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  • Afterword

    Richard Harding

    Chapter from the book: Guimerá A. & Harding R. 2017. Naval Leadership in the Atlantic World: The Age of Reform and Revolution, 1700–1850.


    The years 1700-1850 saw a remarkable transformation in World history during which the ramifications of European maritime activity on the rest of the world, accelerated dramatically. Intense and constant conflict entailed a whole range of engagements from escorts, sieges and blockades to piracy control and large-scale fleet action. Independence of action on the part of naval leaders grew in the period pioneered by the British creating a climate in which senior naval officers were able (forced even) to use more initiative to achieve naval success, unprotected from public ire by royal protection or directives. Scholarship and the record generally has still noted relatively little about how events on land translated into power expressed at sea or what the different nations expected of its officers. In respect of command situations, specifics not the broad brush are crucial to understanding leadership as the chapters in this book testify. A new popular ideal of a naval officer, arose during the period of the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars But did the nature of officership alter? Navies during the period of this book appeared not to have experienced the technological and tactical and organizational changes of a contemporaneous military revolution. Despite the book’s focus on the performance of naval leaders in this era and ideas of leadership over the past four decades, important questions about naval command still await consideration and answers.

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    Harding, R. 2017. Afterword. In: Guimerá A. & Harding R (eds.), Naval Leadership in the Atlantic World. London: University of Westminster Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16997/book2.o

    This is an Open Access chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (unless stated otherwise), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Copyright is retained by the author(s).

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    Published on March 30, 2017