The Long Road to Annapolis: The Founding of the Naval Academy and the Emerging American Republic

The Long Road to Annapolis: The Founding of the Naval Academy and the Emerging American Republic

by William P. Leeman
     
 

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The United States established an academy for educating future army officers at West Point in 1802. Why, then, did it take this maritime nation forty-three more years to create a similar school for the navy? The Long Road to Annapolis examines the origins of the United States Naval Academy and the national debate that led to its founding.

Americans early on

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Overview

The United States established an academy for educating future army officers at West Point in 1802. Why, then, did it take this maritime nation forty-three more years to create a similar school for the navy? The Long Road to Annapolis examines the origins of the United States Naval Academy and the national debate that led to its founding.

Americans early on looked with suspicion upon professional military officers, fearing that a standing military establishment would become too powerful, entrenched, or dangerous to republican ideals. Tracing debates about the nature of the nation, class identity, and partisan politics, William P. Leeman explains how the country's reluctance to establish a national naval academy gradually evolved into support for the idea. The United States Naval Academy was finally established in 1845, when most Americans felt it would provide the best educational environment for producing officers and gentlemen who could defend the United States at sea, serve American interests abroad, and contribute to the nation's mission of economic, scientific, and moral progress.

Considering the development of the naval officer corps in relation to American notions of democracy and aristocracy, The Long Road to Annapolis sheds new light on the often competing ways Americans perceived their navy and their nation during the first half of the nineteenth century.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
An excellent history of the politics and personalities animating the long debate over whether to establish a naval academy, with many interesting anecdotes along the way. . . . A fine tale of how the Naval Academy came to be.—John Lehman, The Washington Post

Anyone interested in the struggle for a naval academy or the history of the early republic will find The Long Road to Annapolis an absorbing study.—Naval Institute Proceedings

John Lehman
William Leeman has given us an excellent history of the politics and personalities animating the long debate over whether to establish a naval academy, with many interesting anecdotes along the way.
—The Washington Post

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807833834
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
06/01/2010
Edition description:
1
Pages:
312
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
This is an excellent and sophisticated history of the half-century of (ultimately successful) attempts to establish a full-fledged institution of higher education for the development of professional naval officers in the United States. The continuing juxtaposition of West Point and the proposed naval academy throughout the book offers an essential comparative perspective. The Long Road to Annapolis fills an important gap in the history of higher education and military education in the United States.—Christopher McKee, Samuel R. and Marie-Louise Rosenthal Professor, Grinnell College

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