Mahan, Alfred Thayer
(1840–1914)
   A U.S. naval officer known for his histories of British naval power. He attended Columbia and the U.S. Naval Academy before being commissioned into the U.S. Navy at the beginning of the American Civil War. He was president of the U.S. Naval War College from 1886 to 1889, where he wrote The Influence of Sea Power upon History (1890) and the Influence of Sea Power upon the French Revolution and Empire (1892). Mahan retired from active service in 1896, and was subsequently promoted vice-admiral. His books argued that a blue water fleet such as Horatio Nelson’s could command the seas, thus giving control of global commerce to the primary naval power. He also argued, however, that possession of a naval fleet required a significant national merchant fleet, and he was quite pessimistic as to the prospects of his own country ever building such a merchant fleet. His books were widely read in Britain and Germany yet failed to stimulate any large-scale American shipbuilding, although they had some influence on Theodore Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Kaiser Wilhelm II. Mahan’s materialist approach to history saw commerce as a central component of power and was widely shared at the time, as was his view that a successful power must almost necessarily possess an overseas empire. He also advocated American expansion in the Pacific.
   See also <>; <>; <>; <>.
   FURTHER READING:
    Beale, Howard K. Theodore Roosevelt and the Rise of America to World Power. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1984;
    Keegan, John. The Price of Admiralty. London: Hutchinson, 1988;
    Mahan, A. T. The Influence of Sea Power upon History, 1660–1783. London: Sampson, Low, Marston, 1890;
    Seager, Robert. Alfred Thayer Mahan: The Man and His Letters. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1977.
   MARK F. PROUDMAN

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mahan, Alfred Thayer — born Sept. 27, 1840, West Point, N.Y., U.S. died Dec. 1, 1914, Quogue, N.Y. U.S. naval officer and historian. He studied at the U.S. Naval Academy, and his nearly 40 years of active naval duty included fighting in the American Civil War. He was… …   Universalium

  • Mahan, Alfred Thayer — (27 sep. 1840, West Point, N.Y., EE.UU.–1 dic. 1914, Quogue, N.Y.). Oficial naval e historiador estadounidense. Estudió en la Academia naval de EE.UU., y sus casi 40 años de servicio naval activo incluyeron combate en la guerra de Secesión. Fue… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Mahan,Alfred Thayer — Ma·han (mə hănʹ), Alfred Thayer. 1840 1914. American naval officer and historian whose written works, such as The Influence of Sea Power upon History, 1660 1783 (1890), prompted a worldwide buildup of naval strength prior to World War I. * * * …   Universalium

  • Mahan, Alfred Thayer —    D.C.L., LL.D. (b. 1840)    American writer on naval history. Influence of Sea Power upon History (1890), Influence of Sea Power upon French Revolution and Empire (1892), The Interest of the United States in Sea Power (1897), Lessons of the War …   Short biographical dictionary of English literature

  • Alfred Thayer Mahan — Rear Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan Born September 27, 1840(1840 …   Wikipedia

  • Alfred Thayer Mahan — Alfred Mahan Alfred Mahan en 1904 Alfred Thayer Mahan, plus connu sous le nom d Alfred Mahan ou celui d Alfred T. Mahan, né le 27 septembre 1840 à West Point (État de New York), mort le 1er décembre 1914) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Alfred Thayer Mahan — Alfred T. Mahan, 1904. Alfred Thayer Mahan (* 27. September 1840 in West Point, New York; † 1. Dezember 1914 in Washington D. C.) war ein Konteradmiral der US Navy, Marineschriftsteller und stratege. Sein bekanntestes Werk ist …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Alfred Thayer Mahan — noun United States naval officer and historian (1840 1914) • Syn: ↑Mahan • Instance Hypernyms: ↑naval officer, ↑historian, ↑historiographer …   Useful english dictionary

  • Alfred Mahan — Alfred T. Mahan, 1904. Alfred Thayer Mahan (* 27. September 1840 in West Point, New York; † 1. Dezember 1914 in Washington D. C.) war ein Konteradmiral der US Navy, Marineschriftsteller und stratege …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Alfred T. Mahan — Alfred Mahan Alfred Mahan en 1904 Alfred Thayer Mahan, plus connu sous le nom d Alfred Mahan ou celui d Alfred T. Mahan, né le 27 septembre 1840 à West Point (État de New York), mort le 1er décembre 1914) …   Wikipédia en Français

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