Download e-book for kindle: Alfred Thayer Mahan - The Influence Of Sea Power Upon by Alfred Thayer Mahan

By Alfred Thayer Mahan

The heritage of Sea strength is essentially, even though on no account exclusively, a story of contests among international locations, of mutual rivalries, of violence usually culminating in struggle. The profound impact of sea trade upon the wealth and energy of nations was once truly obvious lengthy prior to the real ideas which ruled its progress and prosperity have been detected. To safe to one's personal humans a disproportionate percentage of such merits, each attempt used to be made to exclude others, both via the peaceable legislative equipment of monopoly or prohibitory laws, or, whilst those failed, via direct violence. The conflict of pursuits, the offended emotions roused via conflicting makes an attempt hence to suitable the bigger percentage, if no longer the total, of some great benefits of trade, and of far away unsettled advertisement areas, resulted in wars. however, wars coming up from different factors were tremendously converted of their behavior and factor via the keep watch over of the ocean. accordingly the background of sea strength, whereas embracing in its extensive sweep all that has a tendency to make a humans nice upon the ocean or via the ocean, is essentially an army historical past; and it truly is during this element that it'll be commonly, notwithstanding now not solely, appeared within the following pages.
A learn of the army historical past of the earlier, corresponding to this, is enjoined by way of nice army leaders as necessary to right rules and to the skilful behavior of struggle 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 was once unknown; and there's a immense contract between expert writers that, whereas a number of the stipulations of battle fluctuate from age to age with the growth of guns, there are particular teachings within the tuition of heritage which stay consistent, and being, as a result, of common program, will be increased to the rank of normal rules. for a similar cause the research of the ocean heritage of the previous might be stumbled on instructive, by means of its representation of the final rules of maritime conflict, though the good alterations which have been led to in naval guns by way of the medical advances of the previous part century, and by means of the creation of steam because the purpose power.
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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.

More important even than the size of the navy is the question of its institutions, favoring a healthful spirit and activity, and providing for rapid development in time of war by an adequate reserve of men and of ships and by measures for drawing out that general reserve power which has before been pointed to, when considering the character and pursuits of the people. Undoubtedly under this second head of warlike CHAPTER 1. DISCUSSION OF THE ELEMENTS OF SEA POWER. 39 The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660−1783 preparation must come the maintenance of suitable naval stations, in those distant parts of the world to which the armed shipping must follow the peaceful vessels of commerce.

DISCUSSION OF THE ELEMENTS OF SEA POWER. 31 The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660−1783 England, to afford any hope of holding them by force, if any powerful nations were willing to help them. This “if,” however, involved a notorious probability; the humiliation of France and Spain was so bitter and so recent that they were sure to seek revenge, and it was well known that France in particular had been carefully and rapidly building up her navy. Had the colonies been thirteen islands, the sea power of England would quickly have settled the question but instead of such a physical barrier they were separated only by local jealousies which a common danger sufficiently overcame.

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