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The Influence of Sea Power

Alfred Thayer Mahan

Book Overview: 

The Influence of Sea Power Upon History: 1660–1783 is a history of naval warfare written in 1890 by Alfred Thayer Mahan. It details the role of sea power during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and discusses the various factors needed to support and achieve sea power, with emphasis on having the largest and most powerful fleet. Scholars consider it the single most influential book in naval strategy. - Summary by Wikipedia

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .ca began that extension of her empire, by force of arms, which has gone on to our own days. Nor were equally strong peaceful measures for the growth of English trade and shipping forgotten. Cromwell's celebrated Navigation Act declared that all imports into England or her colonies must be conveyed exclusively in vessels belonging to England herself, or to the country in which the products carried were grown or manufactured. This decree, aimed specially at the Dutch, the common carriers of Europe, was resented throughout the commercial world; but the benefit to England, in those days of national strife and animosity, was so apparent that it lasted long under the monarchy. A century and a quarter later we find Nelson, before his famous career had begun, showing his zeal for the welfare of England's shipping by enforcing this same act in the West Indies against American merchant-ships. When Cromwell was dead, and Charles II. sat on the throne of his father, this king, false. . . Read More