By Alfred Thayer Mahan

The heritage of Sea energy is essentially, notwithstanding in no way exclusively, a story of contests among countries, of mutual rivalries, of violence often culminating in struggle. The profound impression of sea trade upon the wealth and power of nations was once in actual fact visible lengthy ahead of 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 through the peaceable legislative equipment of monopoly or prohibitory laws, or, whilst those failed, by way of direct violence. The conflict of pursuits, the offended emotions roused by way of conflicting makes an attempt therefore to suitable the bigger percentage, if no longer the complete, of the benefits of trade, and of far away unsettled advertisement areas, ended in wars. nonetheless, wars bobbing up from different factors were vastly changed of their behavior and factor through the regulate of the ocean. for this reason the heritage of sea energy, whereas embracing in its huge 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 truly is during this element that it'll be generally, although no longer solely, looked within the following pages.
A research of the army background of the previous, corresponding to this, is enjoined via 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 by means of the aspiring soldier, these of Alexander, Hannibal, and Caesar, to whom gunpowder used to be unknown; and there's a vast contract between specialist writers that, whereas the various stipulations of struggle differ from age to age with the development of guns, there are particular teachings within the university of historical past which stay consistent, and being, hence, of common software, should be increased to the rank of common rules. for a similar cause the examine of the ocean heritage of the prior could be chanced on instructive, via its representation of the overall rules of maritime conflict, even though the good alterations which have been caused in naval guns through the clinical advances of the prior part century, and via the advent of steam because the cause power.
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France was helping to destroy a probable, and certainly an indispensable, ally; England was assisting in the ruin of her greatest rival on the sea, at this time, indeed, still her commercial superior. France, staggering under debt and utter confusion in her finances when Louis mounted the throne, was just seeing her way clear in 1672, under Colbert's reforms and their happy results. The war, lasting six years, undid the greater part of his work. The agricultural classes, manufactures, commerce, and the colonies, all were smitten by it; the establishments of Colbert languished, and the order he had established in the finances was overthrown.

Thus England, in addition to Gibraltar and Mahon in her own hands, saw Naples and Sicily in those of a friend, while an enemy was struck down. In Spanish America, the limited privileges to English trade, wrung from the necessities of Spain, were abused by an extensive and scarcely disguised smuggling system; and when the exasperated Spanish government gave way to excesses in the mode of suppression, both the minister who counselled peace and the opposition which urged war defended their opinions by alleging the effects of either upon England's sea power and honor.

Yes; but it was by the superiority of her government using the tremendous weapon of her sea power,—the reward of a consistent policy perseveringly directed to one aim. The profound humiliation of France, which reached its depths between 1760 and 1763, at which latter date she made peace, has an instructive lesson for the United States in this our period of commercial and naval decadence. We have been spared her humiliation; let us hope to profit by her subsequent example. Between CHAPTER 1. DISCUSSION OF THE ELEMENTS OF SEA POWER.

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Alfred Thayer Mahan - The Influence Of Sea Power Upon History (1660-1783) by Alfred Thayer Mahan

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