California is my home state. (Ironic, that I study the history of Virginia for Civil War studies, eh?) California played a significant role in 19th Century American Maritime History. Part of California’s role had to do with its location.
West Coast of the United States, bordered by the Pacific Ocean.
When California was a Mexican province, its people started welcoming the American merchant ships. When California became a state in 1850, the gold rush brought thousands to the west coast. California’s location also made it a gateway state for immigrants and a last port before a ship set off across the Pacific Ocean.
Today we’ve rounded up five important aspects of California’s maritime history of the 19th Century. We’re keeping it simple for the sake of time, but feel free to add comments if you have more information to contribute. Continue reading
We’ve been talking about American trade, and last week we discussed the international aspects. One important and defining moment in American and World History is directly linked to the U.S. Navy and maritime trade interests.
It wasn’t a war or even a battle. Instead, an American fleet broke through the isolationist “walls” surrounding Japan, opening opportunity for the Asian country and establishing firm diplomatic relationships between the countries. Taking place in 1853 and 1854, it signaled a positive beginning of maritime trade with Japan – an arrangement which could benefit both countries.
Understanding this event is a key foundation to examining the history of American roles, influences, and diplomacy with Asia. Today, we present some overview history of the American commodore, the Japanese shogun, the first American ships to enter Japanese harbors, and the first treaty between the countries. Continue reading
The loss of its colonies frustrated Britain. After-all, those 13 American colonies had been a major source of income for the mother country. Now, the United States wanted to trade and make money (and complete) with Britain, and that wasn’t a preferred situation for the English merchants. The Napoleonic Wars in Europe further complicated maritime interests for America.
Irritations grew on both sides and eventually erupted into the War of 1812. This conflict – primarily rooted in maritime interests – allowed the new U.S. Navy to test its strength and the outcome would establish America as a rising world power, setting the stage for the continued rise of maritime trade and strength.
Since the War of 1812 is incredibly important to understanding the success of American Maritime during the 19th Century, we thought we’d share the top 12 things you should know about the conflict. Continue reading