Historic Sailing Ships

Topics: Museum ship, War of 1812, Royal Navy Pages: 4 (1313 words) Published: May 2, 2006
"I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy." (quotedb) This quote by John Adams, the second president of the United States, illustrates the importance of history and its study. For this reason it is crucial to promote the preservation of historic sites and articles. War has been one of the most defining moments of our country's early beginnings. A crucial part of these conflicts was the war at sea and the vessels involved. They represented our nation valiantly and deserve to be remembered. Therefore several of these ships have been preserved to teach our younger generations of the great history of our nation. Two of these noble ships are the USS Constitution and the USS Brig Niagara. Both ships saw action in the War of 1812 and were instrumental in protecting our rights against British oppression. These ships have long since been surpassed by more technologically advanced warships, however their historical significance cannot be overlooked.

The USS Constitution was commissioned to be built in 1794 by the Congress of the United States. The ship was used primarily in a policing role until 1812 when it battled the British frigate Guerriere. It was after this clash that she was given her nickname "Old Ironsides" because of the ships impenetrable oak hull (US Navy). The warship continued on during the War of 1812 to total ten victories over enemy vessels (Historic Naval Ships). However, when examined in 1830 she was deemed unfit to sail and plans were made to have her scrapped. Due to overwhelming public outrage she was recommissioned by Congress and repaired. After this, the Constitution remained active as a patrol and training ship until she was placed in port as a museum. The ship still sails on occasion and is maintained by the US Navy through federal funding. However the Constitution can most frequently be found in her home port of Boston as a tourist attraction and tribute to American independence.


Cited: Historic Naval Ships Association. "USS Brig Niagara". 3 Nov. 2003. 26 March 2006
< http://www.hnsa.org/ships/niagara.htm>
Historic Naval Ships Association. "USS Constitution". 3 Nov. 2003. 26 March 2006
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