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By Alfred Thayer Mahan

The heritage of Sea energy is essentially, notwithstanding on no account completely, a story of contests among international locations, of mutual rivalries, of violence usually culminating in battle. The profound impact of sea trade upon the wealth and power of nations used to be in actual fact obvious lengthy ahead of the genuine ideas which ruled its progress and prosperity have been detected. To safe to one's personal humans a disproportionate percentage of such advantages, each attempt was once made to exclude others, both by way of the peaceable legislative tools of monopoly or prohibitory rules, or, while those failed, through direct violence. The conflict of pursuits, the indignant emotions roused via conflicting makes an attempt therefore to suitable the bigger proportion, if now not the full, of some great benefits of trade, and of far-off unsettled advertisement areas, resulted in wars. however, wars coming up from different factors were enormously converted of their behavior and factor by way of the regulate of the ocean. as a result the heritage of sea strength, whereas embracing in its large sweep all that has a tendency to make a humans nice upon the ocean or by means of the ocean, is essentially an army background; and it truly is during this point that it'll be regularly, even though no longer completely, appeared within the following pages.
A research of the army background of the previous, equivalent to this, is enjoined through nice army leaders as necessary to right principles and to the skilful behavior of conflict sooner or later. Napoleon names one of the campaigns to be studied by means of the aspiring soldier, these of Alexander, Hannibal, and Caesar, to whom gunpowder was once unknown; and there's a sizeable contract between specialist writers that, whereas a few of the stipulations of conflict range from age to age with the growth of guns, there are particular teachings within the tuition of background which stay consistent, and being, consequently, of common software, might be increased to the rank of basic ideas. for a similar cause the examine of the ocean historical past of the previous could be discovered instructive, through its representation of the final rules of maritime battle, even though the nice alterations which have been led to in naval guns by means of the clinical advances of the earlier part century, and by way of the advent of steam because the intent power.
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The various traits of a country and its people which have so far been considered constitute the natural characteristics with which a nation, like a man, begins its career; the conduct of the government in turn corresponds to the exercise of the intelligent will−power, which, according as it is wise, energetic and persevering, or the reverse, causes success or failure in a man's life or a nation's history. It would seem improbable that a government in full accord with the natural bias of its people would most successfully advance its growth in every respect; and, in the matter of sea power, the most brilliant successes have followed where there has been intelligent direction by a government fully imbued with the spirit of the people and conscious of its true general bent.

DISCUSSION OF THE ELEMENTS OF SEA POWER. 40 The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660−1783 board ships which an enemy cannot touch except when bound to a blockaded port, what will constitute an efficient blockade? The present definition is, that it is such as to constitute a manifest danger to a vessel seeking to enter or leave the port. This is evidently very elastic.

VI. Character of the Government. In discussing the effects upon the development of a nation's sea power exerted by its government and institutions, it will be necessary to avoid a tendency to over−philosophizing, to confine attention to obvious and immediate causes and their plain results. without prying too far beneath the surface for remote and ultimate influences. Nevertheless, it must be noted that particular forms of government with their accompanying institutions, and the character of rulers at one time or another, have exercised a very marked influence upon the development CHAPTER 1.

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