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Volume 16  Number 3  •  Winter 2012
All Issues:  

The Provision of Naval Defense in the Early American Republic
A Comparison of the U.S. Navy and Privateers, 1789–1815
By Nicholas J. Ross
This article appeared in the Winter 2012 issue of The Independent Review

The United States relied heavily on public provision of naval defense during the Barbary Pirate Wars and the Quasi-War with France but relied more heavily on privateers to provide naval defense during the War of 1812. Although privateers were limited to conducting raids against commercial vessels, their funding had the advantage of not requiring higher levels of taxation and public debt.

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