Following the Civil War, there was a long decline in the Merchant Marine. The Confederates efforts in commerce raiding contributed largely in this decline. Moreover, additional factors such as flags of convenience and high insurance rates and shipping costs with increased competition from foreign flags added to the decline of the American Merchant Marine. Commerce raiding during the war was clearly detrimental to the Merchant Marine. The Confederates first issues letters of marque to a small number of confederate privateers while they built and purchased a few steam vessels to serve as commerce raiders. The Confederates assumed that these commerce raiders would so seriously disrupt the Union’s foreign trade that war would become to expensive to continue. Also, by destroying enough Northern vessels, the Union warships would be forced to divert from their blockading duties in order to search for the Confederate commerce raiders. Along with assisting in Union blockading efforts, commerce raiders captured or
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