Supporting the Trident: U.S. Naval Bases from 1898 to 1916

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This thesis examines naval base expansion by the U.S. Navy during peace-time from 1898 to 1916 as the basis for considering important aspects of American naval policy and politics during a critical period of growth. It delineates the base budgetary dynamics of the navy, therefore providing a more complete representation of the dynamics of supporting a fleet. There are two related major arguments. First, that the United States built a fleet without adequate provision for the bases to support operations. And second, the naval spending was, largely driven by legislative political rather than strategic considerations. Exposition of these propositions will include consideration of the problem of naval bases as affected by `pork-barrel politics, the manifestations of inter-service rivalry, and the lack of enforcement of a general naval policy. In addition, this thesis will examine the place of base spending with respect to overall expenditure on the navy.