Press Release
Press Release · Tuesday, October 14, 1997

Press Release
October 14, 1997
National Archives Launches a New Digital Classroom Project

Washington, DC . . . The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) announces a new digital classroom project on its website. "Launching the New United States Navy," which went online in time to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the launching of the U.S.S. Constitution, introduces teachers and students to the reestablishment of the Navy.

The United States won its independence from Great Britain with the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1783, but freedom of the seas was yet to be achieved. In the years following the Revolutionary War, Barbary pirates preyed on American vessels and held seamen for ransom. As a result of such foreign interference with essential trade, the new country’s weak economy began to suffer, and a national debate ensued.

"Launching the New United States Navy" is the latest in a series of digital classroom exercises that the National Archives and Records Administration has produced for teachers and students on the website. Analyze historic documents and learn about how the Constitution in 1787 strengthened the national government and provided for the reestablishment of a national navy. It is available at

Other subjects covered on the NARA education website include exercises on the Zimmermann Telegram and the Constitution. For a full listing, visit

For additional PRESS information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (301) 837-1700 or e-mail


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