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Tide of Empires: Decisive Naval Campaigns in the Rise of the West 1654-1763: Volume II

By Peter Padfield

This, the second volume of Peter Padfield’s four-part history of naval warfare, starts with England poised to take over from Holland as foremost world trading and naval power.

It leads through the epic struggle of both maritime powers against Bourbon France and concludes with England’s triumphant assumption of the ‘Sovereignty of the Seas’. Underlying the narrative is Peter Padfield’s stark view of the rise of the West as a remorseless battle for the markets of the world, in which naval, financial and trading strength fuse into ‘Sea Power’, an irresistible force carrying all before it, and transforming every society it touches. 

In this challenging naval view of history, which embraces economics, finance and philosophy, political and individual freedoms are seen not so much as a cultural heritage, but as the necessary bedfellows of ‘Sea Power’, and incompatible with its antithesis, ‘Territorial Power’.

In this volume, as in its companions, Peter Padfield succeeds in weaving the two strands of storytelling and vivid battle descriptions with the underlying study of the forces of naval, trading and financial power.

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