Britannia’s Realm: In support of the State 1763 – 1815

By: Richard Woodman

Britannia’s Realm is volume two of Richard Woodman’s five volume history of the British Merchant Navy and covers the period from 1763 – 1815. As with the first volume, Neptune’s Trident, Richard Woodman’s detailed analysis reveals how so much of our history is tied up with trade and the ships and men that carried it. The Treaty of Paris in 1763 saw Britain emerge from war in a strong position to compete with France and the other European nations in maritime trade but the costs of the war had to be met and the taxes imposed resulted on the loss of the American Colonies leading to the establishment of the USA in 1783. This colonial loss had a lesser impact than feared at the time and subsequently actually provided benefits in competition through advanced ship design but peace didn’t last and the Napoleonic years once again saw Britain at war. At a time when Britain was expanding trade with India and the Far East , much of the Royal Navy was tied up blockading the French ports and so this trade became vulnerable to attack from French corsairs such as Robert Surcouf. However, the Navy’s appalling press gangs caused almost as much damage to the Merchant Navy as the French! It is often forgotten that the Napoleonic wars continued throughout Europe for another decade after Trafalgar and the impact of this and other events on trade are examined in fascinating detail. JCB

Britannia’s Realm

ISBN 978-0-7524-4814-5

The History Press Ltd, The Mill, Brimscombe

Port, Stroud, Gloucestershire GL5 2QG.

01453 883300

Price £27

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