British Royal Navy Essay

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Military -- British Royal Navy

Great Britain's geography, society, economy and politics are all ideally intimately connected. The interplay of these forces, along with Great Britain's early and continuing recognition of their importance, fostered the strongest navy possible for protecting the nation's economic and military interests. As a result, the Royal Navy eventually grew to become the dominant maritime global force by the 18th Century.

The interplay among Great Britain's geography, society, economy and politics was so organic in the rise of the Royal Navy to a dominant maritime force by the 18th Century that it is difficult to examine one aspect without also speaking of the others. Geographically, Great Britain's financial districts had access to national and international markets through its multiple ports on the sea, which gave even the smallest ports of the nation the advantages and difficulties of international trade.[footnoteRef:1] Unlike France, for example, Great Britain's economic and political leadership saw early on that its multiple accesses to the sea were significant means to increase its national wealth and exert its influence internationally.[footnoteRef:2] Consequently, Great Britain began to develop an integrated economy early on, in which its interior served its coastal cities and vice versa, with a view toward significant national and international trade.[footnoteRef:3] In this way, Great Britain was able to develop a strong economy that could not be copied by other countries.[footnoteRef:4] Meanwhile, Britain was protected by waters and tides that created difficulty for anyone trying to invade the island power, including Caesar.[footnoteRef:5] In addition, Great Britain truly began to see the importance of fighting its enemies on its surrounding seas rather than on land when it fought the Spanish Armada during the reign of Elizabeth I, particularly in the 16th Century.[footnoteRef:6] However, Great Britain's use of its geographic advantages saw perhaps its greatest advancement during the mid-1700's when it developed a Western Squadron. Due to prevailing westerly winds and the absence of any French naval base along the English Channel, the British developed this unique and highly effective 16-ship squadron to sufficiently protect English convoys in the Western Approaches, protecting Great Britain both militarily and commercially in both Channels, along its Atlantic ports and along the coast of Ireland.[footnoteRef:7] [1 N.A.M. Rodger, The Command of the Ocean: A Naval History of Britain, 1649-1815. New York, NY W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2005, p. 310.] [2: Paul M. Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of British Naval Mastery (Paperback). Amherst, NY: Humanity Books, 2006, p. 53] [3: Rodger, p. 310.] [4: Ibid., p. 581.] [5: Chester G. Starr, The Influence of Sea Power on Ancient History.…

Sources Used in Document:

Bibliography

Kennedy, Paul M. The Rise and Fall of British Naval Mastery (Paperback). Amherst, NY: Humanity Books, 2006.

Rodger, N.A.M. The Command of the Ocean: A Naval History of Britain, 1649-1815. New York, NY W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2005.

Starr, Chester G. The Influence of Sea Power on Ancient History. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, Inc., 1989.

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