Social Reform in the United States Navy, 1798-1862

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Published:March 15, 2015
By Harold D. Langley (Author)

In the decades before the American Civil War various political, social, and religious groups agitated for reforms in American society that would be in keeping with its professed democratic and national principles. One such organization was the American Seaman’s Friend Society, which lobbied for improvements in the enlistment, discipline, and treatment of sailors in the Merchant Marine and the Navy. Their causes were embraced by some naval officers, members of Congress, and a few Secretaries of the Navy. This history explores the circumstances and people in and out of the Navy who eventually convinced Congress to enact reforms to improve the conditions of service of naval enlisted men and to lay the foundation for a career enlisted force.

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Product Details
  • Subject: Naval History
  • Paperback : 336 pages
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press (March 15, 2015)
  • ISBN-10: 1591141788
  • ISBN-13: 9781591141785
  • Product Dimensions: 6 X 9 in
  • Shipping Weight: 15.74 oz
  • “The author has accessed a vast array of sources to produce his Social Reform in the United States Navy, 1798-1862, and he uses them all to good effect. His presentation and arguments are persuasive… A social history of a combat force is a welcome addition to the literature on America’s Navy.”—The Northern Mariner

Harold D. Langley has served as an archivist at the University of Pennsylvania Library and Library of Congress, a diplomatic historian for the U.S. Department of State, a professor at The Catholic University of America, and as an associate curator of naval history at the National Museum of American History. The author of A History of Medicine in the Early U.S. Navy, he resides in Arlington, VA.

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