Economic Warfare and the Sea

BookEconomic Warfare and the Sea

Economic Warfare and the Sea

Grand Strategies for Maritime Powers, 1650-1945

Research in Maritime History, 55


March 3rd, 2020



Other Formats



Economic Warfare and the Sea examines the relationship between trade, maritime warfare, and strategic thought between the early modern period and the late-twentieth century. Featuring contributions from renown historians and rising scholars, this volume forwards an international perspective upon the intersection of maritime history, strategy, and diplomacy. Core themes include the role of ‘economic warfare’ in maritime strategic thought, prevalence of economic competition below the threshold of open conflict, and the role non-state actors have played in the prosecution of economic warfare.

Using unique material from 18 different archives across six countries, this volume explores critical moments in the development of economic warfare, naval technology, and international law, including the Anglo-Dutch Wars, the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, the First World War, and the Second World War. Distinct chapters also analyse the role of economic warfare in theories of maritime strategy, and what the future holds for the changing role of navies in the floating global economy of the twenty-first century.

‘This volume furnishes a timely, eye-opening, and persuasive assessment of both its strengths and its limitations.’
John Beeler, Journal of Military History

Author Information

David Morgan-Owen is Lecturer in Defence Studies, Defence Studies Department, King's College London. Louis Halewood is the Philip Nicholas Lecturer in Maritime History at Plymouth University.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
List of Figures7
List of Tables8
Introduction: Strategy, Economics, and the Sea11
1. Economics, Warfare, and the Sea, c.1650–194533
2. Neither a Silver Bullet Nor a Distraction: Economic Warfare in Sea-power Theory55
3. Convoys and Companies: Privatising Economic Warfare at Sea in the Dutch Republic, 1580–180073
4. Merchants of Fortune: Negotiating Spanish Neutrality in the American War of Independence95
5. Sea Power and Neutrality: The American Experience in Europe during the French Wars, 1793-1812111
6. The Achievement and Cost of the British Convoy System, 1803–1815131
7. The Royal Navy and Economc Warfare against the United States during the War of 1812147
8. Protecting Neutrality at Sea in a Global Age, 1815–1914167
9. Postal Censorship and the Alchemy of Victory at Sea during the First World War181
10. Britain and Economic Warfare in German Naval Thinking in the Era of the Great War203
11. Maritime Power and Economic Warfare in the Far East, 1937–1941219
Epilogue: Retrospect and Prospect237
List of Contributors249
Select Bibliography253