Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Dale M. Royalty

Committee Members

Dale J. Schmitt, Ronnie M. Day


This paper analyzes the fundamental maritime defense mentality that permeated America throughout the early part of the Republic. For fear of economic debt and foreign wars, Thomas Jefferson and his Republican party, opposed the construction of a formidable blue water naval force. Instead, they argued for a small naval force capable of engaging the Barbary pirates and other small similar forces. For protection of the nation and commerce, they wanted a strictly defensive strategy developed around coastal gunboats and harbor fortifications. This research will analyze the naval aspect of this defense mentality from its creation in 1794, through the War of 1812. The coastal defense analysis will begin at the same time and conclude with the end of the American Civil War.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.

Included in

History Commons