This ground-breaking book provides the first study of naval ideology, defined as the mass of cultural ideas and shared perspectives that, for early modern states and belief systems, justified the creation and use of naval forces. Sixteen scholars examine a wide range of themes over a wide time period and broad geographical range, embracing Britain, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Sweden, Russia, Venice and the United States, along with the "extra-national" polities of piracy, neutrality, and international Calvinism. This volume provides important and often provocative new insights into both the growth of western naval power and important elements of political, cultural and religious history.

chapter |14 pages


The Ghost at the Banquet: Navies, Ideologies, and the Writing of History
ByJ.D. Davies, Alan James, Gijs Rommelse

section Section I|67 pages

Navies and National Identities

chapter 1|16 pages

Groom of the Sea

Venetian Sovereignty Between Power and Myth
ByLuciano Pezzolo

chapter 3|16 pages

Towards a Scientific Navy

Institutional Identity and Spain’s Eighteenth-Century Navy
ByCatherine Scheybeler

chapter 4|13 pages

The French Navy From Louis XV to Napoleon I

What Role, and by What Means?
ByPatrick Villiers

section Section II|54 pages

Monarchical Projects

chapter 5|21 pages

Fleets and States in a Composite Catholic Monarchy

Spain c. 1500–1700
ByChristopher Storrs

chapter 6|16 pages

‘Great Neptunes of the Main’

Myths, Mangled Histories, and ‘Maritime Monarchy’ in the Stuart Navy, 1603–1714
ByJ.D. Davies

chapter 7|15 pages

Colbert and La Royale

Dynastic Ambitions and Imperial Ideals in France
ByAlan James

section Section III|89 pages

Communities of Violence

chapter 8|14 pages

Corsairs in Tunis From the Sixteenth to Nineteenth Centuries

A Matter of Religion and Economics
BySadok Boubaker

chapter 10|21 pages

Shadow States and Ungovernable Ships

The Ideology of Early Modern Piracy
ByClaire Jowitt

chapter 11|17 pages

Greeks Into Privateers

Law and Language of Commerce Raiding Under the Imperial Russian Flag, 1760s–1790s
ByJulia Leikin

section Section IV|73 pages

Constructing Strategies

chapter 12|15 pages

Kingship, Religion, and History

Swedish Naval Ideology, 1500–1830
ByLars Ericson Wolke

chapter 13|18 pages

Neutrality at Sea

Scandinavian Responses to ‘Great Power’ Maritime Warfare, 1651–1713 1
BySteve Murdoch

chapter 14|18 pages

Naval Ideology and Its Operational Impact in Eighteenth-Century Britain

ByRichard Harding

chapter 15|20 pages

Debating the Purpose of a Navy in a New Republic

The United States of America, 1775–1815
ByJohn B. Hattendorf

section Section V|13 pages


chapter |11 pages


ByAndrew Lambert