The French government, which by the fault of the British administration was allowed to take the offensive, had three objects in view - to help the Americans, to expel the British from the West Indies and to occupy the main strength of the naval forces of Great Britain in the Channel.
The operations of naval forces in the New World were largely dictated by the facts that from June to October are the hurricane months in the West Indies, while from October to June includes the stormy winter of the northern coast.
He was made commander-in-chief of both the military and naval forces with supreme authority, and in his hands was placed the final appointment to all political and judicial posts and to vacant city magistracies.
He was put in command of its naval forces when Franklin Buchanan resigned after he was wounded in the action with the Federal squadron in Hampton Roads.
Sir Ian Hamilton, who had been chosen as commander-in-chief of the military contingents that were to cooperate in due course with the naval forces in this theatre of war, had moreover actually arrived on the day before the abortive fleet attack upon the Narrows and had witnessed the fight.
It was thus that England took the influences of the Renaissance and Reformation simultaneously, and almost at the same time found herself engaged in that struggle with the Counter-Reformation which, crowned by the defeat of the Spanish Armada, stimulated the sense of nationality and developed the naval forces of the race.
It has been said that the blockade of the Confederate coast became in the end practically impenetrable, and that every attempt of the Confederate naval forces to break out was checked at once by crushing numerical preponderance.
When the war began the British naval forces were unequal to the work of blockading the whole coast.
Early in his term he carried out a policy he had urged upon the government when minister to France and when vice-president, by dispatching naval forces to coerce Tripoli into a decent respect for the trade of his country - the first in Christendom to gain honourable immunity from tribute or piracy in the Mediterranean.
French concurrence was obtained, French support was promised, and measures were at once set on foot to concentrate such naval forces in the Aegean as appeared to be required for the execution of the plan.