Catalogue


British naval policy in the Gladstone-Disraeli era, 1866-1880 /
John F. Beeler.
imprint
Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, 1997.
description
xviii, 354 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0804729816 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, 1997.
isbn
0804729816 (alk. paper)
general note
Based on the author's thesis (doctoral)--University of Illinois.
catalogue key
1831675
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [325]-344) and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
This book examines British naval policy during the mid-Victorian period, with an emphasis on the political, economic, and foreign relations contexts within which naval policy was formulated. This period has sometimes been characterized as the "dark age" of modern British naval history, reflecting not only the comparative lack of research on the period, but also the marginal role played by the Royal Navy during a time of peace. The author takes a fresh look at the navy's role, which traditionally has been viewed negatively in the wake of the reconceptualization of naval strategy brought about by Mahan and the changed global circumstances of the 1890's. Against a background of rapid industrialization and economic transformation, the author describes the structure of British naval administration in the Gladstone-Disraeli era, assesses the important reforms of that structure by the Liberal politician Hugh Childers, and examines the strategic and operational contexts of the navy itself. The comfortable foundations upon which were erected the world views and assumptions of mid-Victorian politicians and naval administrators were swept away with disconcerting swiftness by the mechanization of naval warfare. The author shows how this transformation went far beyond the realm of technology, profoundly influencing naval tactics and strategy, government finance, political discourse, and public opinion. This book is therefore as much a case study in human responses to the process of modernization as it is an investigation of mid-Victorian British naval policy.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1998-06:
Beeler's book is a well-argued revisionist account of the so-called "dark ages" of British naval history, when retrenchment ruled the waves and the Royal Navy's steam-powered ironclads still carried full sets of sails. Beeler (Univ. of Alabama) argues that the comparatively small sums spent on the navy by Disraeli and Gladstone hardly imperiled British interests (as various impassioned navalists claimed). British naval expenditures still comfortably exceeded those of the other powers. And in an era of rapid technological change--in which expensive new battleships became obsolete before they were completed--building large classes of ships would have been wasteful. For that matter, sails were necessary for warships cruising distant seas where coaling stations were few and far between. Beeler discusses a wide range of political and administrative components of naval policy. He argues that the Victorian Royal Navy may serve as a model for the US naval policy today, as naval leaders seek to provide a "peace dividend" while still carrying out the global responsibilities of a superpower. University collections. J. R. Breihan; Loyola College
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, June 1998
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Summaries
Back Cover Copy
"I cannot rate this book too highly. It is of the highest quality, combining accuracy with sustained analytical rigor. It will be welcomed by all naval historians as providing a reassessment of the 19th-century Royal Navy and a reconsideration of the basic issues of British diplomacy in that period. It will remain a standard work for years to come."--Andrew Lambert, University of London
Back Cover Copy
"I cannot rate this book too highly. It is of the highest quality, combining accuracy with sustained analytical rigor. It will be welcomed by all naval historians as providing a reassessment of the 19th-century Royal Navy and a reconsideration of the basic issues of British diplomacy in that period. It will remain a standard work for years to come."Andrew Lambert, University of London
Table of Contents
Tables
A Note on Quotations
Introduction: The Industrial Revolution and the Navyp. 1
Strategic Parametersp. 6
Administration, Politics, and Economicsp. 38
Derby, Disraeli, and a Mutinous Admiralty, 1866-1868p. 69
Hugh Childers at the Admiralty, 1868-1870p. 83
Of Captains and Lordsp. 102
Collapse and Recovery, 1870-1874p. 125
Politics, Finance, and the Navy, 1874-1880p. 150
Admiralty Administration: Childers, Goschen, and the Historiansp. 171
Rivalsp. 191
Strategic Planning and Imperial Defensep. 210
Conclusionp. 237
Epilogue: The End of an Erap. 260
Notesp. 281
Bibliographyp. 325
Indexp. 345
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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