On November 10, 1775, the Continental Congress passed a resolution stating that "two battalions of Marines be raised" for service as landing forces with the fleet. This established the Continental Marines and marked the birth of the United States Marine Corps. Serving on land and at sea, early Marines distinguished themselves in a number of important operations, including their first amphibious raid on foreign soil in the Bahamas in March 1776, under the command of the Corps' first commandant, Capt. Samuel Nicholas. The 1783 Treaty of Paris ended the Revolutionary War and as the last of the Navy's ships were sold, the Continental Navy and Marines disbanded.
Following the formal re-establishment of the Marine Corps on July 11, 1798, Marines fought in conflicts with France, landed in Santo Domingo and conducted operations against the Barbary pirates along the "Shores of Tripoli."
Marines participated in numerous operations during the War of 1812, including the defense of Washington at Bladensburg, Md. They also fought alongside Andrew Jackson in the defeat of the British at New Orleans. Following the War of 1812, Marines protected American interests around the world in areas like the Caribbean, the Falkland Islands, Sumatra and off the coast of West Africa, and close to home in operations against the Seminole Indians in Florida.
During the Mexican War, Marines seized enemy seaports on both the Gulf and Pacific coasts. While landing parties of Marines and Sailors were seizing enemy ports, a battalion of Marines joined General Winfield Scott's army at Pueblo and marched and fought all the way to the "Halls of Montezuma," Mexico City.
Although most Marine Corps service during the Civil War was with the Navy, a battalion fought at Bull Run, and other units saw action with blockading squadrons at Cape Hatteras, New Orleans, Charleston and Fort Fisher. During the last third of the 19th century, Marines made numerous landings around the world,