Modern Navy Created 1883

USS Atlanta
On March 3, the US Congress approved the construction of three steel cruisers. These were the first modern warships that the US navy built. In the next 17 years, the Navy would go from being 12th to 3rd in size in the world.


By the 1880’s the US navy was old and not able to compete with the other navies of the world. the Navy had a list of 140 active vessels but only 52 were considered operational at the time, and only 17 were not wooden ships. All but three of those were from the Civil War. Navy Secretary William Hunt appointed a commission to make recommendations. That commission concluded that the US Navy needed to begin building new ships and recommended the immediate construction of three modern vessels. The Congress as first refused to provide the funds but then agreed in 1883 to the construction of the USS Chicago, USS Boston and the USS Atlanta. In 1885 two more ships of the same class were built. The modern US Navy was now underway.