One of the central figures in the history of the United States Navy was Alfred Thayer Mahan, a distinguished naval officer and historian. In 1886, he began a series of lectures at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, which would later be published in book form and significantly influence naval development at home and abroad.
Increasing awareness of other parts of the world had been recognized in the Arthur administration when construction began on the first steel naval vessels. Cleveland continued the naval expansion, but prevailed upon the Department of the Navy to scrutinize the production process in order to avoid waste. In 1886, the construction of two second class battleships was approved, the Texas and the Maine.