FROM 1790 TO 1924





In 1897 the late Theodore Roosevelt, then Assistant Secretary of the the Navy, prepatted a pamphlet which he styled "American Naval Policy as Outlined in Messages of the Presidents of the United States." His compilation covered the period from 1790 down to and including the administration of President Benjamin Harrison.

This pamphlet is here reprinted, revised by being brought down to date. The introduction is reproduced precisely as it was written by Assistant Secretary Theodore Roosevelt in 1897. The footnotes covering the period to 1892 were prepared by him. The extracts from 1894 to the present time were added by the Navy Department.

The late President Harding examined an earlier edition of this pamphlet before his departure on his Alaskan trip. He was much interested in the utterances of former Presidents regarding our Navy and stated that he would discuss the subject in his next message to Congress. The last speech which he delivered to any audience was on the subject of "Our Navy." Because President Harding summoned the nations of the world to a conference on the limitation of naval armament, it seems fitting to include a portion of his last speech in this booklet.

There is added as an appendix an extract from the report of the Secretary of the Navy for 1922. It expresses in concrete form the policy which the Navy Department is following.


Assistant Secretary of the Navy.


Washington, D. C., April 10, 1924.



The Naval Policy of America as Outlined in Messages of the Presidents of the United States from the Beginning to the Present Day

The following references [1] by Presidents of the United States to the urgent need of the United States possessing a proper Navy, corresponding to the Nation's position as a great power and ready at any time for efficient service in war, could be multiplied a thousand-fold from the speeches and writings of almost all the statesmen who have striven disinterestedly and intelligently for the true honor and greatness of America. By no means all of the references made by the Presidents themselves have been taken. Many of them, such as President Taylor's urgent appeals for the establishment of a retiring list and pension list and the improvement of the personnel of the Navy, or the recitals of the glory gained and conferred by the Navy in the War of 1812 and the Civil War, are omitted because they do not bear on the problem of the present day, which is, in my own opinion, to further strengthen the Navy, both in materiel and personnel, in battleships, in torpedo boats, in dry docks, in numbers of officers and men.

Fortunately the quality of the ships and guns and of the officers and men that we have is excellent.

The utterances of the Presidents here quoted tell in outline the growth of the Navy. Washington first advocated its formation for reasons which apply now as forcibly as they applied when he wrote, over a century ago. What he said shows well how, on this as on all other questions, the greatest of Americans approached every problem of vital interest to America in a spirit of the broadest patriotism and statesmanship, combined with clear appreciation of the needs of the present and keen insight into the greater needs which the future would develop.

Under the elder Adams the Navy which Washington advocated was actually begun, and even in its infancy it accomplished feats of note. The work of building it up was unwisely stopped, and the

[1] Where necessary they are slightly condensed.

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War of 1812 showed clearly the vital benefits conferred upon the Nation by the little Navy which it possessed, and the terrible loss and damage caused by the fact that in size this Navy was but a small fraction of what it should have been. The utterances of Monroe, the younger Adams. and Andrew Jackson show that the lesson was at least partially learned, and our Navy, though never brought up quite to the standard it should have been in point of size, was nevertheless maintained in a condition not wholly out of proportion to the needs and the honor of that Nation.

Especial attention should be paid to the third quotation from Andrew Jackson. The victor of New Orleans had that "instinct for the jugular" which is possessed by every great fighter. All that he says applies to the present day, for, as he points out so clearly, the only effective defensive is the offensive; the only way to defend our own seacoast properly is to attack our enemy instead of waiting for him to attack us. It is for this reason that we can not afford to rely purely upon torpedo boats or upon any kind of mere coast-defense vessels. Though it is, of course, absolutely necessary to have an abundance of torpedo boats, we must also possess a powerful fleet of ships able to hold the seas, able to make long voyages, to stand rough weather, and to meet and overcome in the shock of actual fight any enemy's fleet, for it is the enemy's fleet which should be the true objective in naval war. Fortifications are indispensable, but they in no sense equal or supply the place of a fighting navy.

The effect of bringing the Navy up to something like a proper standard was shown in the inestimable services it rendered during the Civil War. It is characteristic of Lincoln's farseeing statesmanship and loving care for the welfare, ultimate as well as immediate of the people for whom he was soon to lay down his life, that in the midst of the iron stress of the Civil War, when the problems of the present would have wholly absorbed any lesser man, he should yet have thought of the future in connection with our Navy and should have advocated the building of those seagoing battleships which, though not needed in civil strife, would most assuredly be indispensable if the honor and renown of America were to be upheld against foreign powers.

After the close of the Civil War there came a period of reaction and decline. In spite of President Grant's repeated warning and protests, a spirit of economy prevailed, and our Navy was suffered to sink below the level of that of even the third-rate powers. Then, in the middle of President Arthur's administration, the turn came; the people and their representatives awoke to what was demanded by national self-respect, the foundations of our present Navy were laid, and ever since then under every administration the work of building it up has gone steadily on.

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In point of efficiency our ships need fear comparison with those of no foreign nation, and though they are not as numerous as they should ultimately be, yet long strides in the right direction have been taken. If we continue to build up our Navy for a few years to come along the lines we have followed for the 15 years immediately past, we shall, within a comparatively short period, place the United States where she should be, among the naval powers of the world. Such a Navy would be, as all of our great leaders from the days of Washington and the elder Adams to our own have pointed out, the surest guaranty of peace; and if by any unlucky chance we were to have war it would not merely save us from material disasters, but, what is of incalculably more moment, it would prevent that loss of national honor which would be felt as keenly in the farthest interior of the country as on the seaboard of the Atlantic or the Pacific.


Assistant Secretary.


Washington, 1897.


January 8, 1790

To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.

Annual Address

December 7, 1796

To secure respect to a neutral flag requires a naval force organized and ready to vindicate it from insult or aggression. This may even prevent the necessity of going to war by discouraging belligerent powers from committing such violations of the rights of the neutral party as may, first or last, leave no other option.

These considerations invite the United States to look to the means and to set about the gradual creation of a Navy.

However pacific the general policy of a nation may be it ought never to be without an adequate stock of military knowledge for emergencies. This lack would impair the energy of its character and hazard its safety or expose it to greater evils when war could not be avoided; besides that, war might often not depend upon its own choice. In proportion as the observance of pacific maxims might exempt a nation from the necessity of practicing the rules of

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the military art ought to be its care in preserving and transmitting, by proper establishments, the knowledge of that art. The art of war is at once comprehensive and complicated. It demands much previous study, and the possession of it in its most improved and perfect state is always of great moment to the security of a nation.


May 16, 1797

Naval power is the natural defense of the United States.

December 8, 1798

In demonstrating by our conduct that we do not fear war for the necessary protection of our rights and honor we shall give no room to infer that we abandon the desire of peace. Efficient preparation for war can alone insure peace.

The beneficial effects of the small naval armament provided under the acts of the last session are known and acknowledged. Perhaps no country ever experienced more sudden and remarkable advantages from any measure of policy than we have derived from the arming of our maritime protection and defense. We ought without loss of time to lay the foundation for an increase of our Navy to a size sufficient to guard our coast and protect our trade. Such a naval force would afford the best means of general defense.

December 3, 1799

A steady perseverance in a system of national defense commensurate with our resources and the situation of our country is an obvious dictate of wisdom, for nothing short of the power of repelling aggression will secure to our country a rational prospect of escaping the calamities of war or national degradation.

November 27, 1800

A Navy, well organized, must constitute the natural and efficient defense of this country against all foreign hostility.

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May 25, 1813

The brilliant achievements of our infant Navy claim the highest praise and the full recompense provided by Congress.

December 5, 1815

The signal services which have been rendered by our Navy and the capacities it has developed for successful cooperation in the national defense will give to that portion of the public force its full value in the eyes of Congress. To preserve the ships we now have in a sound state, to complete those already contemplated, to provide amply for prompt augmentations, is dictated by the soundest policy.


January 30, 1824

In the late war our whole coast was either invaded or menaced with invasion. There was scarcely a harbor or city on any of our great inlets which could be considered secure. In whatever direction the enemy chose to move with their squadrons and to land their troops, our fortifications, where any existed, presented but little obstacle to them. Their squadrons, in fact, annoyed our whole coast, not of the sea only but every bay and great river throughout its whole extent. In entering these inlets and sailing up them with a small force the effect was disastrous, since it never failed to draw out the whole population on each side and to keep it in the field while the squadron remained there. The expense and exposure of the inhabitants and the waste of property may readily be conceived. These occurrences demonstrate clearly that in the wars of other powers we can rely only on force for the protection of our neutral rights, and that in any war in which we may be engaged hereafter with a strong naval power the expense, waste, and other calamities attending it, considering the vast extent of our maritime frontier, can not fail, unless it be defended by adequate fortifications and a suitable naval force, to correspond with those which were experienced in the late war. Two great objects are therefore to be regarded in the establishment of an adequate naval force: The first to prevent war so far as it may be practicable; the second to diminish its calamities when it may be inevitable. No government will be disposed to violate our rights if it knows we have the means and are prepared and resolved to defend them.

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December 6, 1825

A military marine is the only arm by which our power can be estimated or felt by foreign nations, and the only standing military force which can never be dangerous to our own liberty. A permanent naval peace establishment, adapted to our present condition and adaptable to that gigantic growth with which the Nation is advancing in its career is among the subjects which have already occupied the foresight of the last Congress. Our Navy, commenced upon a scale commensurate with the incipient energies, the scanty resources, and the comparative indigence of our infancy, was even then found adequate to cope with the powers of Barbary and with one of the principal maritime powers of Europe.

At a period of further advancement, but with little accession of strength, it has not only sustained with honor the most unequal of conflicts but covered itself and our country with unfading glory. But it is only since the close of the late war that by the numbers and force of the ships of which it was composed it could deserve the name of a Navy.

December 5, 1826

We have 12 line-of-battle ships, [2] 10 frigates, and sloops of war in proportion, which, with a few months of preparation, may present a line of floating fortifications along the whole range of our coast. Combined with a system of fortifications upon the shores themselves, it has placed in our possession the most effective sinews of war and has left us at once an example and a lesson from which our own duties may be inferred. The gradual increase of the Navy was the principle of which the act of 29th April, 1816, was the development. It was the introduction of a system to act upon the character and history of our own country for an indefinite series of ages. It was a declaration of that Congress to their constituents and to posterity that it was the destiny and the duty of the United States to become in regular process of time and by no petty advances a great naval power.

[2] Relatively to our size, and to the navies of other nations, this was a much larger naval force than we have now; and at the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861 we were still relatively more powerful at sea than we are now. As regards men to draw on for manning our ships, we no longer have the great maritime commerce and fishing fleets we then had; but we now have, what we then did not, the men who work on the waters of the Great Lakes, and even of the rivers of the West, on whom we can also draw largely; and though our men must still be seamen to be efficient on board ship, and though they require a longer time than ever to learn their duties as men-of-warsmen, the gap between the seaman and the man ashore is no longer so wide as it was.

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March 4, 1829

The increase of our Navy, whose flag has displayed in distant climes our skill in navigation and our fame in arms; the preservation of our forts, arsenals, and dockyards; and the introduction of progressive improvements in the discipline and science of both branches of our military service are so plainly prescribed by prudence that I should be excused for omitting their mention sooner than for enlarging on their importance.

December 8, 1829

Constituting, as the Navy does, the best standing security of this country against foreign aggression, it claims the especial attentionof Government, and should continue to be cherished as the offspring of our national experience.

March 4, 1837

No nation, however desirous of peace, can hope to escape occasional collisions with other powers, and the soundest dictates of policy require that we should place ourselves in a position to assert our rights if a resort to force should ever become necessary. Our local situation, our long line of seacoast, indented by numerous bays, with deep rivers opening into the interior, as well as our extended and still increasing commerce, point to the Navy as our national means of defense. It will in the end be found to be the cheapest and most effectual, and now is the time, in a season of peace, that we can year after year add to its strength without increasing the burdens of the people. It is your true policy, for your Navy will not only protect your rich and flourishing commerce in distant seas, but will enable you to reach and annoy the enemy, and will give to defense its greatest efficiency by meeting danger at a distance from home. [3] It is impossible by any line of fortification to guard every point from attack against a hostile force advancing from the ocean and selecting its object, but they are indispensable to protect cities from bombardment, dockyards and naval arsenals from destruction, to give shelter to merchant vessels in time of war and to single ships or weaker squadrons when pressed by superior force. Fortifications of this description can not be too soon completed and armed and placed in a condition of the most perfect preparation. The abundant means

[3] The italics are my own.

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we now possess can not be applied in any manner more useful to the country, and when this is done and our naval force sufficiently strengthened we need not fear that any nation will wantonly insult us or needlessly provoke hostilities. We shall more certainly preserve peace when it is well understood that we are prepared for war.


December 7, 1841

Every effort will be made to add to the efficiency of the Navy and I can not too strongly urge upon you liberal appropriations to that branch of the public service. Our extended and otherwise exposed maritime frontier calls for protection, to the furnishing of which an efficient naval force is indispensable. We look to no foreign conquests, nor do we propose to enter into competition with any other nation for supremacy on the ocean; but it is due not only to the honor but to the security of the people of the United States that no nation should be permitted to invade our waters at pleasure. Parsimony alone would suggest the withholding of the necessary means for the protection of our domestic firesides from invasion and our national honor from disgrace. I would most earnestly recommend the increase and prompt equipment of that gallant Navy which has lighted up every sea with its victories and spread all imperishable glory over the country.


December 2, 1845

Our reliance for protection and defense on the land must be mainly in our citizen soldiers. who will be ever ready as they ever have been ready in times past, to rush with alacrity at the call of their country to her defense. This description of force, however, can not, defend our coast, harbors, and inland seas, nor protect our commerce on the ocean or the lakes. These must be protected by our Navy.

Considering an increased naval force, and especially steam vessels corresponding with our growth and importance as a nation, and proportioned to the increased and increasing naval power of other nations, of vast importance as regards our safety, and the great and growing interests to be protected by it. I recommend the subject to the favorable consideration of Congress.

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December 8, 1863

The duties devolving on the naval branch of the service during the year, and throughout the whole of this unhappy contest, have been discharged with fidelity and eminent success.

The events of the war give an increased interest and importance to the Navy, which will probably extend beyond the war itself.

The armored vessels in our Navy, completed and in service, or which are under contract and approaching completion, are believed to exceed in number those of any other power. But while these may be relied upon for harbor defense and coast service, others of greater strength and capacity will be necessary for cruising purposes and to maintain our rightful position on the ocean.

No inconsiderable embarrassment, delay, and public injury have been experienced from the want of governmental establishments (sufficient in number and adequate in character) for the construction and necessary repair of modern naval vessels. I think it my duty to invite your special attention to this subject. Satisfactory and important as have been the performances of the heroic men of the Navy, they are scarcely more wonderful than the success of our mechanics and artisans in the production of war vessels which have created a new form of naval power.

I commend to your consideration the policy of fostering and training seamen for the naval service.


December 5, 1870

The appropriations made for the last and current years were evidently intended by Congress, and are sufficient only, to keep the Navy on its present footing by the repairing and refitting of our old ships. This policy must, of course, gradually but surely destroy the Navy. It can hardly be wise statesmanship in a Government which represents a country with over 5,000 miles of coast line on both oceans, exclusive of Alaska, and containing 40,000,000 of progressive people, with relations of every nature with almost every foreign country, to rest with such inadequate means of enforcing any foreign policy either of protection or redress. Separated by the ocean from the nations of the Eastern Continent, our Navy is our only means of direct protection to our citizens abroad, or for the enforcement of any foreign policy.

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December 2, 1872

Unless early steps are taken to preserve our Navy, in a very few years the United States will be the weakest nation, upon the ocean, of all great powers. With an energetic, progressive, business people like ours penetrating and forming business relations with every part of the known world, a Navy strong enough to command the respect of our flag abroad is necessary for the full protection of all their rights.

December 2, 1873

The distressing occurrences which have taken place in the waters of the Caribbean Sea, almost on our very seaboard, illustrate most forcibly the necessity always existing that a Nation situated like ours should maintain in a state of possible efficiency a Navy adequate to its responsibilities. Congress should provide adequately not only for the present preparation but for the future maintenance of our naval force.


December 6, 1881

I can not too strongly urge upon you my conviction that every consideration of national safety, economy and honor imperatively demands a thorough rehabilitation of our Navy.

With a full appreciation of the fact that this must involve a large expenditure of the public moneys, I earnestly recommend such appropriations as will accomplish an end which seems to me so desirable.

Nothing can be more inconsistent with true public economy than withholding the means necessary to accomplish the objects entrusted by the Constitution to the National Legislature. One of these objects, which is of paramount importance, is declared by our fundamental law to be the provision for the "common defense." Surely nothing is more essential to the defense of the United States and o all our people than the efficiency of our Navy. If we heed the teachings of history we shall not forget that in the life of every nation emergencies may arise when a resort to arms can alone save it from dishonor.

December 4, 1883

The work of strengthening our Navy by the construction of modern vessels has been auspiciously begun.

That our naval strength should be made adequate for the defense of our harbors, the protection of our commercial interests, and the maintenance of our national honor is a proposition from which no patriotic citizen can withhold his assent.

December 1, 1884

I can not too strongly urge the duty of restoring our Navy as rapidly as possible to the high state of efficiency which formerly characterized it. As the long peace that has lulled us into a state of fancied security may at any time be disturbed, it is plain that the policy of strengthening this arm of the service is dictated by considerations of wise economy, of just regard for our future tranquillity, and of true appreciation of the dignity and honor of the Republic.


December 8, 1885

All must admit the importance of an effective Navy to a Nation like ours. Yet we have not a single vessel of war that could keep the seas against a first-class vessel of any important power. Such a condition ought not longer to continue. The nation that can not resist aggression is constantly exposed to it. Its foreign policy is of necessity weak, and its negotiations are conducted with disadvantage because it is not in condition to enforce the terms dictated by its sense of right and justice.


December 9, 1891

When it is recollected that the work of building a modern Navy was only initiated in the year 1883, that our naval constructors and shipbuilders were practically without experience in the construction of large iron and steel ships, that our engine shops were unfamiliar with great marine engines, and that the manufacture of steel forgings for guns and plates was almost wholly a foreign industry, the progress that has been made is not only highly satisfactory, but furnishes the assurance that the United States will before long attain, in the construction of such vessels, with their engines and armaments, the same preeminence which it attained when the best instrument of ocean commerce was the clipper ship, and the most impressive exhibit

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of naval power the old wooden three-decked man-of-war. The officers of the Navy and the proprietors and engineers of our great private shops have responded with wonderful intelligence and professional zeal to the confidence expressed by Congress in its liberal legislation.

There should be no hesitation in promptly completing a Navy of the best modern type, large enough to enable this country to display its flag in all seas for the protection of its citizens and its extending commerce. It is essential to the dignity of this Nation and to that peaceful influence which it should exercise on this hemisphere that its Navy should be adequate, both upon the shores of the Atlantic and of the Pacific.

December 6, 1892

I earnestly express the hope that the work which has made such noble progress may not now be stayed. The wholesome influence for peace and the increased sense of security which our citizens domiciled in other lands feel when these magnificent ships under the American flag appear is already most gratefully apparent. The United States is again a naval power.


December 3, 1894

If we to have a Navy for warlike operations, offensive and defensive, we certainly ought to increase both the number of battleships and torpedo boats.

December 3, 1894

During the past fiscal year there has been an unusual and pressing demand in many quarters of the world for the presence of vessels to guard American interests.

December 7, 1896

The War College has developed into an institution which it is believed will be of great value to the Navy in teaching the science of war, as well as in stimulating the professional zeal in the Navy, and it will be especially useful in the devising of plans for the utilization, in case of necessity, of all the naval resources of the United States.

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Discipline among the officers and men of the Navy has been maintained to a high standard, and the percentage of American citizens enlisted has been very much increased.

The Naval Militia, which was authorized a few years ago as an experiment, has now developed into a body of enterprising young men, active and energetic in the discharge of their duties and promising great usefulness. This establishment has nearly the same relation to our Navy as the National Guard in the different States bears to our Army, and it constitutes a source of supply for our naval forces, the importance of which is immediately apparent.


December 6, 1897

The great increase of the Navy which has taken place in recent years was justified by the requirements for national defense, and has received public approbation. The time has now arrived, however, when this increase, to which the country is committed, should for a time take the form of increased facilities commensurate with the increase of our naval vessels. It is an unfortunate fact that there is only one dock on the Pacific coast capable of docking our largest ships, and only one on the Atlantic coast, and that the latter has for the last six or seven months been under repair and, therefore, incapable of use. Immediate steps should be taken to provide three or four docks of this capacity on the Atlantic coast, at least one on the Pacific coast and a floating dock in the Gulf. This is the recommendation of a very competent board appointed to investigate the subject. There should also be ample provision made for powder and projectiles and other munitions of war, and for an increased number of officers and enlisted men. Some additions are also necessary to our navy yards, for the repair and care of our large number of vessels.

March 4, 1897

Commendable progress has been made of late years in the upbuilding of the American Navy. but we must supplement these efforts by providing as a proper consort for it a merchant marine amply sufficient for our own carrying trade to foreign countries. The question is one that appeals both to our business necessities and the patriotic aspirations of a great people.

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December 5, 1899

The expense is as nothing compared to the advantage to be achieved. The re-establishment of our merchant marine involves in a large measure our continued industrial progress and the extension of our commercial triumphs. I am satisfied the judgment of the country favors the policy of aid to our merchant marine, which will broaden our commerce and markets and upbuild our sea-carrying capacity for the products of agriculture and manufacture; which, with the increase of our Navy, means more work and wages to our countrymen, as well as a safeguard to American interests in every part of the World.

The Navy has maintained the spirit and high efficiency which have always characterized that service, and has lost none of the gallantry in heroic action which has signalized its brilliant and glorious past. The Nation has equal pride in its early and later achievements. Its habitual readiness for every emergency has won the confidence and admiration of the country. The people are interested in the continued preparation and prestige of the Navy and will justify liberal appropriations for its maintenance and improvement. The officers have shown peculiar adaptation for the performance of new and delicate duties which our recent war has imposed.

December 3, 1900

American vessels during the past three years have carried about 9 per cent of our exports and imports. Foreign ships should carry the least, not the greatest, part of American trade. The remarkable growth of our steel industries, the progress of shipbuilding for the domestic trade. and our steadily maintained expenditures for the Navy have created an opportunity to place the United States in the first rank of commercial maritime powers.

Besides realizing a proper national aspiration this will mean the establishment and healthy growth along all our coasts of a distinctive national industry, expanding the field for the profitable employment of labor and capital. It will increase the transportation facilities and reduce freight charges on the vast volume of products brought from the interior to the seaboard for export, and will strengthen an arm of the national defense upon which the founders of the Government and their successors have relied. In again urging immediate action by the Congress on measures to promote American shipping and foreign trade, I direct attention to the recommendations on the subject in previous messages, and particularly to the opinion expressed in the message of 1899:

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"I am satisfied the judgment of the country favors the policy of aid to our merchant marine, which will broaden our commerce and markets and upbuild our sea-carrying capacity for the products of agriculture and manufacture, which, with the increase of our Navy, mean more work and wages to our countrymen as well as a safeguard to American interests in every part of the world.

"I commend also the establishment of a national naval reserve. * * *"


December 3, 1901

The work of upbuilding the Navy must be steadily continued. No one point of our policy, foreign or domestic, is more important than this to the honor and material welfare, and, above all, to the peace of our Nation in the future. Whether we desire it or not, we must henceforth recognize that we have international duties no less than international rights. Even if our flag were hauled down in the Philippines and Porto Rico, even if we decided not to build the Isthmian Canal, we should need a thoroughly trained Navy of adequate size, or else be prepared definitely and for all time to abandon the idea that our Nation is among those whose sons go down to the sea in ships. Unless our commerce is always to be carried in foreign bottoms, we must have warcraft to protect it.

Inasmuch, however, as the American people have no thought of abandoning the path upon which they have entered, and especially in view of the fact that the building of the Isthmian Canal is fast becoming one of the matters which the whole people are united in demanding, it is imperative that our Navy should be put and kept in the highest state of efficiency, and should be made to answer to our growing needs. So far from being in any way a provocation to war, an adequate and highly trained Navy is the best guaranty against war, the cheapest and most effective peace insurance. The cost of building and maintaining such a Navy represents the very lightest premium for insuring peace which this Nation can possibly pay.

Probably no other great nation in the world is so anxious for peace as we are. There is not a single civilized power which has anything whatever to fear from aggressiveness on our part. All we want is peace; and toward this end we wish to be able to secure the same respect for our rights from others which we are eager and anxious to extend to their rights in return, to insure fair treatment to us commercially, and to guarantee the safety of the American people.

Our people intend to abide by the Monroe doctrine and to insist upon it as the one sure means of securing the peace of the Western Hemisphere. The Navy offers us the only means of making our in-

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sistence upon the Monroe doctrine anything but a subject of derision to whatever nation chooses to disregard it. We desire the peace which comes as of right to the just man armed; not the peace granted on terms of ignominy to the craven and the weakling.

It is not possible to improvise a Navy after war breaks out. The ships must be built and the men trained long in advance. Some auxiliary vessels can be turned into makeshifts which will do in default of any better for the minor work, and a proportion of raw men can be mixed with the highly trained, their shortcomings being made good by the skill of their fellows; but the efficient fighting force of the Navy when pitted against an equal opponent will be found almost exclusively in the warships that have been regularly built and in the officers and men who through years of faithful performance of sea duty have been trained to handle their formidable but complex and delicate weapons with the highest efficiency. In the late war with Spain the ships that dealt the decisive blows at Manila and Santiago had been launched from 2 to 14 years, and they were able to do as they did because the men in the conning towers, the gun turrets, and the engine rooms had through long years of practice at sea learned how to do their duty.

While awarding the fullest honor to the men who actually commanded and manned the ships which destroyed the Spanish sea forces in the Philippines and in Cuba, we must not forget that an equal meed of praise belongs to those without whom neither blow could have been struck. The Congressmen who voted years in advance the money to lay down the ships, to build the guns, to buy the armor plate; the department officials and the business men and wageworkers who furnished what the Congress had authorized; the Secretaries of the Navy who asked for and expended the appropriations; and finally the officers who, in fair weather and foul, on actual sea service, trained