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The maritime history of the United States during the first half of the nineteenth century is the focus of this section of On the Water: Stories from Maritime America, an online exhibition from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. Students will learn how shipbuilders, mariners, and maritime merchants helped the new nation defend itself and grow. Topics covered are the roles that privateers played during the American Revolution and the War of 1812, immigration, early steam travel and coastal shipping in the Atlantic Ocean, the California Gold Rush, and the life-saving technology that was used to rescue the victims of shipwrecks. National Museum of American History
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