The Transformation of British and American Naval Policy in the Pre-Dreadnought Era: Ideas, Culture and Strategy

The Transformation of British and American Naval Policy in the Pre-Dreadnought Era: Ideas, Culture and Strategy

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The Transformation of British and American Naval Policy in the Pre-Dreadnought Era: Ideas, Culture and Strategy by Robert E. Mullins

This volume examines the transformation of British and US naval policy from 1870 to 1889, which resulted in the British Naval Defence Act (1889), the construction of the first modern US battleships, and began the naval arms race which culminated in World War One. In examining the development of strategic thinking in the Royal and US Navies, it overturns conventional wisdom regarding genesis of the Naval Defence Act and the US Navy’s about-face from a defensive to an offensive strategic orientation. It pays particular attention to activities of the key individuals in both countries’ navies, who were instrumental in transforming their respective services’ organizational culture. This study will be of interest not only to historians but to political scientists, sociologists, and others working in the fields of international relations, strategic studies, policy analysis, and military learning, adaptation and innovation. It is also essential reading for those interested in the naval arms race during this period.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783319811819
Publisher: Springer International Publishing
Publication date: 06/27/2018
Edition description: Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 2016
Pages: 328
Product dimensions: 5.83(w) x 8.27(h) x (d)

About the Author

Robert E. Mullins, previously a Researcher in War Studies at King’s College, University of London, UK, is currently Executive Vice President for Corporate Strategy and Mergers & Acquisitions at Cobham plc, UK.

John Beeler is Professor of History at the University of Alabama, USA, where he has worked since 1993. His publications include British Naval Policy in the Gladstone-Disraeli Era, 1860-1880 (1997); Imperial Defence, 1868-1887 (2014); The Birth of the Battleship: British Capital Ship Design, 1870-1881 (2001), and The Milne Papers, Volumes 1 and 2 (2004, 2015).

Table of Contents

Editor’s introduction.- PART I: OVERVIEW.- 1. Introduction.- 2. Explaining strategic choices in military institutions: theoretical models.- PART II: THE STRUGGLE FOR CONTROL OF BRITISH NAVAL POLICY, 1870-1889.- 3. The royal navy and the 1889 naval defence act: history and historiography.- 4. Ideas and institutions: the development of officer education, strategic thinking, and intelligence collection in the royal navy, 1870-1888.- 5. Professionals, politicians, the press, and the public: the “navy scare” of 1888-1889.- PART III: STRATEGIC RECONFIGURATION IN THE UNITED STATES, 1873-1889.- 6. British ideas in an American context: the underpinnings of strategic debate and organizational maturity, 1873-1884.- 7. The navalist triumph: politicians, professionals, and the fight for the direction of American naval policy, 1885-1889.- PART IV.- 8. Conclusion.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“This is a most important book. Using an extensive archival research methodology, Mullins links the service culture of British and American navies to the policymaking process in general, and to the Naval Defence Act of 1889 and Secretary Tracy’s Annual Report to Congress of 1890 in particular. It is cogently argued, measured in tone, exhaustive in research, and well written. It is a ‘must’ read for any student of British and American naval strategy in the pre-dreadnought era.” (Professor Holger H. Herwig, University of Calgary, Canada)

“Mullins not only provides a challenging reinterpretation of both American and British naval thought at a critical juncture, but his focus on organizational culture and political context is one that can fruitfully be followed in studies of contemporary policy-making.” (Sir Lawrence Freedman, Emeritus Professor of War Studies, King's College London, UK)

“This is a carefully researched and well presented book. The range of sources is impressive and the arguments advanced are supported at all times by relevant primary materials. Beyond its own chronological range, the book will also be of interest to those who write about naval competition before the Great War.” (Professor Matthew Seligmann, Professor of Naval History, Brunel University London, UK)

“In this important and innovative book, Mullins shows how the dominant strategic ideas of naval officers and the organisational culture of the Royal Navy were central to the emergence of modern British sea power at the turn of the twentieth century.” (Professor Theo Farrell, Dean of Arts and Social Sciences, City, University of London, UK)

“This is a richly researched, well-argued, collaborative study of the naval organizational cultures of Britain and the U. S. in the late nineteenth century that led to the modernizing of their fleets and doctrines. A ‘tour de force’!” (Professor Peter Karsten, author of “The Naval Aristocracy: The Golden Age of Annapolis & the Emergence of Modern American Navalism”)

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