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The U.S.S. Constitution was one of the greatest American warships to have been built and sail. Yet, how was the Constitution set up to have been such a warrior? The U.S.S. Constitutions’ was not the only frigate to have been built. Her work in war was outstanding, and since retirement she has stayed strong. The U.S.S. Constitution was meant for war and she did an incredible job at protecting and serving our country. The U.S. Navy’s oldest ship is known as the U.S.S. Constitution. The U.S.S. Constitution was built in Boston at a place called the Hartt Brothers’ Shipyard, under the guidance of George Claghorn. The Navy built medium frigates because the United States couldn’t afford huge warships. Though the Constitution was not the only ship to be built there, in a total of six, the Constitution stood out the most. General Humphrey Knox was the designer of the ship, yet Joshua Humphreys wanted only the best materials to be used in order to build the Constitution. Paul Revere, a historical figure supplied copper plating and fasteners that were used to protect the ships’ bottom from rotting. American shipbuilders were better than or just as good as any other shipbuilding country in the world towards the end of the 1700’s. The ship was designed to be able to withstand a battle with other ships due to the sides being coated in iron. Around a total of 2000 trees, or about 60 acres, were needed to build the Constitution. When the construction was complete, the Constitution measured up to 1576 tons and nearly 204 feet long from its billet head to the taffrail. The beams of each frigate was about 2 to 3 inches apart, which were good for the sturdiness. It was also 45 feet and 2 inches wide, which was about 20 feet longer and 2 to 3 inches wider than even the biggest British ship. President George Washington was the one who named the ships, and he chose the name Constitution as a way to honor the historical document that established U.S. laws and rights. Along with the Constitution, George Washington named the other two frigates the United States, and the Constellation. The three ships were designed nearly the same, but the Constitution was given better construction and time. Finally, the U.S.S. Constitution was launched out to sea on October 21, 1797. The construction techniques and materials that were used to build the USS Constitution made it an intimidating and powerful ship.The U.S.S. Constitution was a great advantage in any battle at sea for the U.S. Navy. The Constitution started its service in the Quasi war from 1797 to 1801 against the French. The French looked to capture U.S. ships, while the U.S. Navy took it as their responsibility to protect American merchants and beat the French. She was first used for war in July of 1798, patrolling the Southeast coast of America. Then again in 1803, she was stationed in the Mediterranean Sea to serve against the Barbary States of North Africa. The Constitution’s best appearance while stationed there was in the bombardment of Tripoli along with the rest of the U.S. fleet in the late summer of 1804.In 1812, the United States declared war on Britain, which began the War of 1812. During the war of 1812, the Constitution faced many English ships, but they were no match for her. One of her best battles was against the HMS Java, a British frigate commanded by Captain Henry Lambert. Commodore William Bainbridge commanded the Constitution in this battle and he was injured early in the battle. As the Java continued to charge in towards the Constitution, she backed away, twice. The third time, she took the hit and once again, Bainbridge was hit and injured, and the Constitution’s wheel was shot away. She was unable to move around, so the Java decided to pursue her. With the help of midshipmen, Bainbridge was able to get a makeshift steering wheel and prepared for the Java’s attack. Doing so, the Constitution got a lucky shot that destroyed the Java’s jibbon, causing it to lose control. With the Java out, Bainbridge seized it and took parts to repair the Constitution, including a steering rig. While off the coast of Madeira, Spain, the Constitution ran into two smaller British ships. On February 20, 1815, the Constitution fought against the HMS Levant and the HMS Cyane. At first, she exchanged fire with HMS Cyane and soon followed the HMS Levant. For some time the ships returned fire and then they began to slow down. When the gunpowder smoke cleared, the Constitution lined up with the Levant, causing it to need repairs. The Cyane was coming up on the Constitution’s stern, to get away, she sailed backwards, positioning herself in a broadside to Cyane. Then the Constitution defeated the HMS Cyane, and sometime later, the HMS Levant returned a bit damaged. After long pursuit, the HMS Levant had been defeated, which left the Constitution to take the HMS Cyane back and recommissioned it the USS Cyane. During these battles, the cannons that were shot at her just bounced right off due to the iron hull. She was given the nickname “Old Ironsides”, which she still keeps to today. The Royal Navy chose to stay away from one on one battles with the Constitution because of her success in a battle. After the War of 1812, she served in different tasks for America. In 1853, the Constitution was to be the flagship under the command of Commodore Isaac Mayo in the African Squadron. The U.S. Congress had banned importation of slaves in 1807, in 1819, the Navy was allowed to seize trading ships, but in 1820, slave trade was considered piracy. In 1842, U.S. and Britain agreed to keep watch over the coast of Africa for any slavers. The USS Constitution captured the H.N. Gambrill, which was both the first and last capture for the Constitution. Now, the Constitution rests in Boston, Massachusetts in part of the Charlestown Navy Yard. Yearly, over 500, 000 visitors tour the ship onboard and inside, to learn about the history that it contains. When she was dry docked in May, 2015, she was worked on and restored for over a year, ending on July 23, 2017. The guns that she still holds used to put fear in the eyes of the enemies, and now, they place pride in the witnesses of the ceremonial firings. The Constitution fought in 33 battles within the 58 years of naval service, and never once did she lose. Now, people use their knowledge to educate the public and visitors daily.It took three days, an on each day a new try, to get the USS Constitution back into the water, due to her size.


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