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Maritime Power and Struggle for Freedom: Naval Campaigns that Shaped the World, 1788-1851

Overview

In the long-awaited Maritime Power and the Struggle for Freedom, Padfield skillfully combines the drama of battle with a trenchant analysis of the causes of victory, revealing the fascinating hidden constant of history whereby sea powers have inevitably prevailed over land-based empires. In his deft analysis and vivid re-creation of these events, Padfield shows naval history to be a major determinant and shaper of the modern world.
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Overview

In the long-awaited Maritime Power and the Struggle for Freedom, Padfield skillfully combines the drama of battle with a trenchant analysis of the causes of victory, revealing the fascinating hidden constant of history whereby sea powers have inevitably prevailed over land-based empires. In his deft analysis and vivid re-creation of these events, Padfield shows naval history to be a major determinant and shaper of the modern world.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In this sequel to his Maritime Supremacy and the Opening of the Western Mind, naval historian Padfield continues to develop his thesis that "the beliefs and present dominance of those beliefs" of the liberal Western nations "are the result, not of any natural progression of the human mind but rather a consequence of the global distribution of sea and land masses which has conferred strategic advantage on powers able to use and dominate the seas." The essence of Padfield's present thesis is that "before the modern era and the development of the great-gunned sailing warship able to trade and achieve maritime supremacy around the globe, no maritime state could accumulate the wealth, and thus the strength, to do much more than coexist with neighboring territorial empires"; however, when, first the United Provinces (centered in Amsterdam), then Great Britain, and, finally, the United States, achieved "global maritime supremacy," the stage was set for "global capitalism and the liberal values and institutions which grew from it and served it." Padfield conducts a tour of crucial naval campaigns from those resulting from the French Revolution, through the American War of 1812, to the aftermath of the Napoleonic War in this insightful and far-reaching study. Recommended for both academic and public libraries.-Robert C. Jones, Warrensburg, MO Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Of fighting ships and their persuasive power. The title of British naval historian Padfield's latest, companion to his 2001 study, Maritime Supremacy and the Opening of the Western Mind, promises wide-ranging inquiry. In fact, this volume is of considerably narrower scope, focusing closely on the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars, with some attention given to the later period between Waterloo and the rise of the transatlantic steamer trade. Though England's loss of its southern American colonies weakened it militarily, Padfield writes, victory against France at the 1782 Battle of the Saints "reestablished British naval ascendancy in the vital struggle against the Bourbons; even more significantly, although financially much exhausted, Britain ended the [colonial] war in far better shape than France or Spain." That ascendancy was instrumental in containing and eventually defeating Napoleon, who inherited some of Louis XVI's view that France's future would be built on the high seas but then devoted himself largely to dry-land conquests. Before contending with Napoleon full on, however, the Admiralty had to grapple with the financial problems of building and funding a modern navy, as well as with the occasional outbreak of mutiny (even if that of the Channel Fleet in 1797 was "conducted with exemplary restraint and respect." The author covers all these things well. He is particularly strong on naval tactics, as we see in his analysis of Admiral Duncan's conduct at Camperdown and Lord Nelson's at Trafalgar, "not the culminating achievement of the sailing era, but an anomaly induced by their enemy's decline. They were tactics of disdain." Disdain, of course, that won the world, if only fora few generations. Somewhat less accessible than Herman Arthur's recent To Rule the Waves (p. 848), but a narrative of interest to fans of Aubrey, Hornblower, and other heroes of the tall masts, as well as of naval history.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585675890
  • Publisher: Overlook Press, The
  • Publication date: 2/28/2005
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 6.32 (w) x 9.32 (h) x 1.54 (d)

Table of Contents

1 The French Revolution, 1789 29
2 The terror, 1793 55
3 The glorious first of June, 1794 69
4 St. Vincent, 1797 103
5 Camperdown, 1797 131
6 The Nile, 1798 147
7 Copenhagen, 1801 173
8 Warriors and merchants 187
9 Bonaparte's army of England, 1803 205
10 Trafalgar, 1805 217
11 The empire of the oceans 253
12 The continental blockade 279
13 The American War, 1812 293
14 Lake Erie and Plattsburg Bay, 1813-1814 313
15 Napoleon's nemesis 335
16 The sceptre of the world 351
Glossary of nautical terms 389
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