California Gold Rush
The California Gold Rush began on January 24, 1848, when gold was found by James W. Marshall at Sutter's Mill in Coloma, California; the news of gold brought 300,000 people to California from the rest of the United States and abroad. The sudden influx of gold into the money supply reinvigorated the American economy, the sudden population increase allowed California to go to statehood, in the Compromise of 1850; the Gold Rush had severe effects on Native Californians and resulted in a precipitous population decline from disease and starvation. By the time it ended, California had gone from a thinly populated ex-Mexican territory, to having one of its first two U. S. Senators, John C. Frémont, selected to be the first presidential nominee for the new Republican Party, in 1856; the effects of the Gold Rush were substantial. Whole indigenous societies were attacked and pushed off their lands by the gold-seekers, called "forty-niners". Outside of California, the first to arrive were from Oregon, the Sandwich Islands, Latin America in late 1848.
Of the 300,000 people who came to California during the Gold Rush, about half arrived by sea and half came overland on the California Trail and the Gila River trail. While most of the newly arrived were Americans, the gold rush attracted thousands from Latin America, Europe and China. Agriculture and ranching expanded throughout the state to meet the needs of the settlers. San Francisco grew from a small settlement of about 200 residents in 1846 to a boomtown of about 36,000 by 1852. Roads, churches and other towns were built throughout California. In 1849 a state constitution was written; the new constitution was adopted by referendum vote, the future state's interim first governor and legislature were chosen. In September 1850, California became a state. At the beginning of the Gold Rush, there was no law regarding property rights in the goldfields and a system of "staking claims" was developed. Prospectors retrieved the gold from riverbeds using simple techniques, such as panning. Although the mining caused environmental harm, more sophisticated methods of gold recovery were developed and adopted around the world.
New methods of transportation developed. By 1869, railroads were built from California to the eastern United States. At its peak, technological advances reached a point where significant financing was required, increasing the proportion of gold companies to individual miners. Gold worth tens of billions of today's US dollars was recovered, which led to great wealth for a few, though many who participated in the California Gold Rush earned little more than they had started with; the Mexican–American War ended on February 3, 1848, although California was a de facto American possession before that. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo provided for, among other things, the formal transfer of Upper California to the United States; the California Gold Rush began near Coloma. On January 24, 1848, James W. Marshall, a foreman working for Sacramento pioneer John Sutter, found shiny metal in the tailrace of a lumber mill Marshall was building for Sutter on the American River. Marshall brought what he found to John Sutter, the two tested the metal.
After the tests showed that it was gold, Sutter expressed dismay: he wanted to keep the news quiet because he feared what would happen to his plans for an agricultural empire if there were a mass search for gold. Rumors of the discovery of gold were confirmed in March 1848 by San Francisco newspaper publisher and merchant Samuel Brannan. Brannan hurriedly set up a store to sell gold prospecting supplies, walked through the streets of San Francisco, holding aloft a vial of gold, shouting "Gold! Gold! Gold from the American River!"On August 19, 1848, the New York Herald was the first major newspaper on the East Coast to report the discovery of gold. On December 5, 1848, US President James Polk confirmed the discovery of gold in an address to Congress; as a result, individuals seeking to benefit from the gold rush--later called the "forty-niners"--began moving to the Gold Country of California or "Mother Lode" from other countries and from other parts of the United States. As Sutter had feared, his business plans were ruined after his workers left in search of gold, squatters took over his land and stole his crops and cattle.
San Francisco had been a tiny settlement. When residents learned about the discovery, it at first became a ghost town of abandoned ships and businesses, but boomed as merchants and new people arrived; the population of San Francisco increased from about 1,000 in 1848 to 25,000 full-time residents by 1850. Miners lived in wood shanties, or deck cabins removed from abandoned ships. In what has been referred to as the "first world-class gold rush," there was no easy way to get to California. At first, most Argonauts, as they were known, traveled by sea. From the East Coast, a sailing voyage around the tip of South America would take four to five months, cover 18,000 nautical miles. An alternative was to sail to the Atlantic side of the Isthmus of Panama, take canoes and mules for a week through the jungle, on the Pacific side, wait for a ship sailing for San Francisco. There was a route across Mexico starting at Veracruz; the companies providing such transportation created vast wealth among their owners and included the U.
S. Mail Steamship Company, the federally subsidized Pacific Mail Steamship Company, the Accessory Tra
Asa Gray is considered the most important American botanist of the 19th century. His Darwiniana was considered an important explanation of how religion and science were not mutually exclusive. Gray was adamant, he was strongly opposed to the ideas of hybridization within one generation and special creation in the sense of its not allowing for evolution, as he felt evolution was guided by a Creator. As a professor of botany at Harvard University for several decades, Gray visited, corresponded with, many of the leading natural scientists of the era, including Charles Darwin, who held great regard for him. Gray made several trips to Europe to collaborate with leading European scientists of the era, as well as trips to the southern and western United States, he built an extensive network of specimen collectors. A prolific writer, he was instrumental in unifying the taxonomic knowledge of the plants of North America. Of Gray's many works on botany, the most popular was his Manual of the Botany of the Northern United States, from New England to Wisconsin and South to Ohio and Pennsylvania Inclusive, known today as Gray's Manual.
Gray was the sole author of the first five editions of the book and co-author of the sixth, with botanical illustrations by Isaac Sprague. Further editions have been published, it remains a standard in the field. Gray worked extensively on a phenomenon, now called the "Asa Gray disjunction", the surprising morphological similarities between many eastern Asian and eastern North American plants. Several structures, geographic features, plants have been named after Gray. Gray was born in Sauquoit, New York, on November 18, 1810, to Moses Gray a tanner, Roxanna Howard Gray. Born in the back of his father's tannery, Gray was the eldest of their eight children. Gray's paternal great-grandfather had arrived in Boston from Northern Ireland in 1718, his parents married on July 30, 1809. Tanneries needed a lot of wood to burn, the lumber supply in the area had been shrinking, so Gray's father used his profits to buy farms in the area, in about 1823 sold the tannery and became a farmer. Gray was an avid reader in his youth.
He completed Clinton Grammar School from about 1823 to 1825, in those years reading many books from the nearby library at Hamilton College. In 1825 he enrolled at Fairfield Academy, switching to its Fairfield Medical College known as the Medical College of the Western District of Fairfield, in autumn 1826, it was during this time. On a trip to New York City, he attempted to meet with John Torrey to get assistance in identifying specimens, but Torrey was not home, so Gray left the specimens at Torrey's house. Torrey was so impressed with Gray's specimens. Gray graduated and became an M. D. in February 1831 though he was not yet 21 years of age, a requirement at the time. Although Gray did open a medical office in Bridgewater, New York, where he had served an apprenticeship with Doctor John Foote Trowbridge while he was in medical school, he never practiced medicine as he enjoyed botany more, it was around this time that he began making explorations in New Jersey. By autumn 1831 he had given up his medical practice to devote more time to botany.
In 1832 he was hired to teach chemistry and botany at Bartlett's High School in Utica, New York, at Fairfield Medical School, replacing instructors who had died in mid-term. Agreeing to teach for one year, with a break from August to December 1832, Gray had to cancel his plans for an expedition to Mexico, which at the time included what is now the southwestern United States. Gray first met Torrey in person in September 1832, they went on an expedition to New Jersey. After completing his teaching assignment in Utica on August 1, 1833, Gray became an assistant to Torrey at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. By this time, Gray was corresponding and trading specimens with botanists not just in America, but in Asia and the Pacific Islands. Gray held a temporary teaching position in 1834 at Hamilton College. Due to funding shortages, in 1835 Gray was obliged to leave his job as Torrey's assistant, in February or March 1836 became curator and librarian at the Lyceum of Natural History in New York, now called the New York Academy of Sciences.
He had an apartment in their new building in Manhattan. Torrey's attempt to get Gray a job at Princeton University was unsuccessful, as were other attempts to find him a position in science. Despite Gray no longer being his assistant and Gray became lifelong friends and colleagues. Torrey's wife, Eliza Torrey, had a profound impact upon Gray in his manners, tastes and religious life. In October 1836 Gray was selected to be one of the botanists on the United States Exploring Expedition known as the "Wilkes Expedition", supposed to last three years. Gray began getting paid well for his work preparing and planning for this expedition to the point of loading supplies onto a ship in New York harbor. However, the expedition was fraught with politics, turmoil and delays. Referring to the Secretary of the Navy, Mahlon Dickerson, Gray wrote of "abominable management & stupidity". Despite this, Gray resigned from the Lyceum in April 1837 to devote his time to the preparations. By 1838 the expedition was in utter turmoil.
The new state of Michigan was starting its university, Gray a
Wales is a country, part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain. It is bordered by England to the east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, the Bristol Channel to the south, it had a population in 2011 of 3,063,456 and has a total area of 20,779 km2. Wales has over 1,680 miles of coastline and is mountainous, with its higher peaks in the north and central areas, including Snowdon, its highest summit; the country has a changeable, maritime climate. Welsh national identity emerged among the Britons after the Roman withdrawal from Britain in the 5th century, Wales is regarded as one of the modern Celtic nations. Llywelyn ap Gruffudd's death in 1282 marked the completion of Edward I of England's conquest of Wales, though Owain Glyndŵr restored independence to Wales in the early 15th century; the whole of Wales was annexed by England and incorporated within the English legal system under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542. Distinctive Welsh politics developed in the 19th century. Welsh liberalism, exemplified in the early 20th century by Lloyd George, was displaced by the growth of socialism and the Labour Party.
Welsh national feeling grew over the century. Established under the Government of Wales Act 1998, the National Assembly for Wales holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters. At the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, development of the mining and metallurgical industries transformed the country from an agricultural society into an industrial nation. Two-thirds of the population live in South Wales, including Cardiff, Swansea and the nearby valleys. Now that the country's traditional extractive and heavy industries have gone or are in decline, Wales' economy depends on the public sector and service industries and tourism. Although Wales shares its political and social history with the rest of Great Britain, a majority of the population in most areas speaks English as a first language, the country has retained a distinct cultural identity and is bilingual. Over 560,000 Welsh language speakers live in Wales, the language is spoken by a majority of the population in parts of the north and west.
From the late 19th century onwards, Wales acquired its popular image as the "land of song", in part due to the eisteddfod tradition. At many international sporting events, such as the FIFA World Cup, Rugby World Cup and the Commonwealth Games, Wales has its own national teams, though at the Olympic Games, Welsh athletes compete as part of a Great Britain team. Rugby union is seen as an expression of national consciousness; the English words "Wales" and "Welsh" derive from the same Germanic root, itself derived from the name of the Gaulish people known to the Romans as Volcae and which came to refer indiscriminately to all non-Germanic peoples. The Old English-speaking Anglo-Saxons came to use the term Wælisc when referring to the Britons in particular, Wēalas when referring to their lands; the modern names for some Continental European lands and peoples have a similar etymology. In Britain, the words were not restricted to modern Wales or to the Welsh but were used to refer to anything that the Anglo-Saxons associated with the Britons, including other non-Germanic territories in Britain and places in Anglo-Saxon territory associated with Britons, as well as items associated with non-Germanic Europeans, such as the walnut.
The modern Welsh name for themselves is Cymry, Cymru is the Welsh name for Wales. These words are descended from the Brythonic word combrogi, meaning "fellow-countrymen"; the use of the word Cymry as a self-designation derives from the location in the post-Roman Era of the Welsh people in modern Wales as well as in northern England and southern Scotland. It emphasised that the Welsh in modern Wales and in the Hen Ogledd were one people, different from other peoples. In particular, the term was not applied to the Cornish or the Breton peoples, who are of similar heritage and language to the Welsh; the word came into use as a self-description before the 7th century. It is attested in a praise poem to Cadwallon ap Cadfan c. 633. In Welsh literature, the word Cymry was used throughout the Middle Ages to describe the Welsh, though the older, more generic term Brythoniaid continued to be used to describe any of the Britonnic peoples and was the more common literary term until c. 1200. Thereafter Cymry prevailed as a reference to the Welsh.
Until c. 1560 the word was spelt Kymry or Cymry, regardless of whether it referred to the people or their homeland. The Latinised forms of these names, Cambrian and Cambria, survive as lesser-used alternative names for Wales and the Welsh people. Examples include the Cambrian Mountains, the newspaper Cambrian News, the organisations Cambrian Airways, Cambrian Railways, Cambrian Archaeological Association and the Royal Cambrian Academy of Art. Outside Wales, a related form survives as the name Cumbria in North West England, once a part of Yr Hen Ogledd; the Cumbric language, thought to
Charles Wilkes was an American naval officer, ship's captain, explorer. He led the United States Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842 and commanded the ship in the Trent Affair during the American Civil War, where he attacked a Royal Mail Ship leading to war between the US and the UK, his behavior led to two convictions by court-martial, one stemming from the massacre of 80 Fijians on Malolo in 1840. Wilkes was born in New York City, on April 3, 1798, as the great nephew of the former Lord Mayor of London John Wilkes, his mother was Mary Seton. As a result, Charles was raised by his aunt, Elizabeth Ann Seton, who would convert to Roman Catholicism and become the first American-born woman canonized a saint by the Catholic Church; when Elizabeth was left widowed with five children, Charles was sent to a boarding school, attended Columbia College, the present-day Columbia University. He entered the United States Navy as a midshipman in 1818, became a lieutenant in 1826. In 1833, for his survey of Narragansett Bay, he was placed in charge of the Navy's Department of Charts and Instruments, out of which developed the Naval Observatory and Hydrographic Office.
Wilkes' interdisciplinary expedition set a physical oceanography benchmark for the office's first superintendent Matthew Fontaine Maury. During the 1820s, Wilkes was a member of the prestigious Columbian Institute for the Promotion of Arts and Sciences, which counted among its members presidents Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams and many prominent men of the day, including well-known representatives of the military, government service and other professions. In 1838, although not yet a seasoned naval line officer, Wilkes was experienced in nautical survey work, was working with civilian scientists. Upon this background, he was given command of the government exploring expedition "... for the purpose of exploring and surveying the Southern Ocean... as well to determine the existence of all doubtful islands and shoals, as to discover, fix, the position of those which in or near the track of our vessels in that quarter, have escaped the observation of scientific navigators." The US Exploring Squadron was authorized by act of the Congress on May 18, 1836.
The Exploring Expedition known as the "Wilkes Expedition," included naturalists, botanists, a mineralogist, artists and a philologist, it was carried by USS Vincennes and USS Peacock, the brig USS Porpoise, the store-ship USS Relief, two schooners, USS Sea Gull and USS Flying Fish. Departing from Hampton Roads on August 18, 1838, the expedition stopped at the Madeira Islands and Rio de Janeiro. Next the expedition visited the Hawaiian Islands. In Fiji, the expedition kidnapped the chief Ro Veidovi, charging him with the murder of a crew of American whalers. And, in July 1840, two sailors, one of whom was Wilkes' nephew, Midshipman Wilkes Henry, were killed while bartering for food on Fiji's Malolo Island. Wilkes' retribution was severe. According to an old man of Malolo Island, nearly 80 Fijians were killed in the incident. From December 1840 to March 1841, he employed hundreds of native Hawaiian porters and many of his men to haul a pendulum to the summit of Mauna Loa to measure gravity. Instead of using the existing trail, he blazed his own way.
The conditions on the mountain reminded him of Antarctica. Many of his crew suffered snow blindness, altitude sickness and foot injuries from wearing out their shoes, he explored the west coast of North America, including the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Puget Sound, the Columbia River, San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento River, in 1841. He held the first American Independence Day celebration west of the Mississippi River in Dupont, Washington on July 5, 1841; the United States Exploring Expedition passed through the Ellice Islands and visited Funafuti and Vaitupu in 1841. The expedition returned by way of the Philippines, the Sulu Archipelago, Singapore and the Cape of Good Hope, reaching New York on June 10, 1842. After having encircled the globe, Wilkes had logged some 87,000 miles and lost two ships and 28 men. Wilkes was court-martialled upon his return for the loss of one of his ships on the Columbia River bar, for the regular mistreatment of his subordinate officers, for excessive punishment of his sailors.
A major witness against him was ship doctor Charles Guillou. He was acquitted on all charges except illegally punishing men in his squadron. For a short time, he was attached to the Coast Survey, but from 1844 to 1861, he was chiefly engaged in preparing the report of the expedition, his Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition was published in 1844. He edited the scientific reports of the expedition and was the author of Vol. XI and Vol. XXIII. Alfred Thomas Agate and illustrator, was the designated portrait and botanical artist of the expedition, his work was used to illustrate the Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition. The Narrative contains much interesting material concerning the manners, customs and economic conditions in many places little known. Wilkes' 1841 Map of
The sperm whale or cachalot is the largest of the toothed whales and the largest toothed predator. It is the only living member of genus Physeter and one of three extant species in the sperm whale family, along with the pygmy sperm whale and dwarf sperm whale of the genus Kogia; the sperm whale is a pelagic mammal with a worldwide range, will migrate seasonally for feeding and breeding. Females and young males live together in groups, while mature males live solitary lives outside of the mating season; the females cooperate to nurse their young. Females give birth every four to twenty years, care for the calves for more than a decade. A mature sperm whale has few natural predators, although calves and weakened adults are sometimes killed by pods of orcas. Mature males average 16 metres in length but some may reach 20.5 metres, with the head representing up to one-third of the animal's length. Plunging to 2,250 metres, it is the second deepest diving mammal, following only the Cuvier's beaked whale.
The sperm whale uses vocalization as loud as 230 decibels underwater. It has the largest brain on Earth, more than five times heavier than a human's. Sperm whales can live for more than 60 years. Spermaceti, from which the whale derives its name, was a prime target of the whaling industry, was sought after for use in oil lamps and candles. Ambergris, a solid waxy waste product sometimes present in its digestive system, is still valued as a fixative in perfumes, among other uses. Beachcombers look out for ambergris as flotsam. Sperm whaling was a major industry in the nineteenth century, immortalised in the novel Moby Dick; the species is protected by the International Whaling Commission moratorium, is listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The name sperm whale is a truncation of spermaceti whale. Spermaceti mistakenly identified as the whales' semen, is the semi-liquid, waxy substance found within the whale's head; the sperm whale is known as the "cachalot", thought to derive from the archaic French for "tooth" or "big teeth", as preserved for example in cachau in the Gascon dialect.
The etymological dictionary of Corominas says the origin is uncertain, but it suggests that it comes from the Vulgar Latin cappula, plural of cappulum, "sword hilt". The word cachalot came to English via French from Spanish or Portuguese cachalote from Galician/Portuguese cachola, "big head"; the term is retained in the Russian word for the animal, кашалот, as well as in many other languages. The scientific genus name Physeter comes from Greek physētēr, meaning "blowpipe, blowhole", or – as a pars pro toto – "whale"; the specific name macrocephalus is Latinized from the Greek makrokephalos, from makros + kephalē. Its synonymous specific name catodon means odṓn. Another synonym australasianus was applied to sperm whales in the southern hemisphere; the sperm whale belongs to the order Cetartiodactyla, the order containing all cetaceans and even-toed ungulates. It is a member of the unranked clade Cetacea, with all the whales and porpoises, further classified into Odontoceti, containing all the toothed whales and dolphins.
It is the sole extant species of Physeter, in the family Physeteridae. Two species of the related extant genus Kogia, the pygmy sperm whale Kogia breviceps and the dwarf sperm whale K. simus, are placed either in this family or in the family Kogiidae. In some taxonomic schemes the families Kogiidae and Physeteridae are combined as the superfamily Physeteroidea; the sperm whale is one of the species described by Linnaeus in 1758 in his eighteenth century work, Systema Naturae. He recognised four species in the genus Physeter. Experts soon realised that just one such species exists, although there has been debate about whether this should be named P. catodon or P. macrocephalus, two of the names used by Linnaeus. Both names are still used, although most recent authors now accept macrocephalus as the valid name, limiting catodon's status to a lesser synonym; until 1974, the species was known as P. catodon. In that year, Husson & Holthuis proposed that the correct name should be P. macrocephalus, the second name in the genus Physeter published by Linnaeus concurrently with P. catodon.
This proposition was based on the grounds that the names were synonyms published and, the ICZN Principle of the First Reviser should apply. In this instance, it led to the choice of P. macrocephalus over P. catodon, a view re-stated in Holthuis, 1987. This has been adopted by most subsequent authors, although Schevill argued that macrocephalus was published with an inaccurate description and that therefore only the species catodon was valid, rendering the principle of "First Reviser" inapplicable; the most recent version of ITIS has altered its usage from P. catodon to P. macrocephalus, following L. B. Holthuis and more recent discussions with relevant experts. Furthermore, The Taxonomy Committee of the Society for Marine Mammalogy, the largest international association of marine mammal scientists in the world uses Physeter macrocephalus when publishing their definitive list of marine mammal species; the sperm whale is the largest toothed whale, with adult males measuring up to 20.5 metres long and
A midshipman is an officer of the junior-most rank, in the Royal Navy, United States Navy, many Commonwealth navies. Commonwealth countries which use the rank include Canada, Bangladesh, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Kenya. In the 17th century, a midshipman was a rating for an experienced seaman, the word derives from the area aboard a ship, either where the original rating worked on the ship, or where he was berthed. Beginning in the 18th century, a commissioned officer candidate was rated as a midshipman, the seaman rating began to die out. By the Napoleonic era, a midshipman was an apprentice officer who had served at least three years as a volunteer, officer's servant or able seaman, was equivalent to a present-day petty officer in rank and responsibilities. After serving at least three years as a midshipman or master's mate, he was eligible to take the examination for lieutenant. Promotion to lieutenant was not automatic, many midshipmen took positions as master's mates for an increase in pay and responsibility aboard ship.
Midshipmen in the United States Navy were trained and served to midshipmen in the Royal Navy, although unlike their counterparts in the Royal Navy, a midshipman was a warrant officer rank until 1912. During the 19th century, changes in the training of naval officers in both the Royal Navy and the United States Navy led to the replacement of apprenticeship aboard ships with formal schooling in a naval college. Midshipman began to mean an officer cadet at a naval college. Trainees now spent around four years in a college and two years at sea prior to promotion to commissioned officer rank. Between the mid-19th and mid-20th centuries, time at sea declined to less than a year as the entry age was increased from 12 to 18. Ranks equivalent to midshipman exist in many other navies. Using US midshipman or pre-fleet board UK midshipman as the basis for comparison, the equivalent rank would be a naval cadet in training to become a junior commissioned officer. Using post-fleet board UK midshipman for comparison, the rank would be the most junior commissioned officer in the rank structure, similar to a US ensign in role and responsibility.
In many Romance languages, the literal translation of the local term for "midshipman" into English is "Navy Guard", including the French garde marine, Spanish guardia marina, Portuguese guarda-marinha, Italian guardiamarina. Today, these ranks all refer to naval cadets, but they were selected by the monarchy, were trained on land as soldiers; the rank of midshipman originated during the Tudor and Stuart eras, referred to a post for an experienced seaman promoted from the ordinary deck hands, who worked in between the main and mizzen masts and had more responsibility than an ordinary seaman, but was not a military officer or an officer in training. The first published use of the term midshipman was in 1662; the word derives from an area aboard a ship, but it refers either to the location where midshipmen worked on the ship, or the location where midshipmen were berthed. By the 18th century, four types of midshipman existed: midshipman, midshipman extraordinary and midshipman ordinary; some midshipmen were older men, while most were officer candidates who failed to pass the lieutenant examination or were passed over for promotion, some members of the original rating served, as late as 1822, alongside apprentice officers without themselves aspiring to a commission.
By 1794, all midshipmen were considered officer candidates, the original rating was phased out. Beginning in 1661, boys who aspired to become officers were sent by their families to serve on ships with a "letter of service" from the crown, were paid at the same rate as midshipmen; the letter instructed the admirals and captains that the bearer was to be shown "such kindness as you shall judge fit for a gentleman, both in accommodating him in your ship and in furthering his improvement". Their official rating was volunteer-per-order, but they were known as King's letter boys, to distinguish their higher social class from the original midshipman rating. Beginning in 1677, Royal Navy regulations for promotion to lieutenant required service as a midshipman, promotion to midshipman required some time at sea. By the Napoleonic era, the regulations required at least three years of services as a midshipman or master's mate and six years of total sea time. Sea time was earned in various ways, most boys served this period at sea in any lower rating, either as a servant of one of the ship's officers, a volunteer, or a seaman.
By the 1730s, the rating volunteer-per-order was phased out and replaced with a system where prospective midshipmen served as servants for officers. For example, a captain was allowed four servants for every 100 men aboard his ship. In 1729, the Royal Naval Academy in Portsmouth – renamed the Royal Naval College in 1806 – was founded, for 40 students aged between 13 and 16, who would take three years to complete a course of study defined in an illustrated book, would earn two years of sea time as part of their studies; the rating of midshipman-by-order, or midshipman ordinary, was used for graduates of the Royal Naval College, to distinguish them from midshipmen who had served aboard ship, who were paid more. The school was unpopular in the Navy, because officers enjoyed the privilege of having servants and preferred the traditional method of training officers via apprenticeship. In 1794, officers' servants were abolished and a new class of volunteers called'volunteer class I' was created for boys between the ag
War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a conflict fought between the United States, the United Kingdom, their respective allies from June 1812 to February 1815. Historians in Britain see it as a minor theater of the Napoleonic Wars. From the outbreak of war with Napoleonic France, Britain had enforced a naval blockade to choke off neutral trade to France, which the US contested as illegal under international law. To man the blockade, Britain impressed American merchant sailors into the Royal Navy. Incidents such as the Chesapeake–Leopard affair, which happened five years before the war, inflamed anti-British sentiment in the US. In 1811, the British were in turn outraged by the Little Belt affair, in which 11 British sailors died. Britain supplied Native Americans who raided American settlers on the frontier, hindering American expansion and provoking resentment. Historians debate whether the desire to annex some or all of British North America contributed to the American decision to go to war. On June 18, 1812, US President James Madison, after heavy pressure from the War Hawks in Congress, signed the American declaration of war into law.
With most of its army in Europe fighting Napoleon, Britain adopted a defensive strategy, with offensive operations limited to the border, the western frontier. American prosecution of the war effort suffered from its unpopularity in New England, where it was derogatorily referred to as "Mr. Madison's War". American defeats at the Siege of Detroit and the Battle of Queenston Heights thwarted attempts to seize Upper Canada, improving British morale. American attempts to invade Lower Canada and capture Montreal failed. In 1813, the Americans won the Battle of Lake Erie, gaining control of the lake, at the Battle of the Thames defeated Tecumseh's Confederacy, securing a primary war goal. A final American attempt to invade Canada was fought to a draw at the Battle of Lundy's Lane during the summer of 1814. At sea, the powerful Royal Navy blockaded American ports, cutting off trade and allowing the British to raid the coast at will. In 1814, one of these raids burned the capital, but the Americans repulsed British attempts to invade New York and Maryland, ending invasions of the northern and mid-Atlantic United States from Canada.
Fighting took place overseas in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. In neighbouring Spanish Florida, a two-day battle for the city of Pensacola ended in Spanish surrender. In Britain, there was mounting opposition to wartime taxation. With the abdication of Napoleon, the war with France ended and Britain ceased impressment, rendering the issue of the impressment of American sailors moot; the British were able to increase the strength of the blockade on the United States coast, annihilating American maritime trade, but attempts to invade the U. S. ended unsuccessfully. Peace negotiations began in August 1814, the Treaty of Ghent was signed on December 24. News of the peace did not reach America for some time. Unaware of the treaty, British forces invaded Louisiana and were defeated at the Battle of New Orleans in January 1815; these late victories were viewed by Americans as having restored national honour, leading to the collapse of anti-war sentiment and the beginning of the Era of Good Feelings, a period of national unity.
News of the treaty arrived shortly thereafter. The treaty was unanimously ratified by the US Senate on February 17, 1815, ending the war with no boundary changes. Historians have long debated the relative weight of the multiple reasons underlying the origins of the War of 1812; this section summarizes several contributing factors which resulted in the declaration of war by the United States. As Risjord notes, a powerful motivation for the Americans was the desire to uphold national honour in the face of what they considered to be British insults such as the Chesapeake–Leopard affair. H. W. Brands says, "The other war hawks spoke of the struggle with Britain as a second war of independence; the approaching conflict was about violations of American rights, but it was about vindication of American identity." Americans at the time and historians since have called it the United States' "Second War of Independence". The British were offended by what they considered insults such as the Little Belt affair.
This gave the British a particular interest in capturing the United States flagship President, which they succeeded in doing in 1815. In 1807, Britain introduced a series of trade restrictions via the Orders in Council to impede neutral trade with France, which Britain was fighting in the Napoleonic Wars; the United States contested these restrictions as illegal under international law. Historian Reginald Horsman states, "a large section of influential British opinion, both in the government and in the country, thought that America presented a threat to British maritime supremacy."The American merchant marine had nearly doubled between 1802 and 1810, making it by far the largest neutral fleet. Britain was the largest trading partner, receiving 80% of U. S. cotton and 50% of other U. S. exports. The British public and press were resentful of commercial competition; the United States' view was. During the Napoleonic Wars, the Royal Navy expanded to 176 ships of the line and 600 ships overall, requiring 140,000 sailors to man.
While the Royal Navy could man its ships with volunteers in peacetime, it competed in wartime with merchant shi