Our first essays in sea power met with many changes of fortune. National interests during the pioneering days of the Republic forced attention largely upon the vast areas of our domain that remained unexplored and uncultivated. There were periods during the taming of the Barbary Corsairs and the war with England in 1812 when our men-of-war were ranked with the finest of any nation of the Old World and Americans were proud of their Navy. There were the banner years of clipper ships when our Merchant Marine boasted of the swiftest and best-found vessels of any service. There were also periods of doldrums and neglect with attending lack of interest in all phases of sea power.