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The War of 1812
USS Constitution



USS Constitution
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   high interest, readability grades 5 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.06

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    original, towed, difficulty, steeper, successful, ports, repaired, famous, launched, victory, power, battle, defeat, history, during, possible
     content words:    USS Constitution, Rhode Island, Paul Revere, In August, Old Ironsides, Fourteen Americans, Civil War, New York, United States


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USS Constitution
By Cathy Pearl
  

1     One of the most famous things from the War of 1812 is not a person. It is a ship. This ship, named the USS Constitution, was made famous in a battle against a British ship. Today, if you visit Boston, you can walk on the restored ship.
 
2     It took three years to build the boat, from 1794-1797. The boat was made to defeat any ship that was the same size or smaller. It was also made fast, so it could outrun boats that were larger. It cost over three hundred thousand dollars to build the ship over 200 years ago. It was made from about two thousand trees. The trees came from states from Maine all the way to Georgia. The cannons were made in Rhode Island. Copper fastenings came from a man famous in history, Paul Revere. The boat is still considered a part of the Navy today. Because of this, it is the oldest commissioned warship still floating in the world.
 
3     The boat was launched in 1797. It was actually the third time that the Navy had tried to launch the boat. The first time it moved only twenty-seven feet before it got stuck. The second time it only moved thirty-one feet. The third time, workers made the launch ramps steeper. The boat finally made it into the water.
 
4     After the War of 1812 started, the British blockaded some American ports. This was to keep Americans from trading with other countries. No boats could get in or out. The Americans could not break the blockade. This did not stop them from fighting and winning some amazing battles at sea.
 
5     The USS Constitution was in its most famous battle during the War of 1812. In August, the captain of the boat spotted a British ship near Newfoundland. For an hour, the ships sailed around each other, trying to get into position to win a battle. When this was not successful, the two boats got close to each other and began shooting. After twenty minutes, the British ship was destroyed.

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