Mahan, Alfred Thayer


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 president of the Naval War College in Newport, R.I. (1886–89). His classic analysis The Influence of Sea Power upon History, 1660–1783 (1890) argued that sea power was decisive in determining national supremacy. In The Influence of Sea Power upon the French Revolution and Empire, 1793–1812 (1892), he stressed the interdependence of military and commercial control of the sea. Avidly read in Britain and Germany, both books greatly influenced the buildup of naval forces before World War I.

Alfred Thayer Mahan, 1897

By courtesy of the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

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▪ United States naval officer

born Sept. 27, 1840, West Point, N.Y., U.S.
died Dec. 1, 1914, Quogue, N.Y.
 American naval officer and historian who was a highly influential exponent of sea power in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

      Mahan was the son of a professor at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md., in 1859 and went on to serve nearly 40 years of active duty in the U.S. Navy. He fought in the Civil War, later served on the staff of Admiral J.A.B. Dahlgren, and progressed steadily in rank. In 1884 he was invited by Stephen Luce, president of the newly established Naval war College at Newport, R.I., to lecture on naval history and tactics there. Mahan became the college's president in 1886 and held that post until 1889.

      In 1890 Mahan published his college lectures as The Influence of Sea Power upon History, 1660–1783. In this book he argued for the paramount importance of sea power in national historical supremacy. The book, which came at a time of great technological improvement in warships, won immediate recognition abroad. In his second book, The Influence of Sea Power upon the French Revolution and Empire, 1793–1812 (1892), Mahan stressed the interdependence of the military and commercial control of the sea and asserted that the control of seaborne commerce can determine the outcome of wars. Both books were avidly read in Great Britain and Germany, where they greatly influenced the buildup of naval forces in the years prior to World War I.

      Mahan retired from the U.S. Navy in 1896 but was subsequently recalled to service. In The Interest of America in Sea Power, Present and Future (1897), he sought to arouse his fellow Americans to a realization of their maritime responsibilities. Mahan served as president of the American Historical Association in 1902. His other major books include The Life of Nelson (1897) and The Major Operations of the Navies in the War of American Independence (1913). Before his death in December 1914, Mahan correctly foretold the defeat of the Central Powers and of the German navy in World War I.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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 …   Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914

  • 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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