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Parliament and the Navy, 1688-1714

Johnston, James Andrew (1968) Parliament and the Navy, 1688-1714. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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In these years parliament, particularly the House of Commons, greatly increased its authority. Naval administration and naval operations provided many of the incentives and issues that led parliament to increase its power and status. Despite the diversity of personalities and political outlook within parliament the majority in both Houses was united in certain attitudes which governed their approach to naval affairs. These attitudes, a consciousness of England's vulnerability to sea-borne invasion, a belief in English sovereignty of the seas, are described in the first chapter. In the same chapter the ways in which these attitudes were modified by the developments between 1688 and 1714, particularly increasing parliamentary knowledge of naval affairs and political organisation, are considered. The interplay between these attitudes, developments and the events of two wars provided the background to the legislation that affected the navy. The ways in which these laws were initiated and shaped by parliamentary activities are considered in the next five chapters. Each of these chapters deals with the contribution of parliamentary legislation to one aspect of naval administration- finance, provision of material, trade protection, manning and the maintenance of naval morale. The provision of money to the navy was the issue that interested most members of parliament and it was consideration of this topic that led to the most decisive acquisitions of parliamentary power. In a strictly naval context it was trade protection, most obviously the concern of a merchant minority that led to laws which greatly increased the strength and responsibilities of-the navy at the same time as they limited the authority of the monarch. The ways in which consideration of naval issues educated parliament in the techniques of power are obvious and more tangible than the contribution of parliament to the growth of British sea power. The last chapter assesses the parliamentary contribution to the dominance at sea which the navy gained between 1688 and 1714.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > History (Sheffield)
Other academic unit: Medieval and Modern History
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.490954
Depositing User: EThOS Import Sheffield
Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2013 15:03
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2013 08:52
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/3659

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