At the turn of the twentieth century, the United States and Germany emerged as the two most rapidly developing industrial nation-states of the Atlantic world. The elites and intelligentsias of both countries staked out claims to dominance in the twentieth century. In Militarism in a Global Age, Dirk Bonker explores the far-reaching ambitions of naval officers before World War I as they advanced navalism, a particular brand of modern militarism that stressed the paramount importance of sea power as a historical determinant. Aspiring to make their own countries into self-reliant world powers in an age of global empire and commerce, officers viewed the causes of the industrial nation, global influence, elite rule, and naval power as inseparable. Characterized by both transnational exchanges and national competition, the new maritime militarism was technocratic in its impulses; its makers cast themselves as members of a professional elite that served the nation with its expert knowledge of maritime and global affairs.
American and German navalist projects differed less in their principal features than in their eventual trajectories. Over time, the pursuits of these projects channeled the two naval elites in different directions as they developed contrasting outlooks on their bids for world power and maritime force. Combining comparative history with transnational and global history, Militarism in a Global Age challenges traditional, exceptionalist assumptions about militarism and national identity in Germany and the United States in its exploration of empire and geopolitics, warfare and military-operational imaginations, state formation and national governance, and expertise and professionalism.
About the Author
Table of Contents
Introduction: Maritime Militarism in Two Modern Nation-StatesPart I. Military Force, National Industry, and Global Politics: Naval Strategies of World Power
1. World Power in a Global Age
2. Big-Power Confrontations over Empire
3. Maritime Force, Threat, and WarPart II. The Cult of the Battle: Approaches to Maritime Warfare
4. War of Battle Fleets
5. Planning for Victory
6. Commerce, Law, and the Limitation of WarPart III. The Quest for Power: The Navy, Governance, and the Nation
7. Naval Elites and the State
8. Manufacturing Consent
9. A Politics of Social ImperialismPart IV. A Militarism of Experts: Naval Professionalism and the Making of Navalism
10. Of Sciences, Sea Power, and Strategy
11. Between Leadership and Intraservice ConflictConclusion: Navalism and Its TrajectoriesNotes
What People are Saying About This
"Militarism in a Global Age is ambitious and original, entirely successful in its comparative purpose, and intensively grounded in the fullest of archival research. Dirk Bönker makes a decisive contribution to both German and U.S. history, situating the resulting synthesis in the context of transnational and global history. This book will have a major impact."
"This terrific book displays Dirk Bönker's intellectual range and acuity. Threaded through the book is a persuasive argument that German and American navalism were foundational to state-building in both countries and that it had a highly racialist and gendered basishis material on how the U.S. Navy squeezed out nonnatives and nonwhites is stunning. This is international history at its best."