The Transformation of British and American Naval Policy in the Pre-Dreadnought Era

Ideas, Culture and Strategy

  • Robert E. Mullins
  • John Beeler

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiv
  2. Overview

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Robert E. Mullins, John Beeler
      Pages 3-11
  3. The Struggle for Control of British Naval Policy, 1870–1889

  4. Strategic Reconfiguration in the United States, 1873–1889

  5. Conclusion

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 275-275
    2. Robert E. Mullins, John Beeler
      Pages 277-298
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 299-328

About this book


This volume examines the transformation of British and US naval policy from 1870 to 1889, which resulted in the British Naval Defence Act (1889), the construction of the first modern US battleships, and began the naval arms race which culminated in World War One.  In examining the development of strategic thinking in the Royal and US Navies, it overturns conventional wisdom regarding genesis of the Naval Defence Act and the US Navy’s about-face from a defensive to an offensive strategic orientation.  It pays particular attention to activities of the key individuals in both countries’ navies, who were instrumental in transforming their respective services’ organizational culture.  This study will be of interest not only to historians but to political scientists, sociologists, and others working in the fields of international relations, strategic studies, policy analysis, and military learning, adaptation and innovation.  It is also essential reading for those interested in the naval arms race during this period.


Maritime Nineteenth Century Navy Transnational Military

Editors and affiliations

  • Robert E. Mullins
    • 1
  • John Beeler
    • 2
  1. 1.Chevy ChaseUSA
  2. 2.University of Alabama TuscaloosaUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages History History (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-32036-6
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-32037-3
  • Buy this book on publisher's site