British Columbia is the westernmost province of Canada, with a population of more than four million people located between the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains. British Columbia is a component of the Pacific Northwest and the Cascadia bioregion, along with the U. S. states of Idaho, Oregon and Alaska. The first British settlement in the area was Fort Victoria, established in 1843, subsequently, on the mainland, the Colony of British Columbia was founded by Richard Clement Moody and the Royal Engineers, Columbia Detachment, in response to the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush. Port Moody is named after him, in 1866, Vancouver Island became part of the colony of British Columbia, and Victoria became the united colonys capital. In 1871, British Columbia became the province of Canada. Its Latin motto is Splendor sine occasu, the capital of British Columbia remains Victoria, the fifteenth-largest metropolitan region in Canada, named for the Queen who created the original European colonies. The largest city is Vancouver, the third-largest metropolitan area in Canada, the largest in Western Canada, in October 2013, British Columbia had an estimated population of 4,606,371.
British Columbia evolved from British possessions that were established in what is now British Columbia by 1871, First Nations, the original inhabitants of the land, have a history of at least 10,000 years in the area. Today there are few treaties and the question of Aboriginal Title, the Tsilhqotin Nation has established Aboriginal title to a portion of their territory, as a result of the recent Supreme Court of Canada decision. BCs economy is diverse, with service producing industries accounting for the largest portion of the provinces GDP and it is the endpoint of transcontinental railways, and the site of major Pacific ports that enable international trade. Though less than 5% of its vast 944,735 km2 land is arable and its climate encourages outdoor recreation and tourism, though its economic mainstay has long been resource extraction, principally logging and mining. Vancouver, the provinces largest city and metropolitan area, serves as the headquarters of many western-based natural resource companies and it benefits from a strong housing market and a per capita income well above the national average.
The Northern Interior region has a climate with very cold winters. The climate of Vancouver is by far the mildest winter climate of the major Canadian cities, the provinces name was chosen by Queen Victoria, when the Colony of British Columbia, i. e. the Mainland, became a British colony in 1858. The current southern border of British Columbia was established by the 1846 Oregon Treaty, British Columbias land area is 944,735 square kilometres. British Columbias rugged coastline stretches for more than 27,000 kilometres and it is the only province in Canada that borders the Pacific Ocean. British Columbias capital is Victoria, located at the tip of Vancouver Island. Only a narrow strip of the Island, from Campbell River to Victoria, is significantly populated, much of the western part of Vancouver Island and the rest of the coast is covered by thick and sometimes impenetrable temperate rainforest
Charles Sumner was an American politician and senator from Massachusetts. During Reconstruction, he fought to minimize the power of the ex-Confederates, in the speech, Sumner characterized the attackers cousin, South Carolina Senator Andrew Butler, a Democrat, as a pimp for slavery. The episode played a role in the coming of the Civil War. During the war Sumner was a leader of the Radical Republican faction that criticized President Abraham Lincoln for being too moderate on the South, Sumners expertise and energy made him a powerful chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. Sumner, teaming with House leader Thaddeus Stevens, battled Andrew Johnsons reconstruction plans, although Sumner forcefully advocated the annexation of Alaska in the Senate, he was against the annexation of the Dominican Republic, known by the name of its capital, Santo Domingo. After leading Senators to defeat President Ulysses S. Grants Santo Domingo Treaty in 1870, Sumner broke with Grant, and denounced him in such terms that reconciliation was impossible.
In 1871, President Grant and his Secretary of State Hamilton Fish retaliated, through Grants supporters in the Senate, Sumner had become convinced that Grant was a corrupt despot and that the success of Reconstruction policies called for new national leadership. Sumner bitterly opposed Grants reelection by supporting the Liberal Republican candidate Horace Greeley in 1872, less than two years later, he died in office. Sumner was born on Irving Street in Boston on January 6,1811 and his father had been born in poverty and his mother shared a similar background and worked as a seamstress prior to her marriage. Sumners parents were described as formal and undemonstrative. In 1825 Charles P. Sumner became Sheriff of Suffolk County, the family attended Trinity Church, but after 1825, the family occupied a pew in Kings Chapel. Sumners father hated slavery and told Sumner that freeing the slaves would do us no good unless they were treated equally by society, Sumner was a close associate of William Ellery Channing, an influential Unitarian minister in Boston.
Channing believed that human beings had a potential to improve themselves. Expanding on this argument, Sumner concluded that environment had an important, by creating a society where knowledge and religion took precedence, the most forlorn shall grow into forms of unimagined strength and beauty. Moral law, he believed, was as important for governments as it was for individuals, while Sumner often viewed contemporary society critically, his faith in reform was unshakable. When accused of utopianism, he replied The Utopias of one age have been the realities of the next, the increased income Charles P. Sumner enjoyed after becoming Sheriff enabled him to afford higher education for his children. Charles Sumner attended the Boston Latin School, where he counted Robert Charles Winthrop, James Freeman Clarke, Samuel Francis Smith, and Wendell Phillips, among his closest friends. He graduated in 1830 from Harvard College, where he lived in Hollis Hall, at Harvard, he was a member of the Porcellian Club
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was established as a sovereign state on 1 January 1801 by the Acts of Union 1800, which merged the kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland. The growing desire for an Irish Republic led to the Irish War of Independence, Northern Ireland remained part of the United Kingdom, and the state was consequently renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Britain financed the European coalition that defeated France in 1815 in the Napoleonic Wars, the British Empire thereby became the foremost world power for the next century. The Crimean War with Russia and the Boer wars were relatively small operations in a largely peaceful century, rapid industrialisation that began in the decades prior to the states formation continued up until the mid-19th century. A devastating famine, exacerbated by government inaction in the century, led to demographic collapse in much of Ireland. It was an era of economic modernization and growth of industry and finance.
Outward migration was heavy to the colonies and to the United States. Britain built up a large British Empire in Africa and Asia, India, by far the most important possession, saw a short-lived revolt in 1857. In foreign policy Britain favoured free trade, which enabled its financiers and merchants to operate successfully in many otherwise independent countries, as in South America. Britain formed no permanent military alliances until the early 20th century, when it began to cooperate with Japan and Russia, and moved closer to the United States. A brief period of limited independence for Ireland came to an end following the Irish Rebellion of 1798, the British governments fear of an independent Ireland siding against them with the French resulted in the decision to unite the two countries. This was brought about by legislation in the parliaments of both kingdoms and came into effect on 1 January 1801, King George III was bitterly opposed to any such Emancipation and succeeded in defeating his governments attempts to introduce it.
When the Treaty of Amiens ended the war, Britain agreed to return most of the territories it had seized, in May 1803, war was declared again. In 1806, Napoleon issued the series of Berlin Decrees, which brought into effect the Continental System and this policy aimed to eliminate the threat from the British by closing French-controlled territory to foreign trade. Frances population and agricultural capacity far outstripped that of the British Isles, Napoleon expected that cutting Britain off from the European mainland would end its economic hegemony. The Spanish uprising in 1808 at last permitted Britain to gain a foothold on the Continent, after Napoleons surrender and exile to the island of Elba, peace appeared to have returned. The Allies united and the armies of Wellington and Blucher defeated Napoleon once, simultaneous with the Napoleonic Wars, trade disputes, arming hostile Indians and British impressment of American sailors led to the War of 1812 with the United States. The war was little noticed in Britain, which could devote few resources to the conflict until the fall of Napoleon in 1814, American frigates inflicted a series of defeats on the Royal Navy, which was short on manpower due to the conflict in Europe
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States, officially the Confederate States of America, commonly referred to as the Confederacy, was a breakaway country of 11 secessionist slave states existing from 1861 to 1865. It was never recognized as an Independent country, although it achieved belligerent status by Britain. A new Confederate government was established in February 1861 before Lincoln took office in March, after the Civil War began in April, four slave states of the Upper South – Virginia, Arkansas and North Carolina – declared their secession and joined the Confederacy. The government of the United States rejected the claims of secession, the Civil War began with the April 12,1861, Confederate attack upon Fort Sumter, a Union fort in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina. In spring 1865, after four years of fighting which led to an estimated 620,000 military deaths, all the Confederate forces surrendered. Jefferson Davis lamented that the Confederacy had disappeared in 1865, Missouri and Kentucky were represented by partisan factions from those states, while the legitimate governments of those two states retained formal adherence to the Union.
Also fighting for the Confederacy were two of the Five Civilized Tribes located in Indian Territory and a new, but uncontrolled, Confederate Territory of Arizona. Efforts by certain factions in Maryland to secede were halted by federal imposition of law, while Delaware, though of divided loyalty. A Unionist government in parts of Virginia organized the new state of West Virginia. With the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1,1863, the Union made abolition of slavery a war goal, as Union forces moved southward, large numbers of plantation slaves were freed. Many joined the Union lines, enrolling in service as soldiers and laborers, the most notable advance was Shermans March to the Sea in late 1864. Much of the Confederacys infrastructure was destroyed, including telegraphs, plantations in the path of Shermans forces were severely damaged. Internal movement became increasingly difficult for Southerners, weakening the economy and these losses created an insurmountable disadvantage in men and finance.
Public support for Confederate President Jefferson Daviss administration eroded over time due to repeated military reverses, economic hardships, after four years of campaigning, Richmond was captured by Union forces in April 1865. Shortly afterward, Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant, President Davis was captured on May 10,1865, and jailed in preparation for a treason trial that was ultimately never held. The U. S. government began a process known as Reconstruction which attempted to resolve the political and constitutional issues of the Civil War. By 1877, the Compromise of 1877 ended Reconstruction in the former Confederate states, Confederate veterans had been temporarily disenfranchised by Reconstruction policy. The prewar South had many areas, the war left the entire region economically devastated by military action, ruined infrastructure
Union (American Civil War)
The Union was opposed by 11 southern slave states that formed the Confederate States, or the Confederacy. All of the Unions states provided soldiers for the U. S. Army, the Border states played a major role as a supply base for the Union invasion of the Confederacy. The Northeast provided the resources for a mechanized war producing large quantities of munitions and supplies. The Midwest provided soldiers, horses, financial support, Army hospitals were set up across the Union. Most states had Republican governors who energetically supported the war effort, the Democratic Party strongly supported the war in 1861 but in 1862 was split between the War Democrats and the anti-war element led by the Copperheads. The Democrats made major gains in 1862 in state elections. They lost ground in 1863, especially in Ohio, in 1864 the Republicans campaigned under the National Union Party banner, which attracted many War Democrats and soldiers and scored a landslide victory for Lincoln and his entire ticket.
The war years were quite prosperous except where serious fighting and guerrilla warfare took place along the southern border, prosperity was stimulated by heavy government spending and the creation of an entirely new national banking system. The Union states invested a great deal of money and effort in organizing psychological and social support for soldiers wives, widows and for the soldiers themselves. Most soldiers were volunteers, although after 1862 many volunteered to escape the draft, Draft resistance was notable in some larger cities, especially New York City with its massive anti-draft riots of 1863 and in some remote districts such as the coal mining areas of Pennsylvania. In the context of the American Civil War, the Union is sometimes referred to as the North and now, as opposed to the Confederacy, which was the South. The Union never recognized the legitimacy of the Confederacys secession and maintained at all times that it remained entirely a part of the United States of America, in foreign affairs the Union was the only side recognized by all other nations, none of which officially recognized the Confederate government.
The term Union occurs in the first governing document of the United States, the subsequent Constitution of 1787 was issued and ratified in the name not of the states, but of We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union. Union, for the United States of America, is repeated in such clauses as the Admission to the Union clause in Article IV. Even before the war started, the preserve the Union was commonplace. Using the term Union to apply to the non-secessionist side carried a connotation of legitimacy as the continuation of the political entity. In comparison to the Confederacy, the Union had a large industrialized and urbanized area, the Union states had a manpower advantage of 5 to 2 at the start of the war. Year by year, the Confederacy shrank and lost control of increasing quantities of resources, the Union turned its growing potential advantage into a much stronger military force
Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant was the 18th President of the United States. As Commanding General, Grant worked closely with President Abraham Lincoln to lead the Union Army to victory over the Confederacy in the American Civil War and he implemented Congressional Reconstruction, often at odds with President Andrew Johnson. His presidency has often criticized for tolerating corruption and for the severe economic depression in his second term. Grant graduated in 1843 from the United States Military Academy at West Point, after the war he married Julia Boggs Dent in 1848, their marriage producing four children. Grant initially retired from the Army in 1854 and he struggled financially in civilian life. When the Civil War began in 1861, he rejoined the U. S. Army, in 1862, Grant took control of Kentucky and most of Tennessee, and led Union forces to victory in the Battle of Shiloh, earning a reputation as an aggressive commander. He incorporated displaced African American slaves into the Union war effort, in July 1863, after a series of coordinated battles, Grant defeated Confederate armies and seized Vicksburg, giving the Union control of the Mississippi River and dividing the Confederacy in two.
After his victories in the Chattanooga Campaign, Lincoln promoted him to lieutenant general, Grant confronted Robert E. Lee in a series of bloody battles, trapping Lees army in their defense of Richmond. Grant coordinated a series of devastating campaigns in other theaters, as well, in April 1865, Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox, effectively ending the war. Historians have hailed Grants military genius, and his strategies are featured in history textbooks. After the Civil War, Grant led the armys supervision of Reconstruction in the former Confederate states and he used the army to build the Republican Party in the South. After the disenfranchisement of some former Confederates, Republicans gained majorities, in his second term, the Republican coalitions in the South splintered and were defeated one by one as redeemers regained control using coercion and violence. In May 1875, Grant authorized his Secretary of Treasury Benjamin Bristow to shut down and his peace policy with the Indians initially reduced frontier violence, but is best known for the Great Sioux War of 1876.
Grant responded to charges of corruption in executive offices more than any other 19th Century president and he appointed the first Civil Service Commission and signed legislation ending the corrupt moiety system. In foreign policy, Grant sought to trade and influence while remaining at peace with the world. His administration successfully resolved the Alabama claims by the Treaty of Washington with Great Britain, Grant avoided war with Spain over the Virginius Affair, but Congress rejected his attempted annexation of the Dominican Republic. His administration implemented a standard and sought to strengthen the dollar. Grant left office in 1877 and embarked on a two-year diplomatic world tour that captured the nations attention, in 1880, Grant was unsuccessful in obtaining the Republican presidential nomination for a third term
Nova Scotia is one of Canadas three Maritime provinces, and one of the four provinces which form Atlantic Canada. Nova Scotia is Canadas second-smallest province, with an area of 55,284 square kilometres, including Cape Breton, as of 2016, the population was 923,598. Nova Scotia is the second most-densely populated province in Canada with 17.4 inhabitants per square kilometre, Nova Scotia means New Scotland in Latin and is the recognized English language name for the province. In Scottish Gaelic, the province is called Alba Nuadh, which simply means New Scotland. Nova Scotia is Canadas second-smallest province in area after Prince Edward Island, the provinces mainland is the Nova Scotia peninsula surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, including numerous bays and estuaries. Nowhere in Nova Scotia is more than 67 km from the ocean, Nova Scotia has many ancient fossil-bearing rock formations. These formations are rich on the Bay of Fundys shores. Blue Beach near Hantsport, Joggins Fossil Cliffs, on the Bay of Fundys shores, has yielded an abundance of Carboniferous age fossils, wassons Bluff, near the town of Parrsboro, has yielded both Triassic and Jurassic age fossils.
Nova Scotia lies in the mid-temperate zone, since the province is almost surrounded by the sea, the climate is closer to maritime than to continental climate. The winter and summer temperature extremes of the climate are moderated by the ocean. However, winters are cold enough to be classified as continental – still being nearer the freezing point than inland areas to the west. The Nova Scotia climate is in ways similar to the central Baltic Sea coast in Northern Europe. This is in spite of Nova Scotia being some fifteen parallels south, areas not on the Atlantic coast experience warmer summers more typical of inland areas, and winter lows a little colder. The province includes regions of the Mikmaq nation of Mikmaki, the Mikmaq people inhabited Nova Scotia at the time the first European colonists arrived. In 1605, French colonists established the first permanent European settlement in the future Canada at Port Royal, the British conquest of Acadia took place in 1710. The Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 formally recognized this and returned Cape Breton Island to the French, present-day New Brunswick still formed a part of the French colony of Acadia.
The British changed the name of the capital from Port Royal to Annapolis Royal, in 1749, the capital of Nova Scotia moved from Annapolis Royal to the newly established Halifax. In 1755 the vast majority of the French population were removed in the Expulsion of the Acadians
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Oregon is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean, on the north by Washington, on the south by California, on the east by Idaho, the Columbia River delineates much of Oregons northern boundary, and the Snake River delineates much of the eastern boundary. The parallel 42° north delineates the boundary with California and Nevada. Oregon was inhabited by indigenous tribes before Western traders, explorers. An autonomous government was formed in the Oregon Country in 1843 before the Oregon Territory was created in 1848, Oregon became the 33rd state on February 14,1859. Today, at 98,000 square miles, Oregon is the ninth largest and, with a population of 4 million, the capital of Oregon is Salem, the second most populous of its cities, with 164,549 residents. Portland is Oregons most populous city, with 632,309 residents, Portlands metro population of 2,389,228 ranks the 23rd largest metro in the nation. The Willamette Valley in western Oregon is the states most densely populated area, the tall conifers, mainly Douglas fir, along Oregons rainy west coast contrast with the lighter-timbered and fire-prone pine and juniper forests covering portions to the east.
Abundant alders in the west fix nitrogen for the conifers, stretching east from central Oregon are semi-arid shrublands, deserts and meadows. At 11,249 feet, Mount Hood is the states highest point, Oregons only national park, Crater Lake National Park, comprises the caldera surrounding Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the United States. The state is home to the single largest organism in the world, Armillaria ostoyae. Because of its landscapes and waterways, Oregons economy is largely powered by various forms of agriculture, fishing. It is the top timber-producer of the lower 48 states, Technology is another one of the states major economic forces, which began in the 1970s with the establishment of the Silicon Forest and the expansion of Tektronix and Intel. Sportswear company Nike, Inc. headquartered in Beaverton, is the states largest public corporation with a revenue of $30.6 billion. The earliest evidence of the name Oregon has Spanish origins and this chronicle is the first topographical and linguistic source with respect to the place name Oregon.
There are two other sources with Spanish origins such as the name Oregano which grows in the part of the region. Another early use of the name, spelled Ouragon, was in a 1765 petition by Major Robert Rogers to the Kingdom of Great Britain, the term referred to the then-mythical River of the West. By 1778 the spelling had shifted to Oregon, in his 1765 petition, Rogers wrote, The rout. is from the Great Lakes towards the Head of the Mississippi, and from thence to the River called by the Indians Ouragon
Manitoba is a province at the longitudinal centre of Canada. It is one of the three provinces and Canadas fifth-most populous province with its estimated 1.3 million people. Manitoba covers 649,950 square kilometres with a varied landscape. Aboriginal peoples have inhabited what is now Manitoba for thousands of years, in the late 17th century, fur traders arrived in the area when it was part of Ruperts Land and owned by the Hudsons Bay Company. In 1869, negotiations for the creation of the province of Manitoba led to an uprising of the Métis people against the Government of Canada. The rebellions resolution led to the Parliament of Canada passing the Manitoba Act in 1870 that created the province, Manitobas capital and largest city, Winnipeg, is Canadas eighth-largest census metropolitan area. Winnipeg is the seat of government, home to the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, four of the provinces five universities and all four of its professional sports teams are in Winnipeg. The name Manitoba is believed to be derived from the Cree, the name derives from Cree manitou-wapow or Ojibwa manidoobaa, both meaning straits of Manitou, the Great Spirit, a place referring to what are now called The Narrows in the centre of Lake Manitoba.
It may be from the Assiniboine for Lake of the Prairie, the lake was known to French explorers as Lac des Prairies. Thomas Spence chose the name to refer to a new republic he proposed for the south of the lake. Métis leader Louis Riel chose the name, and it was accepted in Ottawa under the Manitoba Act of 1870 and it adjoins Hudson Bay to the northeast, and is the only prairie province to have a saltwater coastline. The Port of Churchill is Canadas only Arctic deep-water port and the shortest shipping route between North America and Asia, Lake Winnipeg is the tenth-largest freshwater lake in the world. Hudson Bay is the worlds second-largest bay, Manitoba is at the heart of the giant Hudson Bay watershed, once known as Ruperts Land. It was a area of the Hudsons Bay Company, with many rivers. The province has a saltwater coastline bordering Hudson Bay and more than 110,000 lakes, Manitobas major lakes are Lake Manitoba, Lake Winnipegosis, and Lake Winnipeg, the tenth-largest freshwater lake in the world.
Some traditional Native lands and boreal forest on Lake Winnipegs east side are a proposed UNESCO World Heritage Site. Manitoba is at the centre of the Hudson Bay drainage basin, with a volume of the water draining into Lake Winnipeg. This basins rivers reach far west to the mountains, far south into the United States, major watercourses include the Red, Nelson, Hayes and Churchill rivers
William H. Seward
William Henry Seward was United States Secretary of State from 1861 to 1869, and earlier served as Governor of New York and United States Senator. Seward was born in southeastern New York, where his father was a farmer and he was educated as a lawyer and moved to the Central New York town of Auburn. Seward was elected to the New York State Senate in 1830 as an Anti-Mason, four years later, he became the gubernatorial nominee of the Whig Party. Though he was not successful in that race, Seward was elected governor in 1838, during this period, he signed several laws that advanced the rights and opportunities for black residents, as well as guaranteeing fugitive slaves jury trials in the state. The legislation protected abolitionists, and he used his position to intervene in cases of freed black people who were enslaved in the South, after several years of practicing law in Auburn, he was elected by the state legislature to the U. S. Senate in 1849. Sewards strong stances and provocative words against slavery brought him hatred in the South and he was re-elected to the Senate in 1855, and soon joined the nascent Republican Party, becoming one of its leading figures.
As the 1860 presidential election approached, he was regarded as the candidate for the Republican nomination. Although devastated by his loss, he campaigned for Lincoln, who was elected and appointed him Secretary of State, Seward did his best to stop the southern states from seceding, once that failed, he devoted himself wholeheartedly to the Union cause. His firm stance against foreign intervention in the Civil War helped deter Britain and France from entering the conflict and he was one of the targets of the 1865 assassination plot that killed Lincoln, and was seriously wounded by conspirator Lewis Powell. Seward remained loyally at his post through the presidency of Andrew Johnson, during which he negotiated the Alaska purchase in 1867 and his contemporary Carl Schurz described Seward as one of those spirits who sometimes will go ahead of public opinion instead of tamely following its footprints. Seward was born in on May 16,1801 in the community of Florida, New York. He was the son of Samuel Sweezy Seward and his wife Mary Seward.
Samuel Seward was a landowner and slaveholder in New York State. Florida was located some 60 miles north of New York City, west of the Hudson River, Young Seward attended school there, and in the nearby county seat of Goshen. He was a student who enjoyed his studies. In years, one of the family slaves would relate that instead of running away from school to go home. At the age of 15, Henry—he was known by his name as a boy—was sent to Union College in Schenectady. Admitted to the class, Seward was an outstanding student and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa
The Royal Navy is the United Kingdoms naval warfare force. Although warships were used by the English kings from the medieval period. The modern Royal Navy traces its origins to the early 16th century, from the middle decades of the 17th century and through the 18th century, the Royal Navy vied with the Dutch Navy and with the French Navy for maritime supremacy. From the mid 18th century it was the worlds most powerful navy until surpassed by the United States Navy during the Second World War. The Royal Navy played a key part in establishing the British Empire as the world power during the 19th. Due to this historical prominence, it is common, even among non-Britons, following World War I, the Royal Navy was significantly reduced in size, although at the onset of the Second World War it was still the worlds largest. By the end of the war, the United States Navy had emerged as the worlds largest, during the Cold War, the Royal Navy transformed into a primarily anti-submarine force, hunting for Soviet submarines, mostly active in the GIUK gap.
The Royal Navy is part of Her Majestys Naval Service, which includes the Royal Marines. The professional head of the Naval Service is the First Sea Lord, the Defence Council delegates management of the Naval Service to the Admiralty Board, chaired by the Secretary of State for Defence. The strength of the fleet of the Kingdom of England was an important element in the power in the 10th century. English naval power declined as a result of the Norman conquest. Medieval fleets, in England as elsewhere, were almost entirely composed of merchant ships enlisted into service in time of war. Englands naval organisation was haphazard and the mobilisation of fleets when war broke out was slow, early in the war French plans for an invasion of England failed when Edward III of England destroyed the French fleet in the Battle of Sluys in 1340. Major fighting was confined to French soil and Englands naval capabilities sufficed to transport armies and supplies safely to their continental destinations. Such raids halted finally only with the occupation of northern France by Henry V.
Henry VII deserves a large share of credit in the establishment of a standing navy and he embarked on a program of building ships larger than heretofore. He invested in dockyards, and commissioned the oldest surviving dry dock in 1495 at Portsmouth, a standing Navy Royal, with its own secretariat, dockyards and a permanent core of purpose-built warships, emerged during the reign of Henry VIII. Under Elizabeth I England became involved in a war with Spain, the new regimes introduction of Navigation Acts, providing that all merchant shipping to and from England or her colonies should be carried out by English ships, led to war with the Dutch Republic. In the early stages of this First Anglo-Dutch War, the superiority of the large, heavily armed English ships was offset by superior Dutch tactical organisation and the fighting was inconclusive