On the Water

Maritime Nation

Shipbuilders, mariners, and maritime merchants helped the new nation defend itself and grow.

Americans fought for independence from Great Britain in the Revolutionary War and defended their new country in the War of 1812. In both conflicts, private vessels were called upon to defend the nation’s commerce and capture enemy shipping. In the peace that followed, American ships carried immigrants to new homes, exotic goods from Asia, even prospectors to the California gold fields. American seaports flourished and the nation benefited as shipping grew faster, more reliable, and safer.