Ideologies of Western Naval Power, c. 1500-1815: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Ideologies of Western Naval Power, c. 1500-1815

1st Edition

Edited by J.D. Davies, Alan James, Gijs Rommelse


338 pages | 18 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780367321284
pub: 2019-07-15
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This ground-breaking book provides the first study of naval ideology, defined as the mass of cultural ideas and shared perspectives that, for early modern states and belief systems, justified the creation and use of naval forces. Sixteen scholars examine a wide range of themes over a wide time period and broad geographical range, embracing Britain, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Sweden, Russia, Venice and the United States, along with the "extra-national" polities of piracy, neutrality, and international Calvinism. This volume provides important and often provocative new insights into both the growth of western naval power and important elements of political, cultural and religious history.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Ghost at the Banquet: Navies, Ideologies, and the Writing of History

J.D. Davies, Alan James and Gijs Rommelse

Section One: Navies and National Identities

1. Groom of the Sea: Venetian Sovereignty Between Power and Myth

Luciano Pezzolo

2. National Flags as Essential Elements of Dutch Naval Ideology, 1570-1800

Gijs Rommelse

3. Towards a Scientific Navy: Institutional Identity and Spain’s Eighteenth-Century Navy

Catherine Scheybeler

4. The French Navy from Louis XV to Napoleon I: What Role and by What Means?

Patrick Villiers

Section Two: Monarchical Projects

5. Fleets and States in a Composite Catholic Monarchy: Spain c. 1500-1700

Christopher Storrs

6. "Great Neptunes of the Main": Myths, Mangled Histories, and "Maritime Monarchy" in the Stuart Navy, 1603-1714

J.D. Davies

7. Colbert and La Royale: Dynastic Ambitions and Imperial Ideals in France

Alan James

Section Three: Communities of Violence

8. Corsairs in Tunis from the Sixteenth to Nineteenth Centuries: A Matter of Religion and Economics

Sadok Boubaker

9. Transnational Calvinist Cooperation and "Mastery of the Sea" in the Late Sixteenth Century

D.J.B. Trim

10. Shadow States and Ungovernable Ships: The Ideology of Early Modern Piracy

Claire Jowitt

11. Greeks into Privateers: Law and Language of Commerce Raiding Under the Imperial Russian Flag, 1760s-1790s

Julia Leikin

Section Four: Constructing Strategies

12. Kingship, Religion and History: Swedish Naval Ideology, 1500-1830

Lars Ericson Wolke

13. Neutrality at Sea: Scandinavian Responses to ‘Great Power’ Maritime Warfare, 1651-1713

Steve Murdoch

14. Naval Ideology and Its Operational Impact in Eighteenth Century Britain

Richard Harding

15. Debating the Purpose of a Navy in a New Republic: The United States of America, 1775-1815

John B. Hattendorf

Section Five: Afterword


Andrew Lambert

About the Editors

J.D. Davies is a Vice-President of the Society for Nautical Research and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

Alan James is a Senior Lecturer in War Studies at King’s College London.

Gijs Rommelse is Head of History at the Haarlemmermeer Lyceum in Hoofddorp, the Netherlands, and an Honorary Visiting Fellow at the University of Leicester.

About the Series

Politics and Culture in Europe, 1650-1750

Politics and Culture in Europe, 1650-1750 Focusing on the years between the end of the Thirty Years' War and the end of the War of the Austrian Succession, this series seeks to broaden scholarly knowledge of this crucial period that witnessed the solidification of Europe into centralized nation states and created a recognizably modern political map. Bridging the gap between the early modern period of the Reformation and the eighteenth century of colonial expansion and industrial revolution, these years provide a fascinating era of study in which nationalism, political dogma, economic advantage, scientific development, cultural and artistic interests and strategic concerns began to compete with religion as the driving force of European relations and national foreign policies. The period under investigation, the second half of the seventeenth century and the first half of the eighteenth, corresponds with the decline of Spanish power and the rise of French hegemony that was only to be finally broken following the defeat of Napoleon in 1815. This shifting political power base presented opportunities and dangers for many countries, resulting in numerous alliances between formerly hostile nations attempting to consolidate or increase their international influence, or restrain that of a rival. These contests of power were closely bound up with political, cultural and economic issues: particularly the strains of state building, trade competition, religious tension and toleration, accommodating flows of migrants and refugees, the birth pangs of rival absolutist and representative systems of government, radical structures of credit, and new ways in which wider publics interacted with authority. Despite this being a formative period in the formation of the European landscape, there has been relatively little research on it compared to the earlier Reformation, and the later revolutionary eras. By providing a forum that encourages scholars to engage with the forces that were shaping the continent - either in a particular country, or taking a trans-national or comparative approach - it is hoped a greater understanding of this pivotal era will be forthcoming.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Europe / General
HISTORY / Modern / 17th Century
HISTORY / Modern / 18th Century