Privately Funded and Built U.S. Warships in the Quasi-War of 1797–1801
By Larry J. Sechrest
This article appeared in the Summer 2007 issue of The Independent Review


To augment the small U.S. Navy during the Quasi-War with France, private citizens funded the construction of well-designed and solidly built warships to protect American property at sea. The voluntary funding and admirable performance of these nine frigates and sloops-of-war calls into question the “public goods” rationale for coercive taxation for maritime defense.

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