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Naturalization is the investment of an alien with the rights and privileges of citizenship. In accordance with the power conferred on Congress by Article 1, section 8, clause 4, of the Constitution, an act was passed in 1790 providing for the naturalization of aliens. A residence of two years in the United States, and of one year in the State, was required. The Act of 1795 increased the term of residence in the United States to five years, and this was lengthened to fourteen years by the Act of 1798. The Act of April 14, 1802, remains unaltered in most respects, and is still in force. At present, previous residence in the United States for five successive years, and residence in the State for one year, are required before the applicant can be naturalized. Two years before the naturalization he must declare, under oath or on affirmation, that he intends to become a citizen, and he must renounce all allegiance to any foreign sovereign or state. Persons coming to this country under the age of eighteen may dispense with this declaration. Certain exceptions are made in favor of aliens honorably discharged from the armies of the United States and in favor of seamen on United States vessels. When the terms required have expired, the good and law-abiding character of the applicant is to be proven:
He must take oath or affirmation that he renounces all titles and orders of nobility, and that he will support the Constitution of the United States, and then he may be granted naturalization papers conferring citizenship upon him. The Circuit and District Courts of the United States, and State courts having a commonlaw jurisdiction and a seal and clerk, have power to grant naturalization papers. The declaration of intention, when this is needed, may be made before the clerk of any of the above courts. (See Expatriation; Citizenship.)
Naval Academy. (See United States Vaval Academy.)
Navigation Laws.-The navigation laws of the United States remain to-day practically the same as when passed in 1792 and 1793. They are too long and
complicated to admit of full description, but their chief features may be briefly stated as follows: No vessel is deemed American and entitled to the protection of the American flag unless she is wholly built in this country and wholly owned and officered by Americans. Foreign vessels can not engage in our coasting trade, which is held to include voyages from Atlantic to Pacific ports. American vessels cease to be such if even a part owner (except in a few instances) resides abroad for a short time. An American vessel once transferred by any process to foreigners, can never sail under our flag again. Duty must be paid on the value of all repairs which an American vessel makes in foreign ports on her return to this country. Restrictions are placed on the repairing of foreign vessels in our ports with imported materials. Vessels engaged in trade to ports not in North or Central America, and a few specified adjacent places (except fishing and pleasure vessels), pay a tax on entry of six cents per ton of their burden, but the maximum aggregate tax in any one year does not exceed thirty cents. This is called a tonnage tax. Foreign vessels pay the same tax, but an American vessel is forced to pay an additional tax of fifty cents per ton if one of her officers is an alien. Materials for the construction of vessels for foreign trade may be imported free of duty, but the duty must be paid if the vessel engages for more than two months a year in the coasting trade. Foreign vessels, often at great inconvenience, must unload at a port of entry, which is a single designated port in each customs district of the United States, except when laden with coal, salt or similar merchandise in bulk. American vessels may unload at any port of delivery in the district. Foreign capital is thus kept out of our ship-building and ship-repairing industries. While England and other states have been modifying their old rigid navigation laws, the United States has kept hers practically unchanged for a century. In the earlier years of that period we were developing a fine carrying trade and a prosperous ship-building industry. The result of these laws has been to drive our commer
cial marine from the seas, to divert our capital into other channels or to foreign shipping, to close our shipyards and to deprive us of a valuable interest, shiprepairing. The navigation laws and their operation are not easy to be grasped thoroughly by the people generally, but the effect they have had on our shipping interests shows that they are radically defective and have failed to accomplish the object intended, namely, the protection and encouragement of these interests.
Navy, Department of the.—This is one of the executive departments of the government. created in 1798. The Secretary of the Navy, its head, is a member of the President's Cabinet, by custom, not by law. He is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. His salary is $8,000. This department has charge of the vessels, navy yards, guns and all other matters pertaining to the navy. Moreover, the hydrographic office at which nautical charts with sailing directions are prepared for the use of seamen, is under the direction of the department, as is also the preparation of the Nautical Almanac, a work of incalculable use to seamen. The heads of the bureaus into which the department is divided are chosen from the officers of the navy above the rank of captain. They hold office four years, and draw the sea pay of their grade or rank, not less than commodore. These assistants are the chiefs of:
Bureau of Yards and Docks.
Below is given a list of all the Secretaries of the Navy:
1798—1798 1798-1801 1801-1805 1805-1809 1809-1813 1813–1814 1814–1818 1818-1823 1823-1829 1829-1831 1831-1834 1834- -1838 1838–1841 1841-1841 1841--1843 1843-1844 1844-1844 1844-1845 1845-1846 1846-1819 1849-1850 1850-1852 1852-1853 1853–1857 1857-1861 1861–1869 1869-1869 1869-1877 1877—1881 1881-1881 1881-1882 1882-1885 1885-1889
Navy of the United States. During the Revolution this country had practically no navy, the largest force at any one time being twenty-five vessels in 1776. After that year the navy dwindled, and by the end of the war but few vessels remained, and those were sold. Under the stress of threatened war with France and of actual war with the Barbary pirates (see Algerine War), vessels were constructed, but of these only a few were retained after the immediate necessity for their use had passed. The Federalists favored the establishment of a navy; the Republicans (Democrats) opposed it. The complications between this country and Great Britain, about the year 1812, caused fresh activity, and steps were taken to the formation of a navy. At that time
we had but three first-class frigates, the Constitution, the President and the United States. In 1812, $200,000 annually for three years was appropriated for the construction of a navy, and its permanent establishment dates from that year. Thereafter it was recognized as a necessity by both parties. In 1816, $1,000,000 annually for eight years was appropriated. During the next year live oak and red cedar on government lands were ordered to be withdrawn from future sales and reserved for building war vessels, and agents to supervise and protect these woods were appointed, but in 1861, when this provision might have been of use, the necessary papers could not be found. The navy was not used actively in the Mexican War, and the outbreak of the Civil War found it again in a dilapidated condition. Moreover, at this time many officers resigned, and the government property in the Southern States was seized. At the outbreak of that war there were forty-two vessels in commission. Of these twenty-six employed steam as auxiliary motive power, thirteen were sailing vessels, and three were store-ships. Only twelve were of the home squadron, and of these only four were in Northern ports. The strides made under these discouraging conditions were enormous. Over 3,500 miles of coast were to be blockaded, besides vessels for the Mississippi River and the capture of privateers and cruisers were needed. Moreover, armor was just coming into use, and the government yards were in no condition to turn out modern vessels. In 1862 there were 427 vessels, carrying 3,268 guns; in 1863 there were 588 vessels, carrying 4,443 guns; in 1864 there were 671 vessels, carrying 4,610 guns. By December, 1866, the war being over, these had decreased to 115 vessels in active service. But this number has become still further reduced, as shown below. Large sums have annually been spent on the navy, but they have been used in repairing the old vessels, which, owing to the enormous changes in naval warfare in recent years, have become antiquated.
There were in the naval service in 1887 about 7,500 enlisted men and 750 boys. In 1883 forty-seven vessels