This is a 24 slide, highly animated, power point presentation on the American Revolutionary War –Privateers & Mariners. Each of the slides are editable so you can modify the slides to the presentation as you need to.
When the American colonies declared their independence from Great Britain, the infant nation was in no position to defy British rule of the seas. Britain’s navy in 1776 was the world’s most powerful. The Royal Navy—once the protector of American shipping—now made every effort to suppress and destroy it. The newly formed States individually outfitted vessels of war and Congress established a navy, but it was not enough! The 13 Colonies, had only 31 ships comprising the Continental Navy.
The Americans responded to the situation with the time-honored practice of “privateering.” American privateering activity during the American Revolution became an industry born of necessity that encouraged patriotic private citizens to harass British shipping while risking their lives and resources for financial gain.
In a tradition dating back to the Middle Ages, under highly regulated conditions, Letters of Marque & Reprisal authorized private parties to attack enemy vessels. Without the documentation, these same activities were considered acts of piracy and subject to prosecution.
Privateering encompassed two levels of participation: A Letter of Marque: authorized armed merchant ships to challenge any likely enemy vessel that crossed its path during a commercial voyage. A Privateer Commission: was issued to vessels, called privateers or cruisers, whose primary objective was to disrupt enemy shipping.
Despite all the risks and hazards, the overall effort to cripple Britain's commercial fleet was highly effective, and fortunes destined to finance the new republic were made. 11,000 British soldiers were captured, the same number of soldiers captured by the Continental Army. It is estimated that the total damage to British shipping by American privateers was about $18 million by the end of the war, or just over $302 million in today's dollars.
The presentation covers the following:
Letters of Marque and Reprisal
Number of Navy Ships v. Privateer Ships
Levels of Participation
Capturing a “Prize”
Boston Newspaper Recruitment Ad
Ships & Crews
Patriots of Maine Sea Fight (2)
First Sea Engagement
Privateer’s Contributions (2)
James Forten, African-American Privateer (3)
The Prison Ships
Impact on the War
End of Presentation
This is one of many power point presentations I offer in my store on …. The American Revolutionary War.