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The Making of the Modern Admiralty
British Naval Policy-Making, 1805–1927

$135.00 (C)

Part of Cambridge Military Histories

  • Date Published: March 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521765183

$ 135.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • This is an important new history of decision-making and policy-making in the British Admiralty from Trafalgar to the aftermath of Jutland. C. I. Hamilton explores the role of technological change, the global balance of power and, in particular, of finance and the First World War in shaping decision-making and organisational development within the Admiralty. He shows that decision-making was found not so much in the hands of the Board but at first largely in the hands of individuals, then groups or committees, and finally certain permanent bureaucracies. The latter bodies, such as the Naval Staff, were crucial to the development of policy-making as was the civil service Secretariat under the Permanent Secretary. By the 1920s the Admiralty had become not just a proper policy-making organisation, but for the first time a thoroughly civil-military one.

    • Focuses on decision-making within the Admiralty in a crucial peacetime period for the British Navy, covering both the people involved and organisational structures
    • Highlights the struggle behind the scenes to maintain British naval mastery despite the pressures of developing technology, accumulating paperwork and rival international powers
    • Demonstrates that financial pressures and ultimately the First World War brought civil servants and naval officers together to formulate naval policy
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "… [an] intelligent and well-informed exploration of fundamental questions essential to the understanding of the nature of British naval power at its peak."
    Jon Tetsuro Sumida, International Journal of Maritime History

    "… important work …"
    John B. Hattendorf, The Journal of Modern History

    "… a contribution to the wider field of institutional history … both succinct and absorbing."
    David McLean, Victorian Studies

    See more reviews

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2011
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521765183
    • length: 356 pages
    • dimensions: 234 x 159 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.71kg
    • contains: 4 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Lord Barham's Admiralty:
    2. Admiralty reform, 1806–1835
    3. Decision-making at the Admiralty, c.1806–1830
    4. Admiralty administration and decision-making, c.1830–1868. The Graham Admiralty
    5. The Admiralty reformed again: context and problems, 1869–1885
    6. Administrative and policy-making responses, c.1882 onwards
    7. Fisher and Churchill, and their successors, 1902–1917
    8. The Naval Staff, planning and policy
    9. Lord Beatty's Admiralty

  • Author

    C. I. Hamilton, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
    C. I. Hamilton teaches modern European history at the University of the Witwatersrand. His previous publications include Portsmouth Dockyard Papers, 1852–1869: From Wood to Iron (2005).

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