon. Her younger half-brother, Edward VI, succeeded Henry in 1547...

 thirty years earlier. The purpose of the expedition was to escort the Duke of Parma's
Alexander Farnese, Duke of Parma
Alexander Farnese was Duke of Parma and Piacenza from 1586 to 1592, and Governor of the Spanish Netherlands from 1578 to 1592.-Biography:...

 army of tercio
Tercio
The tercio was a Renaissance era military formation made up of a mixed infantry formation of about 3,000 pikemen, swordsmen and arquebusiers or musketeers in a mutually supportive formation. It was also sometimes referred to as the Spanish Square...

s from the Spanish Netherlands across the North Sea
North Sea
In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean. In the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively...

 for a landing in south-east England. Once the army had suppressed English support for the United Provinces
Dutch Republic
The Dutch Republic — officially known as the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands , the Republic of the United Netherlands, or the Republic of the Seven United Provinces — was a republic in Europe existing from 1581 to 1795, preceding the Batavian Republic and ultimately...

 — part of the Spanish Netherlands — it was intended to cut off attacks against Spanish possessions
Spanish Empire
The Spanish Empire comprised territories and colonies administered directly by Spain in Europe, in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It originated during the Age of Exploration and was therefore one of the first global empires. At the time of Habsburgs, Spain reached the peak of its world power....

 in the New World
New World
The New World is one of the names used for the Western Hemisphere, specifically America and sometimes Oceania . The term originated in the late 15th century, when America had been recently discovered by European explorers, expanding the geographical horizon of the people of the European middle...

 and the Atlantic treasure fleet
Spanish treasure fleet
The Spanish treasure fleets was a convoy system adopted by the Spanish Empire from 1566 to 1790...

s. It was also hoped to reverse the Protestant revolution in England, and to this end the expedition was supported by Pope Sixtus V
Pope Sixtus V
Pope Sixtus V , born Felice Peretti di Montalto, was Pope from 1585 to 1590.-Early life:The chronicler Andrija Zmajević states that Felice's family originated from modern-day Montenegro...

, with the promise of a subsidy should it make land. The command of the fleet was originally entrusted to Alvaro de Bazan, a highly experienced naval commander who died a few months before the fleet sailed from Lisbon in May 1588.

The Spanish Armada consisted of about 130 warships and converted merchant ships. After forcing its way up the English Channel
English Channel
The English Channel , often referred to simply as the Channel, is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that separates southern England from northern France, and joins the North Sea to the Atlantic. It is about long and varies in width from at its widest to in the Strait of Dover...

, it was attacked by a fleet of 200 English ships
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

, assisted by the Dutch navy, in the North Sea at Gravelines
Battle of Gravelines
The Battle of Gravelines is the name given to two battles:*The Battle of Gravelines , in which Spain defeated France in 1558*The Naval battle of Gravelines, in 1588, which saw the defeat of the Spanish Armada by the English...

 off the coastal border between France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 and the Spanish Netherlands. A fire-ship
Fire ship
A fire ship, used in the days of wooden rowed or sailing ships, was a ship filled with combustibles, deliberately set on fire and steered into an enemy fleet, in order to destroy ships, or to create panic and make the enemy break formation. Ships used as fire ships were usually old and worn out or...

 attack drove the Armada ships from their safe anchorage, and in the ensuing battle the Spanish abandoned their rendezvous with Parma's army.

The Spanish Armada was blown north up the east coast of England and in a hasty strategic move, attempted a return to Spain by sailing around Scotland and out into the Atlantic, past Ireland. But very severe weather destroyed a portion of the fleet, and more than 24 vessels were wrecked on the north and western coasts of Ireland, with the survivors having to seek refuge in Scotland. Of the Spanish Armada's initial complement of vessels, about 50 did not return to Spain. However, the loss to Philip's Royal Navy was comparatively small: only seven ships failed to return, and of these only three were lost to enemy action.

The English Armada
English Armada
The English Armada, also known as the Counter Armada or the Drake-Norris Expedition, was a fleet of warships sent to the Iberian Coast by Queen Elizabeth I of England in 1589, during the Anglo-Spanish War...

 was a fleet of warships sent to the Iberian coast by Queen Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...

 in 1589, during the Anglo-Spanish War
Anglo-Spanish War (1585)
The Anglo–Spanish War was an intermittent conflict between the kingdoms of Spain and England that was never formally declared. The war was punctuated by widely separated battles, and began with England's military expedition in 1585 to the Netherlands under the command of the Earl of Leicester in...

 (1585–1604). It was led by Sir Francis Drake
Francis Drake
Sir Francis Drake, Vice Admiral was an English sea captain, privateer, navigator, slaver, and politician of the Elizabethan era. Elizabeth I of England awarded Drake a knighthood in 1581. He was second-in-command of the English fleet against the Spanish Armada in 1588. He also carried out the...

 as admiral and Sir John Norreys
John Norreys
Sir John Norreys , also frequently spelt John Norris, was an English soldier of a Berkshire family of court gentry, the son of Henry Norris, 1st Baron Norreys a lifelong friend of Queen Elizabeth....

 as general, and failed in its attempt to drive home the advantage England had won upon the defeat and dispersal of the Spanish Armada
Spanish Armada
This article refers to the Battle of Gravelines, for the modern navy of Spain, see Spanish NavyThe Spanish Armada was the Spanish fleet that sailed against England under the command of the Duke of Medina Sidonia in 1588, with the intention of overthrowing Elizabeth I of England to stop English...

 in the previous year. With the opportunity to strike a decisive blow against the weakened Spanish lost, the failure of the expedition further depleted the crown treasury that had been so carefully restored during the long reign of Elizabeth I
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...

. The Anglo-Spanish war
Anglo-Spanish War (1585)
The Anglo–Spanish War was an intermittent conflict between the kingdoms of Spain and England that was never formally declared. The war was punctuated by widely separated battles, and began with England's military expedition in 1585 to the Netherlands under the command of the Earl of Leicester in...

 was very costly to both sides, and Spain itself, also fighting France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 and the United Provinces
Dutch Republic
The Dutch Republic — officially known as the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands , the Republic of the United Netherlands, or the Republic of the Seven United Provinces — was a republic in Europe existing from 1581 to 1795, preceding the Batavian Republic and ultimately...

, had to default on its debt repayments in 1596, following another raid on Cadiz. But the failure of the English Armada was a turning point, and the fortunes of the various parties to this complicated conflict fluctuated until the Treaty of London
Treaty of London, 1604
The Treaty of London, signed on 18 August O.S. 1604, concluded the nineteen-year Anglo-Spanish War. The negotiations took place at Somerset House in London and are sometimes known as the Somerset House Conference....

 in 1604, when a peace was agreed.

Spain's rebuilt navy had quickly recovered and exceeded its pre-Armada dominance of the sea, until defeats by the Dutch fifty years later marked the beginning of its decline. With the peace, the English were able to consolidate their hold on Ireland and make a concerted effort to establish colonies in North America.

North American maritime


The maritime history of the United States starts in the modern sense with the first successful English colony established in 1607, on the James River
James River (Virginia)
The James River is a river in the U.S. state of Virginia. It is long, extending to if one includes the Jackson River, the longer of its two source tributaries. The James River drains a catchment comprising . The watershed includes about 4% open water and an area with a population of 2.5 million...

 at Jamestown
Jamestown, Virginia
Jamestown was a settlement in the Colony of Virginia. Established by the Virginia Company of London as "James Fort" on May 14, 1607 , it was the first permanent English settlement in what is now the United States, following several earlier failed attempts, including the Lost Colony of Roanoke...

. It languished for decades until a new wave of settlers arrived in the late 17th century and set up commercial agriculture based on tobacco. The connection between the American colonies and Europe, with shipping as its cornerstone, would continue to grow unhindered for almost two hundred years.

The Continental Navy
Continental Navy
The Continental Navy was the navy of the United States during the American Revolutionary War, and was formed in 1775. Through the efforts of the Continental Navy's patron, John Adams and vigorous Congressional support in the face of stiff opposition, the fleet cumulatively became relatively...

 was formed during the American Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

 in 1774-1775. Through the efforts of the Continental Navy's apparent patron, John Adams
John Adams
John Adams was an American lawyer, statesman, diplomat and political theorist. A leading champion of independence in 1776, he was the second President of the United States...

 and vigorous congressional support in the face of stiff opposition, the fleet cumulatively became relatively substantial when considering the limitations imposed upon the Patriot supply poole. The "Six original United States frigates
Six original United States frigates
The United States Congress authorized the original six frigates of the United States Navy with the Naval Act of 1794 on 27 March 1794 at a total cost of $688,888.82...

" were the first United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 frigate
Frigate
A frigate is any of several types of warship, the term having been used for ships of various sizes and roles over the last few centuries.In the 17th century, the term was used for any warship built for speed and maneuverability, the description often used being "frigate-built"...

s of the United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

, first authorized by the Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 with the Naval Act of 1794
Naval Act of 1794
The Act to Provide a Naval Armament, also known as the Naval Act, was passed by the United States Congress on March 27, 1794 and established the country's first naval force, which eventually became the United States Navy...

 on March 27, 1794 at a cost of $688,888.82.

John Paul Jones
John Paul Jones
John Paul Jones was a Scottish sailor and the United States' first well-known naval fighter in the American Revolutionary War. Although he made enemies among America's political elites, his actions in British waters during the Revolution earned him an international reputation which persists to...

 was America's first well-known naval hero in the American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

. John Paul adopted the alias John Jones when he fled to his brother's home in Fredericksburg, Virginia
Fredericksburg, Virginia
Fredericksburg is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia located south of Washington, D.C., and north of Richmond. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 24,286...

 in 1773 in order to avoid the hangman's noose in Tobago
Tobago
Tobago is the smaller of the two main islands that make up the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. It is located in the southern Caribbean, northeast of the island of Trinidad and southeast of Grenada. The island lies outside the hurricane belt...

 after an incident when he was accused of murdering a sailor under his command. He began using the name John Paul Jones as his brother suggested during the start of the American Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

. Though his naval career never rose above the rank of Captain in the Continental Navy
Continental Navy
The Continental Navy was the navy of the United States during the American Revolutionary War, and was formed in 1775. Through the efforts of the Continental Navy's patron, John Adams and vigorous Congressional support in the face of stiff opposition, the fleet cumulatively became relatively...

 after his victory over the Serapis
HMS Serapis (1779)
HMS Serapis was a Royal Navy two-decked, Roebuck-class fifth rate. Daniel Brent built her at Greenland South Dockyard, Rotherhithe and launched her in 1779. She was armed with 44 guns . Serapis was named after the god Serapis in Greek and Egyptian mythology...

 with the frigate
Frigate
A frigate is any of several types of warship, the term having been used for ships of various sizes and roles over the last few centuries.In the 17th century, the term was used for any warship built for speed and maneuverability, the description often used being "frigate-built"...

 Bonhomme Richard
USS Bonhomme Richard (1765)
|-External links:** Clive Cussler recounts his elusive search for the Bonhomme Richard....

, John Paul Jones remains the first genuine American Naval hero, and a highly regarded battle commander.

Jonathan Haraden
Jonathan Haraden
Jonathan Haraden was a privateer during the American Revolution.-Biography:Born in Gloucester, Massachusetts, Haraden joined the Massachusetts State Navy in July 1776 as First Lieutenant of the sloop-of-war Tyrannicide, fourteen guns...

 was a privateer
Privateer
A privateer is a private person or ship authorized by a government by letters of marque to attack foreign shipping during wartime. Privateering was a way of mobilizing armed ships and sailors without having to spend public money or commit naval officers...

 during the American Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

, being the First Lieutenant
First Lieutenant
First lieutenant is a military rank and, in some forces, an appointment.The rank of lieutenant has different meanings in different military formations , but the majority of cases it is common for it to be sub-divided into a senior and junior rank...

 of the sloop-of-war
Sloop-of-war
In the 18th and most of the 19th centuries, a sloop-of-war was a warship with a single gun deck that carried up to eighteen guns. As the rating system covered all vessels with 20 guns and above, this meant that the term sloop-of-war actually encompassed all the unrated combat vessels including the...

 Tyrannicide, fourteen guns. On board for two years, he captured many prizes, becoming her commander in 1777.

George H. Preble
George H. Preble
George Henry Preble was an American naval officer and writer, notable for his history of the flag of the United States and for taking the first photograph of the Fort McHenry flag that inspired The Star-Spangled Banner.-Biography:He was born in Portland, Maine into a seafaring family; his father...

 was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 naval officer and writer
Writer
A writer is a person who produces literature, such as novels, short stories, plays, screenplays, poetry, or other literary art. Skilled writers are able to use language to portray ideas and images....

, notable for his history of the flag of the United States
Flag of the United States
The national flag of the United States of America consists of thirteen equal horizontal stripes of red alternating with white, with a blue rectangle in the canton bearing fifty small, white, five-pointed stars arranged in nine offset horizontal rows of six stars alternating with rows...

 and for taking the first photograph of the Fort McHenry
Fort McHenry
Fort McHenry, in Baltimore, Maryland, is a star-shaped fort best known for its role in the War of 1812, when it successfully defended Baltimore Harbor from an attack by the British navy in Chesapeake Bay...

 flag that inspired The Star-Spangled Banner
The Star-Spangled Banner
"The Star-Spangled Banner" is the national anthem of the United States of America. The lyrics come from "Defence of Fort McHenry", a poem written in 1814 by the 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet, Francis Scott Key, after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by the British Royal Navy ships...

. George entered the Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 as a midshipman
Midshipman
A midshipman is an officer cadet, or a commissioned officer of the lowest rank, in the Royal Navy, United States Navy, and many Commonwealth navies. Commonwealth countries which use the rank include Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Kenya...

 on 10 December 1835, serving on the United States
USS United States (1797)
USS United States was a wooden-hulled, three-masted heavy frigate of the United States Navy and the first of the six original frigates authorized for construction by the Naval Act of 1794...

 until 1838.

Edward Preble
Edward Preble
Edward Preble was a United States naval officer.-Early life and Revolutionary War:Preble was born at Falmouth, Eastern Massachusetts, now Portland, Maine, 15 August 1761, the son of Gen. Jedidiah Preble. As a boy, his home was destroyed in the burning of Falmouth by British Naval Commander Henry...

 was a U.S. naval officer. Following his Revolutionary War service, he was appointed 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy. In January 1799, he assumed command of the 14 gun brig Pickering
USS Pickering (1798)
USS Pickering was a topsail schooner in the United States Navy during the Quasi-War with France. She was named for Timothy Pickering, then the Secretary of State....

 and took her to the West Indies to protect American commerce during the Quasi-War
Quasi-War
The Quasi-War was an undeclared war fought mostly at sea between the United States and French Republic from 1798 to 1800. In the United States, the conflict was sometimes also referred to as the Franco-American War, the Pirate Wars, or the Half-War.-Background:The Kingdom of France had been a...

 with France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

. Commissioned Captain 7 June 1799, he took command of Essex
USS Essex (1799)
The first USS Essex of the United States Navy was a 36-gun or 32-gun sailing frigate that participated in the Quasi-War with France, the First Barbary War, and in the War of 1812, during which she was captured by the British in 1814 and served as HMS Essex until sold at public auction on 6 June...

 in December and sailed in January 1800 for the Pacific to provide similar protective services for Americans engaged in the East Indies
East Indies
East Indies is a term used by Europeans from the 16th century onwards to identify what is now known as Indian subcontinent or South Asia, Southeastern Asia, and the islands of Oceania, including the Malay Archipelago and the Philippines...

 trade. Given command of the 3rd Squadron, with Constitution
USS Constitution
USS Constitution is a wooden-hulled, three-masted heavy frigate of the United States Navy. Named by President George Washington after the Constitution of the United States of America, she is the world's oldest floating commissioned naval vessel...

 as his flagship
Flagship
A flagship is a vessel used by the commanding officer of a group of naval ships, reflecting the custom of its commander, characteristically a flag officer, flying a distinguishing flag...

, in 1803, he sailed for the Barbary coast
Barbary Coast
The Barbary Coast, or Barbary, was the term used by Europeans from the 16th until the 19th century to refer to much of the collective land of the Berber people. Today, the terms Maghreb and "Tamazgha" correspond roughly to "Barbary"...

 and by October had promoted a treaty with Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

 and established a blockade off Tripoli
Tripoli
Tripoli is the capital and largest city in Libya. It is also known as Western Tripoli , to distinguish it from Tripoli, Lebanon. It is affectionately called The Mermaid of the Mediterranean , describing its turquoise waters and its whitewashed buildings. Tripoli is a Greek name that means "Three...

 in the First Barbary War
First Barbary War
The First Barbary War , also known as the Barbary Coast War or the Tripolitan War, was the first of two wars fought between the United States and the North African Berber Muslim states known collectively as the Barbary States...

.

War of 1812



Stephen Decatur
Stephen Decatur
Stephen Decatur, Jr. , was an American naval officer notable for his many naval victories in the early 19th century. He was born on the eastern shore of Maryland, Worcester county, the son of a U.S. Naval Officer who served during the American Revolution. Shortly after attending college Decatur...

 was an American naval
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 officer notable for his heroism in the Barbary Wars
Barbary Wars
The Barbary Wars were a series of wars between the United States of America and the Barbary States of North Africa in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. At issue was the Barbary pirates' demand of tribute from American merchant vessels in the Mediterranean Sea. If ships failed to pay, pirates...

 and in the War of 1812
War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States of America and those of the British Empire. The Americans declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions because of Britain's ongoing war with France, impressment of American merchant...

. He was the youngest man to reach the rank of captain in the history of the U.S. Navy, and the first American celebrated as a national military hero who had not played a role in the American Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

.

James Lawrence
James Lawrence
James Lawrence was an American naval officer. During the War of 1812, he commanded the USS Chesapeake in a single-ship action against HMS Shannon...

 was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 naval
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 hero. During the War of 1812, he commanded the USS Chesapeake
USS Chesapeake (1799)
USS Chesapeake was a 38-gun wooden-hulled, three-masted heavy frigate of the United States Navy. She was one of the original six frigates whose construction was authorized by the Naval Act of 1794. Joshua Humphreys designed these frigates to be the young navy's capital ships...

 in a single-ship action
Single-ship action
A single ship action is a naval engagement fought between two warships of opposing sides, excluding submarine engagements; called so because there is a single ship on each side...

 against the HMS Shannon
HMS Shannon (1806)
HMS Shannon was a 38-gun Leda-class frigate of the Royal Navy. She was launched in 1806 and served in the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812...

 (commanded by Philip Broke
Philip Broke
Rear Admiral Sir Philip Bowes Vere Broke, 1st Baronet KCB was a distinguished officer in the British Royal Navy.-Early life:Broke was born at Broke Hall, Nacton, near Ipswich, the eldest son of Philip Bowes Broke...

). He is probably best known today for his dying command "Don't give up the ship!", which is still a popular naval battle cry
Battle cry
A battle cry is a yell or chant taken up in battle, usually by members of the same military unit.Battle cries are not necessarily articulate, although they often aim to invoke patriotic or religious sentiment....

.

John H. Aulick
John H. Aulick
John H. Aulick was an officer in the United States Navy whose service extended from the War of 1812 to the end of the antebellum era....

 was an officer in the United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 whose service extended from the War of 1812
War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States of America and those of the British Empire. The Americans declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions because of Britain's ongoing war with France, impressment of American merchant...

 to the end of the antebellum era. During the War of 1812, he served in Enterprise
USS Enterprise (1799)
The third USS Enterprise, a schooner, was built by Henry Spencer at Baltimore, Maryland, in 1799, and placed under the command of Lieutenant John Shaw...

 and took part in her battle with HMS Boxer
HMS Boxer (1812)
HMS Boxer was a 12-gun built and launched in July 1812. The ship had a short service history with the Royal Navy before the 16-gun USS Enterprise captured her near Portland, Maine in September 1813. She then went to have at least a decade-long commercial career.-Design and construction:The Bold...

 on 4 September 1813. After that engagement ended in an American victory, Aulick served as prize master of the prize.

Thomas Macdonough
Thomas MacDonough
Thomas Macdonough was an early-19th-century American naval officer noted for his roles in the first Barbary War, and the War of 1812. He was the son of a revolutionary officer, Thomas Sr. who lived close to Middleton, Delaware. Being the sixth child born, he came from a large family of ten...

 was an early 19th century American naval officer, most notably as commander of American naval forces in Lake Champlain
Lake Champlain
Lake Champlain is a natural, freshwater lake in North America, located mainly within the borders of the United States but partially situated across the Canada—United States border in the Canadian province of Quebec.The New York portion of the Champlain Valley includes the eastern portions of...

 during the War of 1812. One of the leading members of "Preble's Boys", a small group of naval officers who served during the First Barbary War
First Barbary War
The First Barbary War , also known as the Barbary Coast War or the Tripolitan War, was the first of two wars fought between the United States and the North African Berber Muslim states known collectively as the Barbary States...

, Macdonough's actions during the decisive Battle of Lake Champlain are often cited as a model of tactical preparation and execution.

Challenger expedition


The HMS Challenger
HMS Challenger (1858)
HMS Challenger was a steam-assisted Royal Navy Pearl-class corvette launched on 13 February 1858 at the Woolwich Dockyard. She was the flagship of the Australia Station between 1866 and 1870....

, built in 1858, undertook the first global marine research expedition called the Challenger expedition
Challenger expedition
The Challenger expedition of 1872–76 was a scientific exercise that made many discoveries to lay the foundation of oceanography. The expedition was named after the mother vessel, HMS Challenger....

 in 1872. To enable her to probe the depths, all but two of the Challengers guns had been removed and her spars reduced to make more space available. Laboratories, extra cabins and a special dredging platform were installed. She was loaded with specimen jars, alcohol for preservation of samples, microscopes and chemical apparatus, trawls and dredges, thermometers and water sampling bottles, sounding leads and devices to collect sediment from the sea bed and great lengths of rope with which to suspend the equipment into the ocean depths. In all she was supplied with 181 miles (291km) of Italian hemp for sounding, trawling and dredging. As the first true oceanographic cruise, the Challenger expedition laid the groundwork for an entire academic and research discipline.

End of the sail


Like most periodic eras
History by period
Whether one can precisely define a time window as 'High Middle Ages' or 'Early Middle Ages' the title evokes an image and expectations in the reader of certain sets of characteristics—the essential essence of such labeling—a communications tool from one mind to another.Nonetheless, periods have a...

 the definition is inexact and close enough to serve as a general description. The age of sail runs roughly from the Battle of Lepanto
Battle of Lepanto (1571)
The Battle of Lepanto took place on 7 October 1571 when a fleet of the Holy League, a coalition of Catholic maritime states, decisively defeated the main fleet of the Ottoman Empire in five hours of fighting on the northern edge of the Gulf of Patras, off western Greece...

 in 1571, the last significant engagement in which oar
Oar
An oar is an implement used for water-borne propulsion. Oars have a flat blade at one end. Oarsmen grasp the oar at the other end. The difference between oars and paddles are that paddles are held by the paddler, and are not connected with the vessel. Oars generally are connected to the vessel by...

-propelled galleys played a major role, to the Battle of Hampton Roads
Battle of Hampton Roads
The Battle of Hampton Roads, often referred to as either the Battle of the Monitor and Merrimack or the Battle of Ironclads, was the most noted and arguably most important naval battle of the American Civil War from the standpoint of the development of navies...

 in 1862, in which the steam-powered CSS Virginia
CSS Virginia
CSS Virginia was the first steam-powered ironclad warship of the Confederate States Navy, built during the first year of the American Civil War; she was constructed as a casemate ironclad using the raised and cut down original lower hull and steam engines of the scuttled . Virginia was one of the...

 destroyed the sailing ships USS Cumberland
USS Cumberland (1842)
The first USS Cumberland was a 50-gun sailing frigate of the United States Navy. She was the first ship sunk by the ironclad CSS Virginia....

 and USS Congress
USS Congress (1841)
USS Congress — the fourth United States Navy ship to carry that name — was a sailing frigate, like her predecessor, .Congress served with distinction in the Mediterranean, South Atlantic Ocean, and in the Pacific Ocean...

, finally culminating with the advance of steam power, rendering sail power obsolete.

Submarines


The history of submarines
History of submarines
The history of submarines covers the historical chronology and facts related to submarines, manned autonomous boats that operate underwater...

 covers the historical chronology
Chronology
Chronology is the science of arranging events in their order of occurrence in time, such as the use of a timeline or sequence of events. It is also "the determination of the actual temporal sequence of past events".Chronology is part of periodization...

 and facts related to submarines, the ships and boats which operate underwater. The modern underwater boat proposal was made by the Englishman William Bourne
William Bourne (mathematician)
William Bourne was an English mathematician, innkeeper and former Royal Navy gunner who invented the first navigable submarine and wrote important navigational manuals...

 who designed a prototype submarine in 1578. Unfortunately for him these ideas never got beyond the planning stage. The first submersible proper to be actually built in modern times was built in 1620 by Cornelius Jacobszoon Drebbel, a Dutchman in the service of James I
James I of England
James VI and I was King of Scots as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the English and Scottish crowns on 24 March 1603...

: it was based on Bourne's design. It was propelled by means of oars. The precise nature of the submarine type is a matter of some controversy; some claim that it was merely a bell towed by a boat. Two improved types were tested in the Thames between 1620 and 1624.

Age of Steam


Steam was first applied to boats in the 1770s. With the advent of economical steam engine
Steam engine
A steam engine is a heat engine that performs mechanical work using steam as its working fluid.Steam engines are external combustion engines, where the working fluid is separate from the combustion products. Non-combustion heat sources such as solar power, nuclear power or geothermal energy may be...

s, efficient external combustion
External combustion engine
An external combustion engine is a heat engine where an working fluid is heated by combustion in an external source, through the engine wall or a heat exchanger. The fluid then, by expanding and acting on the mechanism of the engine, produces motion and usable work...

 heat engine
Heat engine
In thermodynamics, a heat engine is a system that performs the conversion of heat or thermal energy to mechanical work. It does this by bringing a working substance from a high temperature state to a lower temperature state. A heat "source" generates thermal energy that brings the working substance...

s that makes use of the heat energy
Energy
In physics, energy is an indirectly observed quantity. It is often understood as the ability a physical system has to do work on other physical systems...

 that exists in steam
Steam
Steam is the technical term for water vapor, the gaseous phase of water, which is formed when water boils. In common language it is often used to refer to the visible mist of water droplets formed as this water vapor condenses in the presence of cooler air...

 and converting it to mechanical work
Mechanical work
In physics, work is a scalar quantity that can be described as the product of a force times the distance through which it acts, and it is called the work of the force. Only the component of a force in the direction of the movement of its point of application does work...

, the prime mover was steam for ships. The technology only became relevant to trans-oceanic travel after 1815, the year Pierre Andriel crossed the English Channel
English Channel
The English Channel , often referred to simply as the Channel, is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that separates southern England from northern France, and joins the North Sea to the Atlantic. It is about long and varies in width from at its widest to in the Strait of Dover...

 aboard the steam ship Élise.

Rise of the steam vessels


A steamboat
Steamboat
A steamboat or steamship, sometimes called a steamer, is a ship in which the primary method of propulsion is steam power, typically driving propellers or paddlewheels...

, sometimes called a steamer, became the primary method of propulsion is the age of steam power, typically driving a propeller or paddlewheel. Small and large steamboats and riverboats worked on lakes and rivers. Steamships gradually replaced sailing ships for commercial shipping through the 19th century. From 1815 on, steamships increased significantly in speed and size.

Ironclads are steam-propelled
Steam engine
A steam engine is a heat engine that performs mechanical work using steam as its working fluid.Steam engines are external combustion engines, where the working fluid is separate from the combustion products. Non-combustion heat sources such as solar power, nuclear power or geothermal energy may be...

 warship
Warship
A warship is a ship that is built and primarily intended for combat. Warships are usually built in a completely different way from merchant ships. As well as being armed, warships are designed to withstand damage and are usually faster and more maneuvrable than merchant ships...

s of the later 19th century, protected by iron
Iron
Iron is a chemical element with the symbol Fe and atomic number 26. It is a metal in the first transition series. It is the most common element forming the planet Earth as a whole, forming much of Earth's outer and inner core. It is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust...

 or steel
Steel
Steel is an alloy that consists mostly of iron and has a carbon content between 0.2% and 2.1% by weight, depending on the grade. Carbon is the most common alloying material for iron, but various other alloying elements are used, such as manganese, chromium, vanadium, and tungsten...

 armor plates. The ironclad was developed as a result of the vulnerability of wooden warships to explosive or incendiary shells
Shell (projectile)
A shell is a payload-carrying projectile, which, as opposed to shot, contains an explosive or other filling, though modern usage sometimes includes large solid projectiles properly termed shot . Solid shot may contain a pyrotechnic compound if a tracer or spotting charge is used...

. The first ironclad battleship, La Gloire
French battleship La Gloire
The French Navy's La Gloire was the first ocean-going ironclad battleship in history.She was developed following the Crimean War, in response to new developments in naval gun technology, especially the Paixhans guns and rifled guns, which used explosive shells with increased destructive power...

, was launched by the French Navy
French Navy
The French Navy, officially the Marine nationale and often called La Royale is the maritime arm of the French military. It includes a full range of fighting vessels, from patrol boats to a nuclear powered aircraft carrier and 10 nuclear-powered submarines, four of which are capable of launching...

 in 1859; she prompted the British Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 to start building ironclads. After the first clashes of ironclads
Battle of Hampton Roads
The Battle of Hampton Roads, often referred to as either the Battle of the Monitor and Merrimack or the Battle of Ironclads, was the most noted and arguably most important naval battle of the American Civil War from the standpoint of the development of navies...

 took place during the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, it became clear that the ironclad had replaced the unarmored line-of-battle ship
Ship of the line
A ship of the line was a type of naval warship constructed from the 17th through the mid-19th century to take part in the naval tactic known as the line of battle, in which two columns of opposing warships would manoeuvre to bring the greatest weight of broadside guns to bear...

 as the most powerful warship afloat.

Greek War of Independence




Greek War of Independence was a successful war waged by the Greeks to win independence for Greece from the Ottoman Empire. Success at sea was vital for the Greeks. If they failed to counter the Ottoman Navy, it would be able to resupply the isolated Ottoman garrisons and land reinforcements from the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

's Asian provinces at will, crushing the rebellion. The Greeks decided to use fireships and found an effective weapon against the Ottoman vessels. Conventional naval actions were also fought, at which naval commanders like Andreas Miaoulis
Andreas Vokos Miaoulis
Andreas Vokos, nicknamed Miaoulis , was an admiral and politician who commanded Greek naval forces during the Greek War of Independence ....

, Nikolis Apostolis
Nikolis Apostolis
Nikolis Apostolis was a Greek naval commander during the Greek War of Independence. Apostolis was born on the island of Psara in 1770. He was initiated into the Filiki Eteria in 1818...

, Iakovos Tombazis
Iakovos Tombazis
Iakovos "Yiakoumakis" Tombazis was a merchant and ship-owner from the Greek island of Hydra who became the first Admiral of the Greek Navy during the Greek War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire . Tombazis' date of birth is not known but some historians suggest 1782. He was the son of...

 and Antonios Kriezis
Antonios Kriezis
Antonios Kriezis was a Prime Minister of Greece from 1849 to 1854. Kriezis was descended from a well-known Arvanite family from the island of Hydra and was born in Troezen in 1796. In July 1821, he served in the Greek navy during the Greek War of Independence and took part in the naval battles...

 distinguished themselves. The early successes of the Greek fleet in direct confrontations with the Ottomans at Patras and Spetsai gave the crews confidence, and contributed greatly to the survival and success of the uprising in the Peloponnese. Despite victories at Samos and Gerontas, the Revolution was threatened with collapse until the intervention of the Great Powers in the Battle of Navarino
Battle of Navarino
The naval Battle of Navarino was fought on 20 October 1827, during the Greek War of Independence in Navarino Bay , on the west coast of the Peloponnese peninsula, in the Ionian Sea. A combined Ottoman and Egyptian armada was destroyed by a combined British, French and Russian naval force...

 in 1827. The Ottoman fleet was decisively defeated by the combined fleets of the Britain
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

, France
July Monarchy
The July Monarchy , officially the Kingdom of France , was a period of liberal constitutional monarchy in France under King Louis-Philippe starting with the July Revolution of 1830 and ending with the Revolution of 1848...

 and the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

, effectively securing the independence of Greece.

1850 to the End of the Century


Most warships used steam propulsion until the advent of the gas turbine. Steamships were superseded by diesel-driven ships in the second half of the 20th century.

The Confederate States Navy
Confederate States Navy
The Confederate States Navy was the naval branch of the Confederate States armed forces established by an act of the Confederate Congress on February 21, 1861. It was responsible for Confederate naval operations during the American Civil War...

 (CSN) was the naval branch
Navy
A navy is the branch of a nation's armed forces principally designated for naval and amphibious warfare; namely, lake- or ocean-borne combat operations and related functions...

 of the Confederate States
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

 armed forces
Armed forces
The armed forces of a country are its government-sponsored defense, fighting forces, and organizations. They exist to further the foreign and domestic policies of their governing body, and to defend that body and the nation it represents from external aggressors. In some countries paramilitary...

 established by an act of the Confederate Congress
Congress of the Confederate States
The Congress of the Confederate States was the legislative body of the Confederate States of America, existing during the American Civil War between 1861 and 1865...

 on February 21, 1861. It was responsible for Confederate naval operations during the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

. The two major tasks of the Confederate Navy during the whole of its existence were the protection of Southern
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

 harbors and coastlines from outside invasion, and making the war costly for the North
Union (American Civil War)
During the American Civil War, the Union was a name used to refer to the federal government of the United States, which was supported by the twenty free states and five border slave states. It was opposed by 11 southern slave states that had declared a secession to join together to form the...

 by attacking merchant ships and breaking the Union Blockade
Union blockade
The Union Blockade, or the Blockade of the South, took place between 1861 and 1865, during the American Civil War, when the Union Navy maintained a strenuous effort on the Atlantic and Gulf Coast of the Confederate States of America designed to prevent the passage of trade goods, supplies, and arms...

.

David Farragut
David Farragut
David Glasgow Farragut was a flag officer of the United States Navy during the American Civil War. He was the first rear admiral, vice admiral, and admiral in the United States Navy. He is remembered in popular culture for his order at the Battle of Mobile Bay, usually paraphrased: "Damn the...

 was the first senior officer of the U.S. Navy during the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

. He was the first rear admiral
Rear Admiral
Rear admiral is a naval commissioned officer rank above that of a commodore and captain, and below that of a vice admiral. It is generally regarded as the lowest of the "admiral" ranks, which are also sometimes referred to as "flag officers" or "flag ranks"...

, vice admiral
Vice Admiral
Vice admiral is a senior naval rank of a three-star flag officer, which is equivalent to lieutenant general in the other uniformed services. A vice admiral is typically senior to a rear admiral and junior to an admiral...

, and full admiral
Admiral (United States)
In the United States Navy, the United States Coast Guard and the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, admiral is a four-star flag officer rank, with the pay grade of O-10. Admiral ranks above vice admiral and below Fleet Admiral in the Navy; the Coast Guard and the Public Health...

 of the Navy. He is remembered in popular culture for his possibly apocryphal order at the Battle of Mobile Bay
Battle of Mobile Bay
The Battle of Mobile Bay of August 5, 1864, was an engagement of the American Civil War in which a Federal fleet commanded by Rear Adm. David G. Farragut, assisted by a contingent of soldiers, attacked a smaller Confederate fleet led by Adm...

, usually paraphrased: "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!".

Franklin Buchanan
Franklin Buchanan
Franklin Buchanan was an officer in the United States Navy who became an admiral in the Confederate Navy during the American Civil War, and commanded the ironclad CSS Virginia.-Early life:...

 was an officer in the United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 who became an admiral
Admiral
Admiral is the rank, or part of the name of the ranks, of the highest naval officers. It is usually considered a full admiral and above vice admiral and below admiral of the fleet . It is usually abbreviated to "Adm" or "ADM"...

 in the Confederate Navy
Confederate States Navy
The Confederate States Navy was the naval branch of the Confederate States armed forces established by an act of the Confederate Congress on February 21, 1861. It was responsible for Confederate naval operations during the American Civil War...

 during the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, and commanded the ironclad CSS Virginia
CSS Virginia
CSS Virginia was the first steam-powered ironclad warship of the Confederate States Navy, built during the first year of the American Civil War; she was constructed as a casemate ironclad using the raised and cut down original lower hull and steam engines of the scuttled . Virginia was one of the...

. He was the captain of the ironclad CSS Virginia
CSS Virginia
CSS Virginia was the first steam-powered ironclad warship of the Confederate States Navy, built during the first year of the American Civil War; she was constructed as a casemate ironclad using the raised and cut down original lower hull and steam engines of the scuttled . Virginia was one of the...

 (formerly the USS Merrimack
USS Merrimack (1855)
USS Merrimack was a frigate and sailing vessel of the United States Navy, best known as the hull upon which the ironclad warship, CSS Virginia was constructed during the American Civil War...

) during the Battle of Hampton Roads
Battle of Hampton Roads
The Battle of Hampton Roads, often referred to as either the Battle of the Monitor and Merrimack or the Battle of Ironclads, was the most noted and arguably most important naval battle of the American Civil War from the standpoint of the development of navies...

 in Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

. He climbed to the top deck of the Virginia and began furiously firing toward shore with a carbine
Carbine
A carbine , from French carabine, is a longarm similar to but shorter than a rifle or musket. Many carbines are shortened versions of full rifles, firing the same ammunition at a lower velocity due to a shorter barrel length....

 as the USS Congress
USS Congress (1841)
USS Congress — the fourth United States Navy ship to carry that name — was a sailing frigate, like her predecessor, .Congress served with distinction in the Mediterranean, South Atlantic Ocean, and in the Pacific Ocean...

 was shelled. He soon was brought down by a sharpshooter's minie ball
Minié ball
The Minié ball is a type of muzzle-loading spin-stabilising rifle bullet named after its co-developer, Claude-Étienne Minié, inventor of the Minié rifle...

 to the thigh
Thigh
In humans the thigh is the area between the pelvis and the knee. Anatomically, it is part of the lower limb.The single bone in the thigh is called the femur...

. He would eventually recover from his leg wound. He never did get to command the Virginia against the USS Monitor
USS Monitor
USS Monitor was the first ironclad warship commissioned by the United States Navy during the American Civil War. She is most famous for her participation in the Battle of Hampton Roads on March 9, 1862, the first-ever battle fought between two ironclads...

. That honor went to Catesby ap Roger Jones
Catesby ap Roger Jones
Catesby ap Roger Jones was an officer in the U.S. Navy who became a commander in the Confederate Navy during the American Civil War.-Biography:...

. But Buchanan had handed the US Navy the worst defeat it would take until Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor, known to Hawaiians as Puuloa, is a lagoon harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, west of Honolulu. Much of the harbor and surrounding lands is a United States Navy deep-water naval base. It is also the headquarters of the U.S. Pacific Fleet...

.

Raphael Semmes
Raphael Semmes
For other uses, see Semmes .Raphael Semmes was an officer in the United States Navy from 1826 - 1860 and the Confederate States Navy from 1860 - 1865. During the American Civil War he was captain of the famous commerce raider CSS Alabama, taking a record sixty-nine prizes...

 was an officer in the United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 from 1826 to 1860 and the Confederate States Navy
Confederate States Navy
The Confederate States Navy was the naval branch of the Confederate States armed forces established by an act of the Confederate Congress on February 21, 1861. It was responsible for Confederate naval operations during the American Civil War...

 from 1860 to 1865. During the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

 he was captain of the famous commerce raider CSS Alabama
CSS Alabama
CSS Alabama was a screw sloop-of-war built for the Confederate States Navy at Birkenhead, United Kingdom, in 1862 by John Laird Sons and Company. Alabama served as a commerce raider, attacking Union merchant and naval ships over the course of her two-year career, during which she never anchored in...

, taking a record fifty-five prize
Prize
A prize is an award to be given to a person or a group of people to recognise and reward actions or achievements. Official prizes often involve monetary rewards as well as the fame that comes with them...

s. Late in the war he was promoted to admiral
Admiral
Admiral is the rank, or part of the name of the ranks, of the highest naval officers. It is usually considered a full admiral and above vice admiral and below admiral of the fleet . It is usually abbreviated to "Adm" or "ADM"...

 and also served briefly as a brigadier general
Brigadier General
Brigadier general is a senior rank in the armed forces. It is the lowest ranking general officer in some countries, usually sitting between the ranks of colonel and major general. When appointed to a field command, a brigadier general is typically in command of a brigade consisting of around 4,000...

 in the Confederate States Army
Confederate States Army
The Confederate States Army was the army of the Confederate States of America while the Confederacy existed during the American Civil War. On February 8, 1861, delegates from the seven Deep South states which had already declared their secession from the United States of America adopted the...

.

In Italy, Carlo Pellion di Persano was an Italian
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 admiral and commander of the Regia Marina
Regia Marina
The Regia Marina dates from the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861 after Italian unification...

 fleet at the Battle of Lissa
Battle of Lissa (1866)
The Battle of Lissa took place on 20 July 1866 in the Adriatic Sea near the Dalmatian island of Lissa and was a decisive victory for an outnumbered Austrian Empire force over a superior Italian force...

. He commanded the fleet from 1860 to 1861, and saw action in the struggle for Italian unification.
After unification he was elected to the legislature; he became Minister of Marine in 1862 and in 1865 he was nominated a Senator. However, his career was marred during the war with Austria when he commanded the Italian fleet at Lissa
Battle of Lissa (1866)
The Battle of Lissa took place on 20 July 1866 in the Adriatic Sea near the Dalmatian island of Lissa and was a decisive victory for an outnumbered Austrian Empire force over a superior Italian force...

. After the defeat, he was condemned for incapacity, and discharged.

Again in America, Charles Edgar Clark
Charles Edgar Clark
Rear Admiral Charles Edgar Clark was an officer in the United States Navy during the American Civil War and the Spanish–American War.-Biography:...

 was an officer in the United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 during the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

 and the Spanish-American War
Spanish-American War
The Spanish–American War was a conflict in 1898 between Spain and the United States, effectively the result of American intervention in the ongoing Cuban War of Independence...

. He commanded the battleship
Battleship
A battleship is a large armored warship with a main battery consisting of heavy caliber guns. Battleships were larger, better armed and armored than cruisers and destroyers. As the largest armed ships in a fleet, battleships were used to attain command of the sea and represented the apex of a...

 Oregon
USS Oregon (BB-3)
USS Oregon was a pre-Dreadnought of the United States Navy. Her construction was authorized on 30 June 1890, and the contract to build her was awarded to Union Iron Works of San Francisco, California on 19 November 1890. Her keel was laid exactly one year later...

 at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard
Mare Island Naval Shipyard
The Mare Island Naval Shipyard was the first United States Navy base established on the Pacific Ocean. It is located 25 miles northeast of San Francisco in Vallejo, California. The Napa River goes through the Mare Island Strait and separates the peninsula shipyard from the main portion of the...

, San Francisco, and when war with Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 was deemed inevitable, he received orders to proceed to Key West, Florida
Key West, Florida
Key West is a city in Monroe County, Florida, United States. The city encompasses the island of Key West, the part of Stock Island north of U.S. 1 , Sigsbee Park , Fleming Key , and Sunset Key...

, with all haste. After a most remarkable voyage of over 14000 miles (22,530.8 km), around Cape Horn
Cape Horn
Cape Horn is the southernmost headland of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago of southern Chile, and is located on the small Hornos Island...

, he joined the American fleet in Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

n waters on May 26, and on July 3 commanded his ship at the destruction of Cervera
Pascual Cervera y Topete
Pascual Cervera y Topete served as an admiral of the Spanish Caribbean Squadron during the Spanish-American War, and prior to this served his country in a variety of military and political roles....

's squadron.

George Dewey
George Dewey
George Dewey was an admiral of the United States Navy. He is best known for his victory at the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War...

 was an admiral
Admiral
Admiral is the rank, or part of the name of the ranks, of the highest naval officers. It is usually considered a full admiral and above vice admiral and below admiral of the fleet . It is usually abbreviated to "Adm" or "ADM"...

 of the United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

, best known for his victory (without the loss of a single life of his own forces due to combat; one man died of a heart attack) at the Battle of Manila Bay
Battle of Manila Bay (1898)
The Battle of Manila Bay took place on 1 May 1898, during the Spanish-American War. The American Asiatic Squadron under Commodore George Dewey engaged and destroyed the Spanish Pacific Squadron under Admiral Patricio Montojo y Pasarón...

 during the Spanish-American War
Spanish-American War
The Spanish–American War was a conflict in 1898 between Spain and the United States, effectively the result of American intervention in the ongoing Cuban War of Independence...

. He was also the only person in the history of the United States to have attained the rank of Admiral of the Navy
Admiral of the Navy (United States)
Admiral of the Navy is a rank in the United States Navy that has only been held once in history, by George Dewey. In recognition of his victory at Manila Bay in 1898, Congress authorized a single officer to hold the rank of Admiral, and promoted Dewey to this rank in March 1899...

, the most senior rank in the United States Navy.

Garrett J. Pendergrast
Garrett J. Pendergrast
Garrett Jesse Pendergrast was an officer in the United States Navy during the American Civil War.-Early life and career:A native of Kentucky, Pendergrast was married to Virginia Barron, the daughter of James Barron...

 was an officer in the United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 during the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

. He commanded Boston
USS Boston
Seven ships of the United States Navy have borne the name Boston, in honor of the city of Boston, Massachusetts.* The , was a gundalow launched in 1776 and was burned to avoid capture by the British on 13 October 1776....

 during the Mexican-American War in 1846. In 1856, he commissioned Merrimack
USS Merrimack (1855)
USS Merrimack was a frigate and sailing vessel of the United States Navy, best known as the hull upon which the ironclad warship, CSS Virginia was constructed during the American Civil War...

, the ship that would later become the Virginia.

Lewis Nixon
Lewis Nixon (naval architect)
Lewis Nixon I was a naval architect, shipbuilding executive, public servant, and political activist. He designed the United States' first modern battleships, and supervised the construction of its first modern submarines, all before his 40th birthday. He was briefly the leader of Tammany Hall...

 was a shipbuilding executive, naval architect
Naval architecture
Naval architecture is an engineering discipline dealing with the design, construction, maintenance and operation of marine vessels and structures. Naval architecture involves basic and applied research, design, development, design evaluation and calculations during all stages of the life of a...

, and political activist. Nixon graduated first in his class from the Naval Academy in 1882 and was sent to study naval architecture at the Royal Naval College where, again, he graduated first in the class in 1885. In 1890 with help from assistant naval constructor David W. Taylor
David W. Taylor
Rear Admiral David Watson Taylor, USN was a naval architect and engineer of the United States Navy. He served during World War I as Chief Constructor of the Navy, and Chief of the Bureau of Construction and Repair...

 he designed the Indiana class battleships which included USS Indiana
USS Indiana (BB-1)
USS Indiana was the lead ship of her class and the first battleship in the United States Navy comparable to foreign battleships of the time. Authorized in 1890 and commissioned five years later, she was a small battleship, though with heavy armor and ordnance. The ship also pioneered the use of an...

, USS Massachusetts
USS Massachusetts (BB-2)
USS Massachusetts was an and the second United States Navy ship comparable to foreign battleships of the time. Authorized in 1890 and commissioned six years later, she was a small battleship, though with heavy armor and ordnance. The ship class also pioneered the use of an intermediate battery...

 and USS Oregon
USS Oregon (BB-3)
USS Oregon was a pre-Dreadnought of the United States Navy. Her construction was authorized on 30 June 1890, and the contract to build her was awarded to Union Iron Works of San Francisco, California on 19 November 1890. Her keel was laid exactly one year later...

.

Patricio Montojo
Patricio Montojo
Admiral Patricio Montojo y Pasarón was a career Spanish naval officer most known for his defeat at the Battle of Manila Bay by Admiral George Dewey, a decisive battle of the Spanish-American War....

 was the Spanish
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 naval commander
Admiral
Admiral is the rank, or part of the name of the ranks, of the highest naval officers. It is usually considered a full admiral and above vice admiral and below admiral of the fleet . It is usually abbreviated to "Adm" or "ADM"...

 at the Battle of Manila Bay (May 1, 1898), a decisive battle of the Spanish-American War
Spanish-American War
The Spanish–American War was a conflict in 1898 between Spain and the United States, effectively the result of American intervention in the ongoing Cuban War of Independence...

. At the outbreak of the Spanish-American War
Spanish-American War
The Spanish–American War was a conflict in 1898 between Spain and the United States, effectively the result of American intervention in the ongoing Cuban War of Independence...

, Montojo was in command of the Spanish Squadron that was destroyed by the U.S. Asiatic Squadron in the Battle of Manila Bay on May 1, 1898. Montojo was wounded during this battle, as was also one of his two sons who were participating in this battle. United States naval forces
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 under Commodore
Commodore (rank)
Commodore is a military rank used in many navies that is superior to a navy captain, but below a rear admiral. Non-English-speaking nations often use the rank of flotilla admiral or counter admiral as an equivalent .It is often regarded as a one-star rank with a NATO code of OF-6, but is not always...

 George Dewey
George Dewey
George Dewey was an admiral of the United States Navy. He is best known for his victory at the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War...

 decisively defeated Spain's Pacific fleet, at anchor in Manila Bay, the Philippines. Most of the seven Spanish vessels sank or surrendered.

20th century


In the 20th century, the internal combustion engine
Internal combustion engine
The internal combustion engine is an engine in which the combustion of a fuel occurs with an oxidizer in a combustion chamber. In an internal combustion engine, the expansion of the high-temperature and high -pressure gases produced by combustion apply direct force to some component of the engine...

 and gas turbine
Gas turbine
A gas turbine, also called a combustion turbine, is a type of internal combustion engine. It has an upstream rotating compressor coupled to a downstream turbine, and a combustion chamber in-between....

 came to replace the steam engine in most ship applications. Trans-oceanic travel, transatlantic and transpacific, was a particularly important application, with steam powered Ocean liner
Ocean liner
An ocean liner is a ship designed to transport people from one seaport to another along regular long-distance maritime routes according to a schedule. Liners may also carry cargo or mail, and may sometimes be used for other purposes .Cargo vessels running to a schedule are sometimes referred to as...

s replacing sailing ships, then culminating in the massive Superliners
Superliner (passenger ship)
A superliner is an ocean liner of over 10,000 gross tons. The term was coined in the late 19th century, when ocean liners were rapidly increasing in size and speed...

 which included the RMS Titanic. The event with the Titanic lead to the Maritime Distress Safety System.

Maritime events of World War I





At the start of the war, the German Empire had cruiser
Cruiser
A cruiser is a type of warship. The term has been in use for several hundreds of years, and has had different meanings throughout this period...

s scattered across the globe. Some of them were subsequently used to attack Allied merchant shipping. The British Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 systematically hunted them down, though not without some embarrassment from its inability to protect allied shipping. For example, the detached light cruiser Emden, part of the East-Asia squadron stationed at Tsingtao, seized or destroyed 15 merchantmen, as well as sinking a Russian cruiser and a French destroyer. However, the bulk of the German East-Asia squadron – consisting of the armoured cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, light cruisers Nürnberg and Leipzig and two transport ships – did not have orders to raid shipping and was instead underway to Germany when it was lost at the Battle of the Falkland Islands
Battle of the Falkland Islands
The Battle of the Falkland Islands was a British naval victory over the Imperial German Navy on 8 December 1914 during the First World War in the South Atlantic...

 in December 1914.

Soon after the outbreak of hostilities, Britain initiated a Naval Blockade
Blockade
A blockade is an effort to cut off food, supplies, war material or communications from a particular area by force, either in part or totally. A blockade should not be confused with an embargo or sanctions, which are legal barriers to trade, and is distinct from a siege in that a blockade is usually...

 of Germany, preventing supplies from reaching its ports. The strategy proved effective, cutting off vital military and civilian supplies, although this blockade violated generally accepted international law codified by international agreements. A blockade of stationed ships within a three mile (5 km) radius was considered legitimate, however Britain mined international waters to prevent any ships from entering entire sections of ocean, causing danger to even neutral ships. Though there was limited response to this tactic, some expected a better response for German's aim with its unrestricted submarine warfare.

German U-boats attempted to cut the supply lines between North America and Britain. The nature of submarine warfare meant that attacks often came without warning, giving the crews of the merchant ships little hope of survival. After the infamous sinking of the passenger ship RMS Lusitania
RMS Lusitania
RMS Lusitania was a British ocean liner designed by Leonard Peskett and built by John Brown and Company of Clydebank, Scotland. The ship entered passenger service with the Cunard Line on 26 August 1907 and continued on the line's heavily-traveled passenger service between Liverpool, England and New...

 in 1915, Germany promised not to target passenger liners. In 1916 the United States launched a protest over a cross-channel passenger ferry sinking, Germany modified its rules of engagement
Sussex pledge
The Sussex pledge was a promise made in 1916 during World War I by Germany to the United States prior to the latter's entry into the war. Early in 1916, Germany had instituted a policy of unrestricted submarine warfare, allowing armed merchant ships – but not passenger ships – to be torpedoed...

. Finally, in early 1917 Germany adopted a policy of unrestricted submarine warfare
Unrestricted submarine warfare
Unrestricted submarine warfare is a type of naval warfare in which submarines sink merchantmen without warning, as opposed to attacks per prize rules...

, realizing the Americans would eventually enter the war. Germany sought to strangle Allied sea lanes before the U.S. could transport a large army overseas.

The U-boat threat lessened in 1917, when merchant ships entered convoy
Convoy
A convoy is a group of vehicles, typically motor vehicles or ships, traveling together for mutual support and protection. Often, a convoy is organized with armed defensive support, though it may also be used in a non-military sense, for example when driving through remote areas.-Age of Sail:Naval...

s escorted by destroyers. This tactic made it difficult for U-boats to find targets. The accompanying destroyers might sink a submerged submarine with depth charges. The losses to submarine attacks were reduced significantly. But the convoy system slowed the flow of supplies. The solution to the delays was a massive program to build new freighters. Various troop ships were too fast for the submarines and did not have to travel the North Atlantic in convoys.

The First World War also saw the first use of aircraft carriers in combat, with HMS Furious
HMS Furious (47)
HMS Furious was a modified cruiser built for the Royal Navy during the First World War. Designed to support the Baltic Project championed by the First Sea Lord of the Admiralty, Lord John Fisher, they were very lightly armoured and armed with only a few heavy guns. Furious was modified while...

 launching Sopwith Camels in a successful raid against the Zeppelin
Zeppelin
A Zeppelin is a type of rigid airship pioneered by the German Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin in the early 20th century. It was based on designs he had outlined in 1874 and detailed in 1893. His plans were reviewed by committee in 1894 and patented in the United States on 14 March 1899...

 hangars at Tondern in July 1918.

Battle of the Atlantic





In the North Atlantic, German U-boat
U-boat
U-boat is the anglicized version of the German word U-Boot , itself an abbreviation of Unterseeboot , and refers to military submarines operated by Germany, particularly in World War I and World War II...

s attempted to cut supply lines to the United Kingdom by sinking merchant ships. In the first four months of the war they sank more than 110 vessels. In addition to supply ships, the U-boats occasionally attacked British and Canadian warships. One U-boat sank the British carrier
Aircraft carrier
An aircraft carrier is a warship designed with a primary mission of deploying and recovering aircraft, acting as a seagoing airbase. Aircraft carriers thus allow a naval force to project air power worldwide without having to depend on local bases for staging aircraft operations...

 HMS Courageous
HMS Courageous (50)
HMS Courageous was the lead ship of the cruisers built for the Royal Navy during the First World War. Designed to support the Baltic Project championed by the First Sea Lord, John Fisher, the ship was very lightly armoured and armed with only a few heavy guns. Courageous was completed in late...

, while another managed to sink the battleship
Battleship
A battleship is a large armored warship with a main battery consisting of heavy caliber guns. Battleships were larger, better armed and armored than cruisers and destroyers. As the largest armed ships in a fleet, battleships were used to attain command of the sea and represented the apex of a...

 HMS Royal Oak
HMS Royal Oak (1914)
HMS Royal Oak was a Revenge-class battleship of the British Royal Navy. Launched in 1914 and completed in 1916, Royal Oak first saw action at the Battle of Jutland. In peacetime, she served in the Atlantic, Home and Mediterranean fleets, more than once coming under accidental attack...

 in her home anchorage of Scapa Flow
Scapa Flow
right|thumb|Scapa Flow viewed from its eastern endScapa Flow is a body of water in the Orkney Islands, Scotland, United Kingdom, sheltered by the islands of Mainland, Graemsay, Burray, South Ronaldsay and Hoy. It is about...

.

In the summer of 1941, the Soviet Union entered the war on the side of the Allies. Although the Soviets had tremendous reserves in manpower, they had lost much of their equipment and manufacturing base in the first few weeks following the German invasion. The Western Allies attempted to remedy this by sending Arctic convoys
Arctic convoys of World War II
The Arctic convoys of World War II travelled from the United Kingdom and North America to the northern ports of the Soviet Union—Arkhangelsk and Murmansk. There were 78 convoys between August 1941 and May 1945...

, which travelled from the United Kingdom and the United States to the northern ports of the Soviet Union - Archangel
Arkhangelsk
Arkhangelsk , formerly known as Archangel in English, is a city and the administrative center of Arkhangelsk Oblast, Russia. It lies on both banks of the Northern Dvina River near its exit into the White Sea in the north of European Russia. The city spreads for over along the banks of the river...

 and Murmansk
Murmansk
Murmansk is a city and the administrative center of Murmansk Oblast, Russia. It serves as a seaport and is located in the extreme northwest part of Russia, on the Kola Bay, from the Barents Sea on the northern shore of the Kola Peninsula, not far from Russia's borders with Norway and Finland...

. The treacherous route around the North Cape
North Cape, Norway
North Cape is a cape on the island of Magerøya in Northern Norway, in the municipality of Nordkapp. Its 307 m high, steep cliff is often referred to as the northernmost point of Europe, located at , 2102.3 km from the North Pole. However, the neighbouring point Knivskjellodden is actually...

 of Norway was the site of many battles as the Germans continually tried to disrupt the convoys using U-boats, bombers, and surface ships.

Following the entry of the United States into the war in December 1941, U-boats sank shipping along the East Coast of the United States
East Coast of the United States
The East Coast of the United States, also known as the Eastern Seaboard, refers to the easternmost coastal states in the United States, which touch the Atlantic Ocean and stretch up to Canada. The term includes the U.S...

 and Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, the waters around Newfoundland
Dominion of Newfoundland
The Dominion of Newfoundland was a British Dominion from 1907 to 1949 . The Dominion of Newfoundland was situated in northeastern North America along the Atlantic coast and comprised the island of Newfoundland and Labrador on the continental mainland...

, the Caribbean Sea
Battle of the Caribbean
The Battle of the Caribbean refers to a naval campaign waged during World War II that was part of the Battle of the Atlantic, from 1941–1945. German U-boats and Italian submarines attempted to disrupt the Allied supply of oil and other material. They sank shipping in the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf...

, and the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...

. They were initially so successful that this became known among U-boat crews as the second happy time
Second happy time
The Second Happy Time , also known among German submarine commanders as the "American shooting season" was the informal name for a phase in the Second Battle of the Atlantic during which Axis submarines attacked merchant shipping along the east coast of North America...

. Eventually, the institution of shore blackouts
Blackout (wartime)
A blackout during war, or apprehended war, is the practice of collectively minimizing outdoor light, including upwardly directed light. This was done in the 20th century to prevent crews of enemy aircraft from being able to navigate to their targets simply by sight, for example during the London...

 and an interlocking convoy system resulted in a drop in attacks and U-boats shifted their operations back to the mid-Atlantic.

The turning point of the Battle of the Atlantic took place in early 1943 as the Allies refined their naval tactics
Naval tactics
Naval tactics is the collective name for methods of engaging and defeating an enemy ship or fleet in battle at sea during naval warfare, the naval equivalent of military tactics on land....

, effectively making use of new technology to counter the U-Boats. The Allies produced ships faster than they were sunk, and lost fewer ships by adopting the convoy
Convoy
A convoy is a group of vehicles, typically motor vehicles or ships, traveling together for mutual support and protection. Often, a convoy is organized with armed defensive support, though it may also be used in a non-military sense, for example when driving through remote areas.-Age of Sail:Naval...

 system. Improved anti-submarine warfare
Anti-submarine warfare
Anti-submarine warfare is a branch of naval warfare that uses surface warships, aircraft, or other submarines to find, track and deter, damage or destroy enemy submarines....

 meant that the life expectancy
Life expectancy
Life expectancy is the expected number of years of life remaining at a given age. It is denoted by ex, which means the average number of subsequent years of life for someone now aged x, according to a particular mortality experience...

 of a typical U-boat crew would be measured in months. The vastly improved Type 21 U-boat
German Type XXI submarine
Type XXI U-boats, also known as "Elektroboote", were the first submarines designed to operate primarily submerged, rather than as surface ships that could submerge as a means to escape detection or launch an attack.-Description:...

 appeared as the war was ending, but too late to affect the outcome. In December 1943, the last major sea battle between the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 and the German Navy
Kriegsmarine
The Kriegsmarine was the name of the German Navy during the Nazi regime . It superseded the Kaiserliche Marine of World War I and the post-war Reichsmarine. The Kriegsmarine was one of three official branches of the Wehrmacht, the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany.The Kriegsmarine grew rapidly...

 took place. At the Battle of North Cape
Battle of North Cape
The Battle of the North Cape was a Second World War naval battle which occurred on 26 December 1943, as part of the Arctic Campaign. The German battlecruiser , on an operation to attack Arctic Convoys of war materiel from the Western Allies to the USSR, was brought to battle and sunk by superior...

, the German battleship Scharnhorst, was sunk by HMS Duke of York
HMS Duke of York (17)
HMS Duke of York was a King George V-class battleship of the Royal Navy. Laid down in May 1937, the ship was constructed by John Brown and Company at Clydebank, Scotland, and commissioned into the Royal Navy on 4 November 1941, subsequently seeing service during the Second World War.In...

, HMS Belfast, and several destroyers.

Pacific War




The Pacific War
Pacific War
The Pacific War, also sometimes called the Asia-Pacific War refers broadly to the parts of World War II that took place in the Pacific Ocean, its islands, and in East Asia, then called the Far East...

 was the part of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

—and preceding conflicts—that took place in the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

, its islands, and in East Asia
East Asia
East Asia or Eastern Asia is a subregion of Asia that can be defined in either geographical or cultural terms...

, between July 7, 1937, and August 14, 1945. The most decisive actions took place after the Empire of Japan
Empire of Japan
The Empire of Japan is the name of the state of Japan that existed from the Meiji Restoration on 3 January 1868 to the enactment of the post-World War II Constitution of...

 attacked various countries, later known as the Allies
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

 (or Allied powers), on or after December 7, 1941, including an attack on United States forces at Pearl Harbor
Attack on Pearl Harbor
The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941...

. The attack on Pearl Harbor (called the Hawaii Operation or Operation Z by the Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

ese Imperial General Headquarters
Imperial General Headquarters
The as part of the Supreme War Council was established in 1893 to coordinate efforts between the Imperial Japanese Army and Imperial Japanese Navy during wartime...

, and the Battle of Pearl Harbor by some Americans) was a surprise military strike
Military strike
A military strike is a limited attack on a specified target. Strikes are used, amongst other things, to render facilities inoperable , to assassinate enemy leaders, and to limit supply to enemy troops. A strike can often be the prelude to a war or siege, whose initial strike is for a strategic or...

 conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy
Imperial Japanese Navy
The Imperial Japanese Navy was the navy of the Empire of Japan from 1869 until 1947, when it was dissolved following Japan's constitutional renunciation of the use of force as a means of settling international disputes...

 against the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 naval base
Naval base
A naval base is a military base, where warships and naval ships are deployed when they have no mission at sea or want to restock. Usually ships may also perform some minor repairs. Some naval bases are temporary homes to aircraft that usually stay on the ships but are undergoing maintenance while...

 at Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor, known to Hawaiians as Puuloa, is a lagoon harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, west of Honolulu. Much of the harbor and surrounding lands is a United States Navy deep-water naval base. It is also the headquarters of the U.S. Pacific Fleet...

, Hawaii
Hawaii
Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...

 on the morning of December 7, 1941. The attack was intended as a preventive
Preventive war
A preventive war or preventative war is a war initiated to prevent another party from attacking, when an attack by that party is not imminent or known to be planned. Preventive war aims to forestall a shift in the balance of power by strategically attacking before the balance of power has a chance...

 action in order to keep the U.S. Pacific Fleet from influencing the war that the Empire of Japan
Empire of Japan
The Empire of Japan is the name of the state of Japan that existed from the Meiji Restoration on 3 January 1868 to the enactment of the post-World War II Constitution of...

 was planning in Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

, against Britain
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, as well as the U.S. in the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

. The base was attacked by 353 Japanese aircraft in two waves, launched from six aircraft carrier
Aircraft carrier
An aircraft carrier is a warship designed with a primary mission of deploying and recovering aircraft, acting as a seagoing airbase. Aircraft carriers thus allow a naval force to project air power worldwide without having to depend on local bases for staging aircraft operations...

s. The attack came as a profound shock to the American people and led directly to the United States entry into World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 in both the Pacific and European theaters. Despite numerous historical precedents for unannounced military action, the lack of any formal warning by Japan, particularly while negotiations were still apparently ongoing, led to President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

 proclaiming December 7, 1941, "a date which will live in infamy
Infamy Speech
The Presidential Address to Congress of December 8, 1941 was delivered at 12:30 p.m. that day to a Joint Session of Congress by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt, one day after the Empire of Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor Naval Base, Hawaii...

".

Between 1942 and 1945, there were four main theatres in the Pacific War, corresponding with and defined by the major Allied command
Unified Combatant Command
A Unified Combatant Command is a United States Department of Defense command that is composed of forces from at least two Military Departments and has a broad and continuing mission. These commands are established to provide effective command and control of U.S. military forces, regardless of...

s in the war against Japan. U.S. sources refer to two theaters within the Pacific War: the Pacific Theater of Operations
Pacific Theater of Operations
The Pacific Theater of Operations was the World War II area of military activity in the Pacific Ocean and the countries bordering it, a geographic scope that reflected the operational and administrative command structures of the American forces during that period...

 (PTO) and the China Burma India Theater
China Burma India Theater of World War II
China Burma India Theater was the name used by the United States Army for its forces operating in conjunction with British and Chinese Allied air and land forces in China, Burma, and India during World War II...

 (CBI). However these were not operational commands. In the PTO, the Allies divided operational control of their forces between two supreme commands, known as Pacific Ocean Areas and Southwest Pacific Area.

Island hopping was an important military strategy in the Pacific Theater
Pacific War
The Pacific War, also sometimes called the Asia-Pacific War refers broadly to the parts of World War II that took place in the Pacific Ocean, its islands, and in East Asia, then called the Far East...

 of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. The strategy employed by the Allies of World War II
Allies
In everyday English usage, allies are people, groups, or nations that have joined together in an association for mutual benefit or to achieve some common purpose, whether or not explicit agreement has been worked out between them...

 Combined Chiefs of Staff
Combined Chiefs of Staff
The Combined Chiefs of Staff was the supreme military command for the western Allies during World War II. It was a body constituted from the British Chiefs of Staff Committee and the American Joint Chiefs of Staff....

, beginning with Operation Cartwheel
Operation Cartwheel
Operation Cartwheel was a major military strategy for the Allies in the Pacific theater of World War II. Cartwheel was a twin-axis of advance operation, aimed at militarily neutralizing the major Japanese base at Rabaul...

, was to bypass heavily fortified Japanese
Imperial Japanese Army
-Foundation:During the Meiji Restoration, the military forces loyal to the Emperor were samurai drawn primarily from the loyalist feudal domains of Satsuma and Chōshū...

 positions and instead concentrate the limited Allied resources on strategically important island
Island
An island or isle is any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, cays or keys. An island in a river or lake may be called an eyot , or holm...

s that were not well defended but capable of supporting the drive to the main islands of Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

. This strategy was possible in part because the Allies used submarine and air attacks to blockade
Blockade
A blockade is an effort to cut off food, supplies, war material or communications from a particular area by force, either in part or totally. A blockade should not be confused with an embargo or sanctions, which are legal barriers to trade, and is distinct from a siege in that a blockade is usually...

 and isolate Japanese bases, weakening their garrisons and reducing the Japanese ability to resupply and reinforce. Thus troops on islands which had been bypassed, such as the major base at Rabaul
Rabaul
Rabaul is a township in East New Britain province, Papua New Guinea. The town was the provincial capital and most important settlement in the province until it was destroyed in 1994 by falling ash of a volcanic eruption. During the eruption, ash was sent thousands of metres into the air and the...

, were useless to the Japanese war effort and left to "wither on the vine."

Hard-fought battles on the Japanese home islands
Japanese Archipelago
The , which forms the country of Japan, extends roughly from northeast to southwest along the northeastern coast of the Eurasia mainland, washing upon the northwestern shores of the Pacific Ocean...

 of Iwo Jima
Battle of Iwo Jima
The Battle of Iwo Jima , or Operation Detachment, was a major battle in which the United States fought for and captured the island of Iwo Jima from the Empire of Japan. The U.S...

, Okinawa
Battle of Okinawa
The Battle of Okinawa, codenamed Operation Iceberg, was fought on the Ryukyu Islands of Okinawa and was the largest amphibious assault in the Pacific War of World War II. The 82-day-long battle lasted from early April until mid-June 1945...

, and others resulted in horrific casualties on both sides, but finally produced a Japanese retreat. Faced with the loss of most of their experienced pilots, the Japanese increased their use of kamikaze
Kamikaze
The were suicide attacks by military aviators from the Empire of Japan against Allied naval vessels in the closing stages of the Pacific campaign of World War II, designed to destroy as many warships as possible....

 tactics in an attempt to create unacceptably high casualties for the Allies
Allies
In everyday English usage, allies are people, groups, or nations that have joined together in an association for mutual benefit or to achieve some common purpose, whether or not explicit agreement has been worked out between them...

. After the turning point of the Pacific where a third of the Imperial Japanese Navy
Imperial Japanese Navy
The Imperial Japanese Navy was the navy of the Empire of Japan from 1869 until 1947, when it was dissolved following Japan's constitutional renunciation of the use of force as a means of settling international disputes...

 fleet was hit in the Battle of Midway
Battle of Midway
The Battle of Midway is widely regarded as the most important naval battle of the Pacific Campaign of World War II. Between 4 and 7 June 1942, approximately one month after the Battle of the Coral Sea and six months after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States Navy decisively defeated...

, the United States Department of the Navy
United States Department of the Navy
The Department of the Navy of the United States of America was established by an Act of Congress on 30 April 1798, to provide a government organizational structure to the United States Navy and, from 1834 onwards, for the United States Marine Corps, and when directed by the President, of the...

 recommended various positions for and against an invasion of Japan in 1945. Some staff proposed to force a Japanese surrender through a total naval blockade or air raids.

Latter half of the 20th century


In the latter half of the 20th century, various vessels, notably aircraft carrier
Aircraft carrier
An aircraft carrier is a warship designed with a primary mission of deploying and recovering aircraft, acting as a seagoing airbase. Aircraft carriers thus allow a naval force to project air power worldwide without having to depend on local bases for staging aircraft operations...

s, nuclear submarine
Nuclear submarine
A nuclear submarine is a submarine powered by a nuclear reactor . The performance advantages of nuclear submarines over "conventional" submarines are considerable: nuclear propulsion, being completely independent of air, frees the submarine from the need to surface frequently, as is necessary for...

s, and Nuclear powered icebreaker
Nuclear powered icebreaker
A nuclear powered icebreaker is a purpose-built ship for use in waters continuously covered with ice. Icebreakers are ships capable of cruising on ice-covered water by breaking through the ice with their strong, heavy, steel bows...

s, made use of Nuclear marine propulsion
Nuclear marine propulsion
Nuclear marine propulsion is propulsion of a ship by a nuclear reactor. Naval nuclear propulsion is propulsion that specifically refers to naval warships...

. Sonar
Sonar
Sonar is a technique that uses sound propagation to navigate, communicate with or detect other vessels...

 and radio
Radio
Radio is the transmission of signals through free space by modulation of electromagnetic waves with frequencies below those of visible light. Electromagnetic radiation travels by means of oscillating electromagnetic fields that pass through the air and the vacuum of space...

 augmented existing navigational technology.

Various blockade
Blockade
A blockade is an effort to cut off food, supplies, war material or communications from a particular area by force, either in part or totally. A blockade should not be confused with an embargo or sanctions, which are legal barriers to trade, and is distinct from a siege in that a blockade is usually...

s were set up in international action. The Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

ian set up blockades of the Straits of Tiran
Straits of Tiran
The Straits of Tiran , are the narrow sea passages, about wide, between the Sinai and Arabian peninsulas which separate the Gulf of Aqaba from the Red Sea...

 prior to the 1956 Suez War and the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. The United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 set up a blockade of Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

 during the Cuban missile crisis
Cuban Missile Crisis
The Cuban Missile Crisis was a confrontation among the Soviet Union, Cuba and the United States in October 1962, during the Cold War...

 in 1962. The Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

is set up a sea blockade of the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

 since the outbreak of the Second Intifada (2000) and up to the present. The Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

i blockades of some or all the shores of Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 at various times during the Lebanese Civil War
Lebanese Civil War
The Lebanese Civil War was a multifaceted civil war in Lebanon. The war lasted from 1975 to 1990 and resulted in an estimated 150,000 to 230,000 civilian fatalities. Another one million people were wounded, and today approximately 350,000 people remain displaced. There was also a mass exodus of...

 (1975–1990), the 1982 Lebanon War
1982 Lebanon War
The 1982 Lebanon War , , called Operation Peace for Galilee by Israel, and later known in Israel as the Lebanon War and First Lebanon War, began on 6 June 1982, when the Israel Defense Forces invaded southern Lebanon...

, and the 1982-2000 South Lebanon conflict
1982-2000 South Lebanon conflict
The South Lebanon conflict refers to nearly 20 years of warfare between the Israel Defense Force and its Lebanese proxy militias and Lebanese Muslim guerrillas led by the Iranian-backed Hezbollah within what was defined by Israelis as the "Security Zone" in South Lebanon...

 - resumed during the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict
2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict
The 2006 Lebanon War, also called the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah War and known in Lebanon as the July War #Other uses|Tammūz]]) and in Israel as the Second Lebanon War , was a 34-day military conflict in Lebanon, northern Israel and the Israeli-occupied territories. The principal parties were Hezbollah...

.

Cuban Missile Crisis




The Cuban Missile Crisis
Cuban Missile Crisis
The Cuban Missile Crisis was a confrontation among the Soviet Union, Cuba and the United States in October 1962, during the Cold War...

 was a confrontation during the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 between the Government of the United States, the Government of the Soviet Union
Government of the Soviet Union
The Council of Ministers of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was the de jure government comprising the highest executive and administrative body of the Soviet Union from 1946 until 1991....

, and the Government of Cuba. After the U.S. started deploying 15 Jupiter IRBM near İzmir, Turkey, U.S. reconnaissance
Reconnaissance
Reconnaissance is the military term for exploring beyond the area occupied by friendly forces to gain information about enemy forces or features of the environment....

 imagery revealed similar installations being installed in Cuba, as a response to the American threat. The event coincided with the Sino-Indian War
Sino-Indian War
The Sino-Indian War , also known as the Sino-Indian Border Conflict , was a war between China and India that occurred in 1962. A disputed Himalayan border was the main pretext for war, but other issues played a role. There had been a series of violent border incidents after the 1959 Tibetan...

, which began on the same date that the US declared its blockade on Cuba. Historians speculate the Chinese
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 attack on disputed territory in India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 was timed to occur at the same time as the Cuban Missile Crisis. On October 22, the Organization of American States
Organization of American States
The Organization of American States is a regional international organization, headquartered in Washington, D.C., United States...

 unanimously supported the decision to quarantine Cuba and, by the end of the day, 180 U.S. Navy ships were prepared for the blockade. Nikita Khrushchev claimed that the blockade was illegal, and ordered ships to bypass the quarantine.

The blockade went into effect at 10 a.m. on October 24. At the time, nineteen ships were en-route to Cuba from the Soviet Union. Sixteen of these were clearly identified as reversing course, and only the tanker Bucharest continued towards the U.S. lines. The other two, the Gagarin and Komiles were later discovered only a few miles from the U.S. lines, and that they were being escorted by a Soviet submarine positioned between the two ships. The USS Essex
USS Essex (CV-9)
USS Essex was an aircraft carrier, the lead ship of the 24-ship built for the United States Navy during World War II. She was the fourth US Navy ship to bear the name. Commissioned in December 1942, Essex participated in several campaigns in the Pacific Theater of Operations, earning the...

 was instructed to block the progress of the submarine, including the use of "small explosives" if need be. At 10:25 a.m. John McCone
John McCone
John Alexander McCone was an American businessman and politician who served as Director of Central Intelligence during the height of the Cold War.- Background :...

 received an intelligence message and announced that the ships had gone dead in the water. Dean Rusk
Dean Rusk
David Dean Rusk was the United States Secretary of State from 1961 to 1969 under presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. Rusk is the second-longest serving U.S...

 leaned over to McGeorge Bundy
McGeorge Bundy
McGeorge "Mac" Bundy was United States National Security Advisor to Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson from 1961 through 1966, and president of the Ford Foundation from 1966 through 1979...

 and noted "We're eyeball to eyeball, and I think the other fellow just blinked." After secret negotiations and after much deliberation between the Soviet Union and Kennedy's cabinet, Kennedy agreed to remove all missiles set in place on the border of the Soviet Union because of NATO in exchange for Khrushchev removing all missiles on Cuba.

Gulf of Tonkin Incident




The Gulf of Tonkin Incident
Gulf of Tonkin Incident
The Gulf of Tonkin Incident, or the USS Maddox Incident, are the names given to two incidents, one fabricated, involving North Vietnam and the United States in the waters of the Gulf of Tonkin...

 was an alleged pair of attacks by naval forces of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (commonly referred to as North Vietnam) against two American destroyer
Destroyer
In naval terminology, a destroyer is a fast and maneuverable yet long-endurance warship intended to escort larger vessels in a fleet, convoy or battle group and defend them against smaller, powerful, short-range attackers. Destroyers, originally called torpedo-boat destroyers in 1892, evolved from...

s, the USS Maddox
USS Maddox (DD-731)
USS Maddox , an was named for Captain William A. T. Maddox, USMC. She was laid down by the Bath Iron Works Corporation at Bath in Maine on 28 October 1943, launched on 19 March 1944 by Mrs. Harry H...

 and the USS Turner Joy
USS Turner Joy (DD-951)
USS Turner Joy was one of 18 s of the United States Navy. She was named for Admiral Charles Turner Joy USN . Commissioned in 1959, she spent her entire career in the Pacific...

. The attacks were alleged to have occurred on 2 August and 4 August 1964 in the Gulf of Tonkin
Gulf of Tonkin
The Gulf of Tonkin is an arm of the South China Sea, lying off the coast of northeastern Vietnam.-Etymology:The name Tonkin, written "東京" in Hán tự and Đông Kinh in romanised Vietnamese, means "Eastern Capital", and is the former toponym for Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam...

. Later research, including a report released in 2005 by the National Security Agency
National Security Agency
The National Security Agency/Central Security Service is a cryptologic intelligence agency of the United States Department of Defense responsible for the collection and analysis of foreign communications and foreign signals intelligence, as well as protecting U.S...

, indicated that the second attack most likely did not occur, but also attempted to dispel the long-standing assumption that members of the administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon Baines Johnson , often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States after his service as the 37th Vice President of the United States...

 had knowingly lied about the nature of the incident. The outcome of the incident was the passage by Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 of the Southeast Asia Resolution (better known as the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution
Gulf of Tonkin Resolution
The Tonkin Gulf Resolution was a joint resolution which the United States Congress passed on August 10, 1964 in response to a sea battle between the North Vietnamese Navy's Torpedo Squadron 10135 and the destroyer on August 2 and an alleged second naval engagement between North Vietnamese boats...

), which granted Johnson the authority to assist any Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

n country whose government was considered to be jeopardized by "communist
Communism
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

 aggression". The resolution served as Johnson's legal justification for escalating American involvement in the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

.

Falklands War



The Falklands War
Falklands War
The Falklands War , also called the Falklands Conflict or Falklands Crisis, was fought in 1982 between Argentina and the United Kingdom over the disputed Falkland Islands and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands...

 was fought in 1982 between Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 and the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 over the disputed Falkland Islands
Falkland Islands
The Falkland Islands are an archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean, located about from the coast of mainland South America. The archipelago consists of East Falkland, West Falkland and 776 lesser islands. The capital, Stanley, is on East Falkland...

, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands is a British overseas territory and overseas territory of the European Union in the southern Atlantic Ocean. It is a remote and inhospitable collection of islands, consisting of South Georgia and a chain of smaller islands, known as the South Sandwich...

. Britain was initially taken by surprise by the Argentine attack on the South Atlantic islands, but launched a naval task force
Task force
A task force is a unit or formation established to work on a single defined task or activity. Originally introduced by the United States Navy, the term has now caught on for general usage and is a standard part of NATO terminology...

 to engage the Argentine Navy
Argentine Navy
The Navy of the Argentine Republic or Armada of the Argentine Republic is the navy of Argentina. It is one of the three branches of the Armed Forces of the Argentine Republic, together with the Army and the Air Force....

 and Air Force
Argentine Air Force
The Argentine Air Force is the national aviation branch of the Armed Forces of the Argentine Republic. , it had 14,606 military and 6,854 civilian staff.-History:...

, and retake the islands by amphibious assault. The British eventually prevailed and the islands remained under British control.

Panama canal handover



Though controversial within the United States, a process of handing the Panama canal
Panama Canal
The Panama Canal is a ship canal in Panama that joins the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean and is a key conduit for international maritime trade. Built from 1904 to 1914, the canal has seen annual traffic rise from about 1,000 ships early on to 14,702 vessels measuring a total of 309.6...

 lead to Panama
Panama
Panama , officially the Republic of Panama , is the southernmost country of Central America. Situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America, it is bordered by Costa Rica to the northwest, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The...

nian control of the Panama Canal Zone
Panama Canal Zone
The Panama Canal Zone was a unorganized U.S. territory located within the Republic of Panama, consisting of the Panama Canal and an area generally extending 5 miles on each side of the centerline, but excluding Panama City and Colón, which otherwise would have been partly within the limits of...

 by the Panama Canal Authority (ACP). It was effective at noon on December 31, 1999. Before this handover, the government of Panama held an international bid to negotiate a 25-year contract for operation of the Canal's container shipping ports (chiefly two facilities at the Atlantic and Pacific outlets), which was won by the Chinese
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 firm Hutchison Whampoa
Hutchison Whampoa
Hutchison Whampoa Limited or HWL of Hong Kong is a Fortune 500 company and one of the largest companies listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. HWL is an international corporation with a diverse array of holdings which includes the world's biggest port and telecommunication operations in 14...

, a Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

-based shipping concern whose owner Li Ka Shing
Li Ka Shing
Sir Ka-shing Li, GBM, KBE, JP is a Chinese business magnate based in Hong Kong. He is the richest person of East Asian descent in the world and the eleventh richest person in the world with an estimated wealth of US$26.0 billion on 10 March 2011...

 is the wealthiest man in Asia. One of the conditions on the handover to the Panama Canal Authority by the United States was the permanent neutrality of the Canal and the explicit statements that allowed the United States to come back at any time.

21st century



Since the turn of the millennium, the construction of stealth ship
Stealth ship
A stealth ship is a ship which employs stealth technology construction techniques in an effort to ensure that it is harder to detect by one or more of radar, visual, sonar, and infrared methods...

s have occurred. These are ships which employs stealth technology
Stealth technology
Stealth technology also termed LO technology is a sub-discipline of military tactics and passive electronic countermeasures, which cover a range of techniques used with personnel, aircraft, ships, submarines, and missiles, to make them less visible to radar, infrared, sonar and other detection...

 construction techniques in an effort to ensure that it is harder to detect by one or more of radar
Radar
Radar is an object-detection system which uses radio waves to determine the range, altitude, direction, or speed of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor vehicles, weather formations, and terrain. The radar dish or antenna transmits pulses of radio...

, visual, sonar
Sonar
Sonar is a technique that uses sound propagation to navigate, communicate with or detect other vessels...

, and infrared methods. These techniques borrow from stealth aircraft
Stealth aircraft
Stealth aircraft are aircraft that use stealth technology to avoid detection by employing a combination of features to interfere with radar as well as reduce visibility in the infrared, visual, audio, and radio frequency spectrum. Development of stealth technology likely began in Germany during...

technology, although some aspects such as wake reduction are unique to stealth ships' design.

External links