Disciplining the Empire: Politics, Governance, and the Rise of the British Navy

TitleDisciplining the Empire: Politics, Governance, and the Rise of the British Navy
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsKinkel, Sarah
PublisherHarvard University Press
CityCambridge, MA
Abstract

This monograph explains why the Navy became divisive within Anglo-imperial society even though it was also successful in war. The eighteenth century witnessed the global expansion of British imperial rule, the emergence of new forms of political radicalism, and the fracturing of the British Atlantic in a civil war. The Navy was at the center of these developments. Advocates of a more strictly governed, centralized empire deliberately reshaped the Navy into a disciplined and hierarchical force which they hoped would win battles but also help control imperial populations. When these newly professionalized sea officers were sent to the front lines of trade policing in North America during the 1760s, opponents saw it as an extension of executive power and military authority over civilians and thus proof of constitutional corruption at home. [Harvard University Press]

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