Alfred Thayer Mahan/ The Influence of Sea Power upon History

external image 200px-Alfred-Thayer-Mahan.jpgAlfred Thayer Mahan was born on September 27, 1840. He was a lecturer and then the president of the Naval War College. After his work at the Naval War College, he became a captain and then an admiral in the US Navy. His ideas and theories about the military were derived from the writings of Henri Jomini. Mahan wrote many books; The Influence of Sea Power upon History, The Influence of Sea Power upon the French Revolution and Empire, and Sea Power in Relation to the War of 1812. He served for the Bureau of Navigation and received degrees from Oxford, Harvard, Yale, and McGill. He was demoted to Rear Admiral in 1906 because of a government act that retired all Civil War captains. Alfred Mahan died in 1914.


The Influence of Sea Power upon History was Mahan’s most famous work. In the book, Mahan discussed how Britain rose to great power through its use of naval force. He later examines the many features of naval success and that a strong navy blockade will win any war, external image USS_Kearsarge_in_great_white_fleet_1908.jpgwhich has been proven in many wars that he mentions in both Europe and the Americas. Mahan wanted the United States to carve a canal across Central America (in Panama) to link the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. He also wanted the US to establish and number of military bases in Central America and for the US to annex Hawaii and other islands.

Mahan’s manifest destiny ideas increased imperial fervor in America. By 1900, the US had the third most powerful navy in the world and later, Mahan’s ideas of creating a canal in Central America and the annexation of Hawaii became a reality.


Click on the following link to read a full copy of Mahan's famous book: The Influence of Sea Power Upon History

Sources: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=7972481
http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h811.html