Britain and Colonial Maritime War in the Early Eighteenth Century

Britain and Colonial Maritime War in the Early Eighteenth Century

Silver, Seapower and the Atlantic

Shinsuke Satsuma

Hardback
$115.00

Boydell Press

Overview

Overview

In early modern Britain, there was an argument that war at sea, especially war in Spanish America, was an ideal means of warfare, offering the prospect of rich gains at relatively little cost whilst inflicting considerable damage on enemy financial resources.
In early modern Britain, there was an argument that war at sea, especially war in Spanish America, was an ideal means of warfare, offering the prospect of rich gains at relatively little cost whilst inflicting considerable damage on enemy financial resources. This book examines that argument, tracing its origin to the glorious memory of Elizabethan maritime war, discussing its supposed economic advantages, and investigating its influence on British politics and naval policy during the War of the Spanish Succession (1702-13) and after. The book reveals that the alleged economic advantages of war at sea were crucial in attracting the support of politicians of different political stances. It shows how supporters of war at sea, both in the government as well as in the opposition, tried to implement pro-maritime war policy by naval operations, colonial expeditions and by legislation, and how their attempts were often frustrated by diplomatic considerations, the incapacity of naval administration, and by conflicting interests between different groups connected to the West Indian colonies and Spanish American trade. It demonstrates how, after the War of the Spanish Succession, arguments for active colonial maritime war continued to be central to political conflict, notably in the opposition propaganda campaigns against the Walpole ministry, culminating in the War of Jenkins's Ear against Spain in 1739. The book also includes material on the South Sea Company, showing how the foundation of this company, later the subject of the notorious 'Bubble', was a logical part of British strategy.

Shinsuke Satsuma completed his doctorate in maritime history at the University of Exeter.

Details

September 2013
5 black and white illustrations
296 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
ISBN: 9781843838623
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Boydell Press
BIC HBTM, 3JF
BISAC HIS015000, HIS037050, HIS024000
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Table of Contents

Introduction
English Expansion into Spanish America and the Development of a Pro-maritime War Argument
Idea of Economic Advantages of Maritime War in Spanish America
Pro-maritime War Arguments and Party Politics
Impact on Reality: Naval Policy
Impact on Reality: Legislation
The South Sea Company and its Plan for a Naval Expedition in 1712
Pro-maritime War Argument during the War of the Quadruple Alliance and Anglo-Spanish Conflict of 1726-29
Changes in Naval Policy after 1714: From Conquest to Security of Trade
Conclusion

Reviews

It is to be hoped that the themes raised here will attract further scholarly attention as they cast revealing light on the nature of Britain's imperial project, the workings of mercantilism, and the slow accumulation of the maritime capacity which could support the eventual emergence of Britain as the first naval power with a truly global reach. ECONOMIC HISTORY REVIEW

(This) concentrated study will certainly be valued by specialist historians. MARINER'S MIRROR

The author deserves credit for highlighting the economic basis of early eighteenth-century British interest in maritime and colonial warfare. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MARITIME HISTORY

The book draws heavily on official British government records and political pamphlets from the early eighteenth century, and Satsuma casts a broad net for secondary sources, making this work a valuable primer for anyone looking to further study early modern British naval policy. H-NET