By Alfred Thayer Mahan
The heritage of Sea energy is essentially, notwithstanding under no circumstances exclusively, a story of contests among international locations, of mutual rivalries, of violence usually culminating in conflict. The profound impact of sea trade upon the wealth and energy of nations used to be truly visible lengthy prior to the genuine rules which ruled its progress and prosperity have been detected. To safe to one's personal humans a disproportionate proportion of such merits, each attempt used to be made to exclude others, both by means of the peaceable legislative tools of monopoly or prohibitory rules, or, whilst those failed, via direct violence. The conflict of pursuits, the offended emotions roused by means of conflicting makes an attempt hence to acceptable the bigger proportion, if now not the total, of the benefits of trade, and of far-off unsettled advertisement areas, resulted in wars. however, wars bobbing up from different factors were enormously converted of their behavior and factor through the keep an eye on of the ocean. for this reason the historical past of sea energy, whereas embracing in its large sweep all that has a tendency to make a humans nice upon the ocean or through the ocean, is basically an army heritage; and it really is during this element that it'll be commonly, even though no longer solely, appeared within the following pages.
A research of the army heritage of the earlier, resembling this, is enjoined by means of nice army leaders as necessary to right principles and to the skilful behavior of warfare sooner or later. Napoleon names one of the campaigns to be studied via the aspiring soldier, these of Alexander, Hannibal, and Caesar, to whom gunpowder used to be unknown; and there's a enormous contract between expert writers that, whereas a number of the stipulations of struggle fluctuate from age to age with the growth of guns, there are specific teachings within the college of heritage which stay consistent, and being, for this reason, of common software, will be increased to the rank of common rules. for a similar cause the learn of the ocean historical past of the prior may be stumbled on instructive, by way of its representation of the overall ideas of maritime battle, even though the good alterations which were caused in naval guns via the medical advances of the previous part century, and via the creation of steam because the intent power.
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38 The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660−1783 reason for this fatal coincidence. It is not natural that among so many honorable men there should so often be found admirals and captains incurring such a reproach. If the name of some of them is to this very day sadly associated with the memory of our disasters, we may be sure the fault is not wholly their own. We must rather blame the nature of the operations in which they were engaged, and that system of defensive war prescribed by the French government, which Pitt, in the English Parliament, proclaimed to be the forerunner of certain ruin.
In 1666 there were seventy, of which fifty were ships of the line and twenty were fire−ships; in 1671, from seventy the number had increased to one hundred and ninety−six. In 1683 there were one hundred and seven ships of from twenty−four to one hundred and twenty guns, twelve of which carried over seventy−six guns, besides many smaller vessels. The order and system introduced into the dock−yards made them vastly more efficient than the English. An English captain, a prisoner in France while the effect of Colbert's work still lasted in the hands of his son, writes:—“When I was first brought prisoner thither, I lay four months in a hospital at Brest for care CHAPTER 1.
To enter deliberately on such a contest, to try to hold by force so extensive a territory, with a large hostile population, so far from home, was to renew the Seven Years' War with France and Spain, and with the Americans, against, instead of for, England. The Seven Years' War had been so heavy a burden that a wise government would have known that the added weight could not be borne, and have seen it was necessary to conciliate the colonists. The government of the day was not wise, and a large element of England's sea power was sacrificed; but by mistake, not wilfully; through arrogance, not through weakness.