We are accustomed to seeing the huge battleships and carriers of today's Navy, equipped with the latest in computers, radar, and other high-tech equipment. However, America's original Navy started out far more humbly.
The United States Navy recognizes 13 October 1775 as the date of its official establishment. As America took her fight for independence to the seas, the Continental Congress passed a resolution creating the Continental Navy. American ships battled the British, who possessed a far more experienced and larger Navy. Soon after the end of the Revolutionry War, the last ship was sold and the Continental Navy was disbanded.
Eleven years later, conflicts between American merchant shipping and the Barbary Pirates led to the Naval Act of 1794, which created the U.S. Navy. The original six frigates sent to deal with the pirates were authorized as part of the Act. Over the next years, the Navy fought the French Navy in the Quasi War, the Barbary States in the First and Second Barbary War, and the British in the War of 1812.