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A nation must think before it acts.
During the four decades before World War I, both the United States Army and the United States Navy underwent a massive transformation. What had been a frontier constabulary in 1880 became a world class army in 1918. What had been a hodgepodge of obsolete vessels in the 1880s emerged as a force second only to the Royal Navy during the same period. This article discusses the factors that help account for this remarkable change.