Battles at sea played a key role in securing American independence, though the British Royal Navy dwarfed the few ships enrolled to comprise the Continental Navy. John Paul Jones became the great hero of the American Navy through his engagement with the HMS Serapis and the memorial erected in his honor during Teddy Roosevelt's presidency. French intervention at the Battle of the Chesapeake made possible the decisive victory at Yorktown that ultimately led to the end of the war.
Dr. William M. Fowler Jr.
William Morgan Fowler, Jr. is a professor of history at Northeastern University, Boston and an author. He served as Director of the Massachusetts Historical Society from 1998 through 2005.
William Fowler is the author of a number of books dealing with American history including: Under Two Flags: The Navy in the Civil War; Silas Talbot Captain of the Old Ironsides; co author America and The Sea; William Ellery: A Rhode Island Politico and Lord of Admiralty; Rebels Under Sail: The Navy in the Revolution; Jack Tars and Commodores: The American Navy, 1783-1815; Samuel Adams: Radical Puritan; Empires at War: The French and Indian War and The Struggle for North America, 1754-1763.
Dr. William M. Fowler, Jr., professor of history at Northeastern University, discusses how a continuous 125-year war between France and England, the great superpowers of the 18th century, helped America gain its independence.