The United States Navy traces its origins to the Continental Navy,which the Continental Congress established on October 13, 1775 by authorizing the procurement, fitting out, manning, and dispatch of two armed vessels to cruise in search of munitions ships supplying the British Army in America.The ships and personnel came from units of the original thirteen colonies, and although disbanded afer the American Revolution was the forerunner of today's Navy. The legislation also established a Naval Committee to supervise the work. All together, the Continental Navy numbered some sixty ships and about 3300 men over the course of the war, with approximately twenty warships active at its maximum strength.|
It had at that time as it's primary purpose the harassment of the British Navy where possible and the transportation of troops and supplies to the Continental Army.
After the American War for Independence, Congress sold the surviving ships of the Continental Navy and released the seamen and officers. The Constitution of the United States, ratified in 1789, empowered Congress "to provide and maintain a navy." Acting on this authority, Congress ordered the construction and manning of six frigates in 1794, and the War Department administered naval affairs from that year until Congress established the Department of the Navy on 30 April 1798.
For more information about the United States Navy, please click on the links below. Links will open into new windows.