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The end of classical English sea power

2018-11-29 来源: 51due教员组 类别: Essay范文

下面为大家整理一篇优秀的essay代写范文- The end of classical English sea power,供大家参考学习,这篇论文讨论了英国古典海权的终结。在女王维多利亚时代,英国确立起以稳健性、威慑性和全球性为主要特点的古典海权。到维多利亚时代晚期,古典海权盛极而衰,英国面临的危机和挑战不断加剧。在英国第一海务大臣约翰·费希尔的领导下,英国皇家海军进行了一系列改革。改革在巩固英国海上优势的同时,也促使维多利亚时代的英国古典海权逐步走向终结。

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In the Victorian era, Britain established the classical maritime power characterized by robustness, deterrence and globality. By the end of the Victorian era, the classical sea power was at its peak and declining, and the crisis and challenge faced by Britain were continuously intensified. In the first sea Lord John fisher, under the leadership of the British royal navy conducted a series of reforms. The reform not only strengthened the maritime superiority of Britain, but also brought about the gradual end of the classical British maritime power in the Victorian era.

In the Victorian era of the British queen, the British classical maritime power with the main characteristics of robustness, deterrence and globality was finally formed. However, with the change in the balance of world forces and the development of the international situation, the British maritime power was faced with a series of crises and challenges. At the beginning of the 20th century, under the leadership of Admiral Sir JohnFisher, first secretary of the admiralty, the royal navy carried out a comprehensive and systematic reform. The reform strengthened Britain's maritime superiority, but also led to the end of Britain's classical maritime power. The British maritime power gradually retreated from the global system existed in the Victorian era to the largest pole in the multi-polar maritime power pattern in the era of great powers competition. At present, almost all the researches on fisher reform by domestic and foreign scholars focus on technological innovation, while the analysis on the impact of reform on the British maritime power model is relatively weak. Therefore, this paper focuses on the analysis of the far-reaching impact of fisher's reform on the transformation of British maritime power, especially emphasizing that the reform promoted the end of the British classical maritime power. The author believes that both the reform itself and the subjective pursuit and objective effect of the reform show that the British maritime power had been gradually declining before the outbreak of the first world war, and the end of the British classical maritime power was the most prominent manifestation of this decline.

As we all know, the victory of the battle of trafalgar in 1805 was the beginning of Britain's establishment of its maritime hegemony. By the middle of the 19th century, Victorian Britain had established the right to rule the world by sea. The author thought that this kind of sea power has robustness, deterrent, and the main characteristics of global, it is obvious difference in the late 19th century and the early 20th century powers competition era, the established under the zero-sum thinking dominated, pursue thoroughly destroy rivals, he'll start a lose-lose war power of the naval power. As a part of the world system led by Britain, this kind of maritime power has a strong classical color. Its basic idea is to deter potential enemies by virtue of Britain's absolute advantage, coordinate wars and conflicts, avoid world politics out of control, and maintain the stability of the international order led by Britain. This kind of sea power is in line with the coordinating spirit of the Vienna system established after the Napoleonic wars, so it can be called the classical British sea power in the Victorian era.

The robustness of the British classical maritime power is highlighted in a certain "peace" color, which is complementary to deterrence. After entering the Victorian era, with the establishment of the global free trade system dominated by Britain, the British Isles became increasingly dependent on the international market. In the event of war, international markets are bound to be in turmoil, with Britain the worst hit. Therefore, the most important task of the British classical maritime power is to protect the global free trade system dominated by Britain, specifically, to ensure the smooth and safe maritime communication lines connecting the British mainland and the colonial empire. To accomplish this task, a long-term and lasting peace must be the prerequisite. Because any war, even a successful war, can threaten the security of free trade, the so-called Pax Britannica from the beginning means an open free trade system and a stable international political order. For Britain, not only is war dangerous, but so is preparation for war, which would place a heavy financial burden on the country and force it to expand the power of the state, thereby weakening the vitality of the liberal market economy. Therefore, Britain must take advantage of its maritime power to nip all dangerous factors of war in the bud as far as possible so as to ensure that conflicts around the world are kept within acceptable limits and that they can be finally resolved peacefully within the framework of the international order in which Britain ACTS as an arbitrator. Therefore, even after the establishment of maritime hegemony, Britain still tends to ease the relations between great powers through negotiation and consultation rather than aggravate conflicts by means of war confrontation. We see that even as the great war of 1913-1914 was looming, Britain was engaged in intensive diplomatic consultations with Germany on the contentious issue of naval competition. Britain wanted to avoid a mad war by proposing a ratio of 16:10 naval power and 8:5 battleship fleets, but Germany rejected the idea. In short, Britain's classical maritime power is not about militaristic expansionism or large-scale war. It is about maintaining the international order dominated by Britain and creating a peaceful and stable international environment for open and free trade.

Furthermore, Britain was not afraid of war and did not reject intervention, but it insisted on a limited interventionism and did not seek large-scale war. Most of the British colonial wars in the Victorian era, represented by the opium war, were limited interventions. The royal navy does not need or seek to destroy the enemy completely at sea, but to take advantage of the enemy's strategic fortress and force it to sit at the negotiating table. The Crimean war was the first large-scale local war after the establishment of British maritime hegemony. Although it won the war, Britain was not eager to expand the results of the war, but always limited the battlefield to the Crimean peninsula, and signed the treaty of Paris with Russia after achieving the goal of defeating Russia's control of the Turkish strait. This restraint can fully show the British pay attention to the strategic thinking, limited interference and the Crimean war was a vivid interpretation of the sea after hegemony established policy - the UK is not keen on expansion of territory, but want to active defence of vested interests, but the threat comes still willing to take such a radical way of war.

The deterrence of the British classical maritime power is embodied in the fact that the royal navy attaches great importance to playing a strategic deterrent role backed by absolute superiority and forcing the enemy to yield and yield. This was fully reflected in the near east crisis of 1878 and the fashoda incident of 1898. By 1897, the royal navy was a much better equipped, more modern, and far more peaceful force in size and quality than the navy of 1815. Its fleet is spread around the globe and ready to meet any challenge that might threaten British interests. The British grand strategy also emphasizes the long-term, cumulative and gradual pressure on any land power threatening British interests to make concessions backed by a powerful fleet.

British classical global features of sea power and isolationism tradition is a coin of two sides, it means that the British pay more attention to things outside Europe, dedication to expand worldwide business empires and maintain the leading system of the world, consolidate "pax Americana" Britain, that emphasizes "Britain is not only a European country, but also an empire". Some scholars point out that precisely because the royal navy is global in existence, the UK has established a global maritime mastery that realizes true ocean domination.

As opposed to a global, Britain in Europe for a long time to maintain a hands-off attitude, detachment from the European continent, only in continental Europe likely destroy the balance of power to intervene, and this kind of intervention is often confined to "beat about the bush" on the edge of the European region, in order to avoid in core areas of major European conflict. This shows that the global character of the British classical maritime power is closely related to the marginal strategy in Europe. This marginal strategy is mainly manifested in that the British maritime power never extends into the inland rivers and bays of the European continent, but maintains its influence in the important marginal areas of Europe. "In order to protect the Portuguese monarchy against dangers both at home and abroad, the fleet was anchored in the tagus river; Britain's decisive use of naval power in the Mediterranean; Whenever the 'problem of the east' became apparent, it used to station its fleet in front of the dardanelles. These are all examples of Britain's maritime power, which is geographically limited but still very important in the minds of European governments. With control of the sea lanes of communication, Britain could easily impose a naval blockade, political and economic pressure, and eventually force a surrender or peace on a hostile country in the event of war.

Britain's classical maritime power reached its zenith in 1897, when the British celebrated queen Victoria's diamond jubilee. Paul Kenny wrote: "the royal naval strength, their size is equal to the other two of the largest fleet; its unparalleled network of naval bases and submarine cable stations spans the globe; it owns by far the world's largest merchant fleet, which carries the goods of the world's largest trading nation. The financial services industry in the city of London makes the UK the largest investor, banker, insurer and commodity trader in the global economy ", so "if there is one country that really wants to dominate the world, it is the UK. In fact, it is not just trying to dominate the world, it has already done so.

However, at the same time when the British classical sea power reached its peak, there was also a deep crisis. Industrial and economic power was the foundation of maritime power, and by the end of the 19th century, with the relative decline of British industrial power, the foundation of British maritime power was constantly weakened. In 1880, Britain accounted for 22.9% of the world's total exports of manufactured goods, but by 1913 it had decreased to 13.6%. In 1880, Britain accounted for 23.2% of world trade, but in 1911-1913 it accounted for 14.1%.

The emerging industrial countries also vigorously developed their navies, which directly challenged Britain's maritime hegemony. Under the influence of JeuneEcole, France has made great efforts to develop new ships such as torpedo boats and submarines, hoping to break Britain's maritime monopoly through new technologies. By 1900, France and Russia, Britain's two biggest maritime rivals, had more than 20 warships under construction or planned. The British navy defense act passed in 1889 explicitly stipulated the implementation of the two-power standard, which was mainly aimed at the navies of France and Russia. After the proposal of Weltpolitik of William ii, the new Germany developed its navy with a more rapid momentum, which became the biggest threat to British maritime power. Under the 1898 navy act, the German navy plans to build 19 class I battleships, eight armored coast guard ships, 12 heavy cruisers and 30 light cruisers. In 1900, Germany passed a new naval law with a much larger ship-building program. The act stipulates that by 1920, the German navy will have a large maritime force composed of battleships, overseas fleets and reserve fleets. The battleship fleet will consist of two fleet flagships and four sub-fleets, each consisting of eight battleships, eight heavy cruisers and 24 light cruisers. The overseas fleet consists of 3 heavy cruisers and 10 light cruisers, while the reserve fleet is equipped with 4 battleships, 3 heavy cruisers and 4 light cruisers. At this rate of development, Britain believed, Germany would become the world's second largest naval power after Britain in 1906, with better artillery and better naval training.

The relatively slow pace of rearmament is another problem Britain has to face. The rapid development of military technology made warships in service in the 19th century rapidly outdated, and the large scale of the royal navy is unlikely to build a large number of new ships in a short period of time to replace the old ships often not to the service period, a large number of old warships occupied a large number of personnel and military expenditure, become a heavy burden on the modernization of the British navy. Emerging powers such as Germany can arm their fleets with the latest technology, often at a faster rate than Britain's.

Britain has also been plagued by a lack of funding for its navy. Defence spending has been kept relatively low because fiscal stability is seen as the key to national security. After the liberal party came to power in 1905, it vigorously promoted social welfare programs and reduced the military expenditure of the navy. In the fiscal year 1904-1905, the navy spent 11,263,019 pounds on building ships, which was sharply reduced to 96,688,444 pounds in the fiscal year 1905-1906 and 7,406,930 pounds in the fiscal year 1908-1909. At the same time, the bank credit advantage that had made Britain proud before industrialisation and underpinned its naval development was gone. Industrialization greatly increased the income available for defense spending of the two continental powers, France and Germany. They also established a national bank for massive borrowing and improved financial efficiency, which greatly enhanced the economic strength of France and Germany in developing the navy. While Britain remains Europe's most financially powerful country, it no longer has the overwhelming borrowing advantage it once had to maintain naval power in wartime.

More importantly, since the second half of the 19th century, European and American powers have competed to develop navies, making it impossible for Britain to maintain an edge everywhere in the world. "France, Russia, Turkey, Germany and the United States have all been openly hostile, and the unprecedented severity of the European situation has prevented the admiralty from strengthening its overseas fleet in the event of an imperial emergency." Under such circumstances, simply expanding the size of the fleet has become difficult to maintain Britain's maritime superiority, financial pressure has forced Britain to find a more effective way to cope with competition, and calls for reform are growing louder.

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