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Unformatted text preview: S12 Naval History: Age of Steam and Steel 2/26/12 History 3039 (10): The Age of Steam and Steel Maritime Conflict and Conquest, 1815 to 2000 C. Thomas Long Office Hours: Class: Monday and Wednesday 4:45 6:00 pm Room Media & Public Affairs, Room 309 CRN: 66167 Please use e-mail to contact me at email@example.com Phillips Hall 320: Monday and Wednesday 1:00 3:30, Tuesday 9:30 11:30, and by appointment Tel. 202-994-4061 Warfare has had a profound effect on Western Civilization. Along with ideologies (including religion and political philosophies), technology, politics, and environmental factors (disease, geography, weather, etc.), war is one of the fundamental forces that have shaped our world. It has done much to fashion the modern political map. The harsh fact is that the state structure of the international system as it exists today is not the result of peaceful, teleological growth, the evolution of nations whose seeds have germinated in the womb of time and have come to a natural fruition. It is the result of conflicts that might, in very many cases, have been resolved differently. 1 The importance of warfare in our culture is manifest not just in the political world. It is even evident in the great art of western civilization in our literature from The Iliad to War and Peace and on to the writings of C.S. Forester and Patrick OBrian; in our statuary and memorial art from Michelangelos David to Nelsons Column in Trafalgar Square and the Marine Corps Monument in Arlnigton; and in our graphic art from Greek pottery depicting ships, to the Bayeux Tapestry portraying William the Conquerors invasion of England in 1066, to George Gowers 1588 (est.) Armada Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I and JMW Turners paintings of the British Royal Navy in action, and films such as the first Academy Award winner, Wings . 2 Despite the obvious impact of warfare in our civilization, it has nearly disappeared from many modern college catalogues. In the wake of the Vietnam War, it became fashionable to suggest that an effort to understand warfare was an endorsement of its use as a political tool. While Clausewitz asserted that war is simply a continuation of political intercourse, with the addition of other means," the study of warfare and its effects does not suggest acceptance of it as a political tool, any more than studying medicine implies an endorsement of disease. 3 It would be foolhardy not to study one of the forces that has been so central in shaping modern life. The study of naval or maritime conflict is even rarer among modern curricula. Perhaps this trend reflects the extensive interest in the actions of military leaders like Alexander, Caesar, Washington, Napoleon, Lee, and MacArthur and accessible battlefields like Waterloo and Gettysburg. It is, however, ironic that naval warfare should be so slighted. Thoughtful observers of military affairs have long recognized the importance of what Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan called sea power. the importance of what Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan called sea power....
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This note was uploaded on 02/26/2012 for the course UW 1020-31 taught by Professor Pamelapresser during the Fall '11 term at GWU.
- Fall '11