Luke's Reviews > If By Sea: The Forging of the American Navy--from the Revolution to the War of 1812

If By Sea by George C. Daughan
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's review
Nov 28, 2008

really liked it

** spoiler alert ** This book was a great read. I have been studying the Royal Navy and the early Continental Navy for the past six months and this provided some good insight into the early formation of the Continental Navy as well as identifying the constant struggle between the Washington/Adams view of "Armed Neutrality" during and post-American Revolution and the Jefferson/Madison view of "exhaustive diplomacy" pre and during the War of 1812. In the end, Madison did see that Armed Neutrality was the best course to take.

I want the reader to understand that this book does emphasize that it is a focus on the early American Navy formation, but it is not entriely about that. The author does take some time to address land battles, but these battles did lead to navy involvement or could have led to American victory's much quicker if the Navy was developed more speedily and without such a grand vision as the early Continental Congress had of creating a mirror image of the Royal Navy.

So understand that when reading this book the author is majoring in the history of the American Revolution with a minor in early American Navy formation.

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