Discussion about military change and, more specifi cally, concerning modern and/or total warfare in the period 1775–1815, focuses on land confl ict in the Western world, particularly the armies of the American and French Revolutions and of Napoleon, and, in contrast, generally ignores or underrates the importance of naval developments. This approach is unfortunate as, on the world scale, it was as naval powers with an amphibious capability that the Western states were particularly important and effective. Indeed, as throughout the period covered by this book, there was a Western naval exceptionalism that rewards attention. Moreover, victories, the deeds of a few hours, however much they represented the toil of decades, blazed the way for a world that was not only to be dominated by the West, but also by a particular set of Western values.
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