The purpose of this book is to survey various types of warfare at sea as part of the transformation of Europe from 1500 to 1650. This transformation was economic, political and social and it was composed of dynamics as much as of inertia and stagnation. Dynamic performance created new power structures in politics and economy, while inability or unwillingness to change caused decline and loss of power. This is reflected in both maritime trade and the ability of states to use and control violence at sea. Entrepreneurship and the ability to promote creativity and adopt innovation were decisive both for state formation and for the rise of new capitalist power groups. Entrepreneurial ability to use opportunities and to act efficiently under conditions of uncertainty and risk were especially important for Europeans when they created networks of maritime communications around the world. Success and failure in maritime conflicts cannot be explained without an understanding of human ability to innovate and the social, economic and political pre-conditions which created both dynamics and stagnation.