U.S. Naval Academy

The U.S. Naval Academy was founded in Annapolis, Maryland, in 1845 to provide American naval officers with a strong education, prepare them to lead maritime forces in war, and to build leaders of character and honor. It was founded over 40 years after the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, largely due to Americans’ distaste for anything that appeared aristocratic and their fear of permanent military forces. Since the mid-20th century, it has had to adapt to changing cultural mores by welcoming minorities and women into its ranks and giving greater attention to the personal liberties of its midshipmen.


Benjamin Stoddert, the first secretary of the navy, urged the creation of a naval academy in the 1790s, but it took almost half a century for ...

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