This page of the book is from "The New Student's Reference Work: Volume 3" by Chandler B. Beach, Frank Morton McMurry and others.
hours and on other heavenly bodies. No one method is ever relied on solely, but every observation possible is made to check up others. Currents and temperatures of the sea are observed, depths are noted by the lead, and when land is approached lighthouses and lightships are carefully watched for.
Navigation Laws, such as interfered with American shipping during the colonial period and such as the United States herself laid down for shipping subsequent to the Declaration of Independence, denote a policy of interference in trade, manufactures etc , which received its first serious challenge from the Wealth of Nations of Adam Smith. As early as 1381 England had begun her policy of insisting that merchandise to and from the kingdom should be carried only in English ships. This prohibition was not effective. The English parliament, however, enacted a similar law in 1645, which under Charles II was replaced by the Act of 1651, legally known as the first navigation act. The second navigation act (1663) had ^ ecial reference to colonial trade, which was expected to benefit English shipping only. By this act, therefore, all colonial produce for export must be landed in an English port. Yet there were many evasions of the navigation acts, especially by American shipping. The Spanish navigation laws were even more stringent than the British laws; they were summed up in the policy of treating foreign vessels found in Spanish waters as pirates.
The United States constitution in 1789 included a provision that Congress might make such navigation laws as it pleased. Strict acts, favoring American shipping by imposing tonnage on foreign vessels, were passed in 1789 and 1792. A system of mutual concessions, however, began with England after the war of 1812. England repealed her navigation acts in 1824; and America passed more liberal laws in 1884, so that vessels owned only in part in America may now fly the American flag. Tonnage rates were reduced in the United States in 1886. The act of 1884 established a bureau of navigation, subject to the oversight of the treasury department.
Na'vy. The navy of any county is its fighting force on the sea, and bears the same relation thereto as does the army as a land-force. The ancient method of naval warfare was in great part the practice of driving a beaked vessel against another with great force. This survives to the present day in the use of rams. The ancient boats were propelled with force and precision by oars, arranged in one, two or three tiers and manned by either standing or sitting sailors. A three-banked vessel was called a trireme. The Persians, Carthaginians, Phoenicians and Greeks are known to have had such fleets as early as the 7 th century B. C.
The modern navy dates from the 16th century, when, in 1588, the English fleet destroyed the Spanish Armada, and by slow steps in conquering the French and Dutch became the foremost maritime power of the world. The first naval ship to be protected by iron was launched at Toulon in 1859 and named La Gloire. From this were patterned the subsequent armor-clad vessels, with improvements from time to time. The construction of the American navy dates from the war of independence, and in 1812 and 1814 it proved a worthy foe of England on the seas. Thereafter it was in a measure neglected until the Civil War, when the construction of the armored Monitor changed the type of the warships of the future. Since 1887 a new navy has been built. In place of the old wooden vessels it is composed of powerful steel steamers, capable of high speed and mounted with batteries of powerful modern guns. The fleet comprises the battleships, which practically are floating forts, heavily armored but capable of high speed; the cruisers, less heavily armored but of greater speed; the double-turreted monitors for harbor defense, single-turreted monitors, gunboats, torpedo-boats, torpedo-boat destroyers and submarines, besides transports, supply ships, hospital ships and colliers. The effective navy of the United States in 1910 consisted of 29 battleships, besides 11 second class battleships and coast defense ships, 10 monitors, 39 cruisers, 34 gunboats, 32 torpedo boats, 8 submarines and 23 torpedo-boat destroyers, in addition to a number, in the dii/erent classes, in the shipyards under construction. The most formidable battleships are of the Delaware type, having a displacement of 20,000 tons, a speed of 22 knots, and armed with 10 twelve-inch and 14 five-inch guns.
The Secretary of the Navy, in his annual report, Dec. 1, 1910, made the following statement of the relative efficiency of the principal nations of the world:
Nation; t Tonnage. Nation. Tonnage.
Great Britain. . 1,633,116 Japan......... 374,701
United States.. 611,616 Russia......... 232,943
France........ 609,079 Italy.......... 207,623
WHEN VESSELS NOW BUILDING ARE COMPLETED
Nation. _ Tonnage. Nation. Tonnage.
Great Britain. . 1,821,610 Japan........ . 451,320
France........ 836,112 Russia......... 320,040
United States.. 771,758 Italy.......... 288,433
The Secretary made the following comments: It is true that our Navy at the present time is the second in efficiency. Our position, however, is largely due to the fact that during the last fiscal year our sea strength and fighting efficiency have been increased by the completion and delivery of a number of new battleships and