By Alfred Thayer Mahan
The heritage of Sea energy is essentially, although certainly not exclusively, a story of contests among countries, of mutual rivalries, of violence often culminating in battle. The profound impact of sea trade upon the wealth and power of nations used to be basically visible lengthy earlier than the genuine ideas which ruled its development and prosperity have been detected. To safe to one's personal humans a disproportionate proportion of such merits, each attempt was once made to exclude others, both by way of the peaceable legislative equipment of monopoly or prohibitory laws, or, whilst those failed, via direct violence. The conflict of pursuits, the offended emotions roused through conflicting makes an attempt therefore to suitable the bigger proportion, if now not the complete, of the benefits of trade, and of far away unsettled advertisement areas, ended in wars. nevertheless, wars coming up from different reasons were tremendously converted of their behavior and factor by means of the keep an eye on of the ocean. as a result the heritage of sea strength, whereas embracing in its large sweep all that has a tendency to make a humans nice upon the ocean or by means of the ocean, is essentially an army heritage; and it really is during this element that it'll be customarily, although no longer completely, appeared within the following pages.
A learn of the army historical past of the prior, similar to this, is enjoined by means of nice army leaders as necessary to right rules and to the skilful behavior of warfare sooner or later. Napoleon names one of the campaigns to be studied by way of the aspiring soldier, these of Alexander, Hannibal, and Caesar, to whom gunpowder used to be unknown; and there's a enormous contract between specialist writers that, whereas the various stipulations of warfare differ from age to age with the development of guns, there are specific teachings within the tuition of historical past which stay consistent, and being, for this reason, of common program, may be increased to the rank of common ideas. for a similar cause the research of the ocean background of the earlier should be discovered instructive, by way of its representation of the final ideas of maritime battle, although the nice alterations which have been caused in naval guns by means of the clinical advances of the previous part century, and via the creation of steam because the reason power.
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Additional info for Alfred Thayer Mahan - The Influence Of Sea Power Upon History (1660-1783)
Its aims were wholly centred upon the land, and at the Peace of Utrecht, which closed a series of wars extending over forty years, Holland, having established no sea claim, gained nothing in the way of sea resources, of colonial extension, or of commerce. Of the last of these wars an English historian says: “The economy of the Dutch greatly hurt their reputation and their trade. Their men−of−war in the Mediterranean were always victualled short, and their convoys were so weak and ill−provided that for one ship that we lost, they lost five, which begat a general notion that we were the safer carriers, which certainly had a good effect.
It does not concern us to decide which was the more to blame. France, admirably situated for the possession of sea power, received a definite policy for the guidance of her government from two great rulers, Henry IV. and Richelieu. With certain well−defined projects of extension eastward upon the land were combined a steady resistance to the House of Austria, which then ruled in both CHAPTER 1. DISCUSSION OF THE ELEMENTS OF SEA POWER. 33 The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660−1783 Austria and Spain, and an equal purpose of resistance to England upon the sea.
CHAPTER 1. DISCUSSION OF THE ELEMENTS OF SEA POWER. 37 The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660−1783 The intelligent and systematic efforts of twenty years bore their due fruit; for though the warfare afloat ended with a great disaster, the combined efforts of the French and Spanish fleets undoubtedly bore down England's strength and robbed her of her colonies. In the various naval undertakings and battles the honor of France was upon the whole maintained though it is difficult, upon consideration of the general subject, to avoid the conclusion that the inexperience of French seamen as compared with English, the narrow spirit of jealousy shown by the noble corps of officers toward those of different antecedents, and above all, the miserable traditions of three quarters of a century already alluded to, the miserable policy of a government which taught them first to save their ships, to economize the material, prevented French admirals from reaping, not the mere glory, but the positive advantages that more than once were within their grasp.