This week we’ll explore the role of the U.S. Navy and our merchant marine as a military force and the role of that force in the series of events that catapulted America onto the world stage.

In the late 1800s many Americans were beginning to feel that maybe we had we had conquered our last frontier–The American West.

Since the incursion of the railroads into virtually every western state and territory, Americans had been successfully exploiting the resources there for the benefit of the nation. 

By the early 1890s Americans began to look outside of our borders for more easily exploitable resources and new markets for our finished products. The ideas proposed by Frederick Jackson Turner, Alfred T. Mahan, Stephen B. Luce, and Teddy Roosevelt combined in a ‘perfect storm’ to propel the United States Navy into the Spanish-American War and America into the 20th century.

Many Americans realized that, in order to maintain our place of strength in the world and attain the respect of other nations, we needed to create a strong navy and a thriving merchant marine. 

It followed then, that geographically dispersed fueling ports (mostly coal) for steam-powered merchant vessels, and the need to protect those ports with powerful American warships, were primary requisites for a vital American economy.


How to successfully complete assignment #1.


  • View ‘THE CRUISERS’.
  • Now use your notes, or review the documentary, to create a 20-question quiz based on the documentary.
  • That’s 20 questions (and answers) based on the information gleaned from this documentary.
  • The questions must be in the form of a sentence and the answers must be composed in full-sentence format, as well.
  • Your quiz questions should be worded in such a way that the answer would demonstrate that the person taking the quiz has viewed and understood the basic premises of the documentary. 
  • You must include the full-sentence answers with the quiz that you submit.


How to successfully complete assignment #2.

  • Watch the documentary (below) about A.T. Mahan.
  • Read the article about Stephen B. Luce.
  • Read the article about Teddy Roosevelt and the US Navy.
  • Now, in 600 words or more, compare the ideas concerning the issues and concerns for that these men share about the American frontier and how our Navy and merchant mariners can solve America’s biggest problems in the 1890s.

GOOD VIDEO (6 minutes) about A.T. MAHAN





  • What is the correct spelling of the middle name of Stephen B. Luce?
  • Why is that his middle name?

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