An in-depth study of America's merchant marine
A Maritime History of the United States is a pioneering study of the role of civilian maritime activities in the development of the United States. It stresses the crucial role played by the oceans, rivers, lakes, and canals in the history of the nation. The exploration and settlement of North America occurred within a maritime context during the European Age of Discovery. The colonists exploited the seas and rivers to develop a maritime-oriented economy prior to the American Revolution. British trade regulations both benefited and retarded the colonists' economic growth and played a substantial role in the movement towards independence. The study concludes with a discussion of the reasons for the current decline of the American merchant marine and the dangers which that implies. Individual chapters are devoted to the fishing and whaling industries, the Great Lakes, and the western rivers.
The late K. Jack Bauer was a professor of history at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. A noted naval and military historian, Bauer received his A.B. degree from Harvard College and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Indiana University. He was the author of more than a dozen books.
"If Dr. Bauer had answered only the "whats" and "whens" of America's maritime past, this book would be an excellent reference tool. He goes beyond this to answer the infinitely more difficult "whys" and "hows." This makes the work useful to all maritime scholars. But more important, by reading this work carefully the general reader can conclude for himself what has gone wrong in our maritime world. This is what makes this book a classic in the field."—Proceedings
"A fitting end to the many fine contributions to naval history by the late author, K. Jack Bauer. He has left one of the very few well-done, modern, single-volume works on U.S. maritime history."—Choice
"An alternative to the usual history of America told in terms of territorial imperative. . . a well-conceived and well-written book."—Library Journal