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England does not treat the United States with that respect which is due to youth from old age. The immense naval armaments of Brother Jonathan do not excite that astonishment and consternation in the Old World which he had a right to expect. They have the effrontery in England to be amused with the bravado of the Federals because they have seven hundred ships-of-war, mounting nearly five thousand guns. A private letter from London, published in the Enquirer, says that, "setting aside the improvements already made in gunnery, machinery, or structure — and they are more considerable than is talked about; setting aside what is now being done in that way — and it is much more than is generally known; we (the English) have at this instant a navy consisting of sixteen ships, of one hundred guns and upwards, averaging, collectively, one thousand eight hundred and twenty guns, and engines of 11,200 horse power; we have twenty-seven ships, carrying ninety or ninety-one guns each, mounting more than five thousand three hundred guns altogether, with engines of over 16,000-horse power; we have twenty-one gun vessels, varying from 40 to 160-horse power each, and two hundred gunboats, varying from 20 to 60-horse power each. Now, leaving out vessels of the ram species, we show an aggregate of eight hundred and forty regular war ships, mounting more than seven thousand six hundred guns. Remember that, of this enormous aggregate, every vessel was especially constructed for naval purposes. Per contra, remember that, out of the seven hundred vessels now boasted as the United States navy, only two hundred and thirty-six were expressly built for the navy or for naval use, and that number includes all their valueless iron-clads and old vessels. Need I point out the importance of this fact, as it goes to exhibit the innate weakness of the numerous, but comparatively powerless, navy of the Federals? And yet they cry to us, 'Marry, come on, ' like the clown in the circus. They admit that all the navy-yards in the United States combined would not offer as many facilities for the construction of war vessels as the least of the regular navy-yards in England. What chance, then, is there in their favor in case of the pressures arising from a war with us? It is true, they could, for a time, annoy, and perhaps seriously injure, our commerce. That difficulty, however, would be of a transient character, or soon mastered, if France put a hand in the business with us; if not as an active ally, at least as a sheltering one, or one that would engage to take no advantage of us. It is in the doubt we entertain of that identical point that any of our misgivings, as a people, are centred." These are facts which the United States will do well to digest before it bursts its breeches in the conceit of naval supremacy. Neither England nor France have been indifferent spectators of naval operations in America, nor deaf to the boastful shouts which have been set up in the United States of what they intend to do. Whilst all this absurd uproar has been going on in America, the French and English have been quietly working out two navies, either of which would crush the fleets of the Union like a nutshell. No light of science, or experience, has been wanting; no expense, no labor, no resource of industry or art, omitted to make their work perfect. "At this moment," says the letter from which we quote, "England and France are pushing, to its most practical issue, every point in the proof-armor theory, though they have not yet decided that the ram is of much general use. Three-deckers are undergoing the iron improvement, with other alterations looking to speed and mobility. Staunch old ships are being razed, with dense metal plates, and furnished with the best and most powerful engines. Several wrought iron vessels, of huge dimensions and wonderful strength, are on the ways, for what unusual service only the Powers that be know. Four of this formidable class have already been finished. If impenetrability can be attained to by human skill, these vessels will have it; but there is no unity of opinion as to their practical efficiency. "The friends of the Federals, here, say they have, or will have, secured this desideratum — invulnerability — in their new iron vessels. I much doubt it, and think it more than likely that the necessities of the war and the hurry-scurry of over-eager contractors has foiled, and will foil, their hopes and plans in that important particular. Moreover, they have been in the habit of getting from our foundries whatever is essential to it, and they are not allowed to get any more — except the refuse of our own navy, and to that their foes would make them welcome. All the new line-of-battle ships of France, as well as England, are built of timber, cased in iron; but they are adapted to great speed.--The main advantage we seek to secure in these is not so much impregnability as perfection in other qualities — great mobility and stability under pressure, an immense stowage, ample fighting room, an unyielding platform for the guns, and such construction as must secure the completest 'handiness' in action. "Notwithstanding the surprising transformation in naval architecture, superinduced by your war, and suggested by the late Russian war, the Surveyor of the British Admiralty still declares that until it shall have been satisfactorily ascertained that the great length which is necessary to high speed under steam alone does not materially interfere with the ready performance of the evolutions which may be required of men-of-war under any circumstances, it would not be prudent to depart otherwise than gradually, and after sufficient experience, from the dimensions and forms of the ships which have been found to possess every good property. This has been tested in every recent instance of a new vessel, and has led to the adoption of a system which the Lords of the Admiralty do not choose to disclose, but of which our naval proficient speak with proud confidence." The writer gives the following reasons for going into these naval particulars:-- "Because the extraordinary naval energy of England, just now at peace, is very significant; because the Naval and Military Gazette, a semi-official paper, has lately been taking great pains to hold the naval pretensions of the Federals up to ridicule; because the North American squadrons are being changed, and all the less-trusted vessels are being sent to do duty far from the American coast; because the Federals show they expect 'something,' and, on the principle that 'whom the gods would destroy they first make mad,' they are irritating us and thwarting France to precipitate that "something"; because, in a naval war against France and England, or either, they could, at present, make only a short, and it would be a spirited, resistance; because where the Federals think themselves strongest they are weakest, and where they think they are acting most wisely they are acting most foolishly; because--'coming events cast their shadows.' If any one of these 'because' suggests nothing to you of itself, at least the facts I give you are not worthless in themselves." In addition to these facts, the fortifications proceeding in Canada have their significance. The United States must not expect either England or France to fall an easy prey to their designs.
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