“A good Navy is not a provocation to war. It is the surest guaranty of peace.”
– President Theodore Roosevelt
About sixty-five ships aided the cause of independence during the Revolutionary War, but by 1785 Congress had demobilized the eleven still serving at the end of the conflict. A naval force was re-established in 1794 when Congress authorized construction of six frigates, including the Constitution and Constellation, to protect American vessels trading in the Mediterranean from Algerian pirates. Formal training for naval officers began in 1845 when, under the direction of Secretary of the Navy George Bancroft, the Naval School was established in Annapolis in October 1845, with a class of fifty midshipmen, seven professors, and a curriculum that included mathematics and navigation, gunnery, chemistry, English, natural philosophy, and French. In 1850 the Naval School became the United States Naval Academy, with a new curriculum that required midshipmen to study at the Academy for four years and to train aboard ships each summer. The institution has been training officers for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps ever since.