Construction of America’s ‘New Navy’ and the Transfer of British Naval Technology to the United States, 1870-1900

By William H. Thiesen, published November 1999


Between 1870 and 1900, an emerging new generation of naval administrators and officers conducted a campaign to reform the United States Navy from within by obtaining British naval technology. The US Navy sent personnel on intelligence gathering tours, assigned a permanent naval attaché to the embassy in London, posted naval cadets to British naval architecture programmes and, in other ways, acquired British technology and technical know-how. This deliberate effort to transfer British naval technology to the United States led to a rejuvenation of the American fleet and the institutions supporting it.  The transfer of British skills led to the modernisation of the US Navy and the profession of naval architecture in the US.

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Filed under: Nineteenth Century
Subjects include: Administration | Navies | Shipbuilding & Design

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