The Major Operations of the Navies in the War of American Independence

Library of Alexandria
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Publisher
Library of Alexandria
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Published on
Dec 31, 1969
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Pages
322
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ISBN
9781465547316
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Features
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Language
English
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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This lively book recounts the story of the antagonism between the American colonists and the British armed forces prior to the Revolution. Douglas Leach reveals certain Anglo-American attitudes and stereotypes that evolved before 1763 and became an important factor leading to the outbreak of the Revolutionary War.

Using research from both England and the United States, Leach provides a comprehensive study of this complex historical relationship. British professional armed forces first were stationed in significant numbers in the colonies during the last quarter of the seventeenth century. During early clashes in Virginia in the 1670s and in Boston and New York in the late 1680s, the colonists began to perceive the British standing army as a repressive force.

The colonists rarely identified with the British military and naval personnel and often came to dislike them as individuals and groups. Not suprisingly, these hostile feelings were reciprocated by the British soldiers, who viewed the colonists as people who had failed to succeed at home and had chosen a crude existence in the wilderness. These attitudes hardened, and by the mid-eighteenth century an atmosphere of distrust and suspicion prevailed on both sides.

With the outbreak of the French and Indian War in 1754, greater numbers of British regulars came to America. Reaching uprecedented levels, the increased contact intensified the British military's difficulty in finding shelter and acquiring needed supplies and troops from the colonists. Aristocratic British officers considered the provincial officers crude amateurs -- incompetent, ineffective, and undisciplined -- leading slovenly, unreliable troops. Colonists, in general, hindered the British military by profiteering whenever possible, denouncing taxation for military purposes, and undermining recruiting efforts. Leach shows that these attitudes, formed over decades of tension-breeding contact, are an important development leading up to the American Revolution.

Naval historians and maritime students alike will welcome this fascinating compendium of writings by one of the world's most influential and respected experts on naval warfare. Considered by many the greatest of all naval theorists, Admiral Mahan was revered by his contemporaries (including Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, who made Mahan mandatory reading for his naval officers) for the quality of his insight and analysis.
Mahan's close reading of history, his evaluation of the lessons of naval events and his predictions and prescriptions for the conduct of future naval policy contributed powerfully to the shaping of the twentieth century. His influence on naval theorists and policy makers in every great nation was profound, but nowhere was it stronger than among the three "upstart" powers, the United States, Japan and Germany. The Mahan-inspired devotion of these three powers to challenging the naval superiority of the existing naval triumvirate, Britain, France and Russia, and then each other, was among the catalysts for the eruptions of 1914 and 1939.
While Mahan's theories received their most cogent statement in his masterwork, The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783, he expanded upon them in many other books, articles and essays. The present volume comprises a rich selection of his shorter pieces. Ranging widely, these selections cover over 40 different topics in a comprehensive discussion of naval principles, sea power in history, and naval and national policies. Taken together, they offer the distilled wisdom, sober evaluations and closely reasoned analysis of a celebrated figure who was an American naval officer in the Civil War, second president of the Naval War College and one of the most outspoken delegates to the Peace Conference at The Hague in 1899.
This single volume of selections will enable naval officers, laymen, armchair sailors and students of world history to grasp quickly the essence of Mahan's ideas and their lasting effect upon naval policy and international affairs.
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