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In 1794, faced with possible war with Great Britain, the federal government assumed the responsibility for the construction and manning of seacoast fortifications from Maine to Georgia. Construction was entrusted to French-born engineers, who followed traditional European bastioned designs. In 1806, Britain¹s abuse of neutral maritime rights again threatened war, and Congress appropriated funds for additional seacoast defenses. Almost all of the design and construction of these works was supervised by officers of the Corps of Engineers, most of whom were graduates of the new U.S. Military Academy. On the eve of the outbreak of the War of 1812, the defenses of the Atlantic coast and the Mississippi River below New Orleans were substantially complete, manned by regular troops, and performed well. Due to the effectiveness of these fortifications, the United States embarked on construction of a series of permanent seacoast defense systems in 1816 that lasted through World War II.