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Pax Britannica


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Table of Contents

1. Defining Pax Britannica 2. Empire of the Seas 3. Anchors of Empire 4. Surveying the Seas, Expanding the Empire of Science 5. Informal and Formal Empires in the Americas 6. Challenges of Europe, the Mediterrarnean, and the Black Sea 7. Indian Ocean, Singapore and the China Seas 8. Imperial Web in the South Pacific 9. Send a Gunboat! 10. Anti-Slaver: West Affrica and the Americas 11. Treaty Making and Dhow Chasing in the Indian Ocean 12. Darkening Horizons 13. The Lion and the Eagle 14. Trident Bearers: The Navy as Britannia's Instrument 15. Recessional: End of Pax Britannica and the American Inheritance

About the Author

Barry Gough is the author of many prize-winning and critically acclaimed histories dealing with the Royal Navy and the British Empire. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, Fellow of Kings College London, UK, and Archives By-Fellow Churchill College, Cambridge, UK. His most recent book is Juan de Fuca's Strait: Voyages in the Waterway of Forgotten Dreams (2012).


"This book takes as its essential theme the intersection of British imperial and naval history during the post-Napoleonic nineteenth century. ... Pax Britannica is written fluently and with great charm. ... it is entertaining and elucidating in equal measure and is highly recommended." (Matthew S. Seligmann, Diplomacy & Statecraft, Vol. 26, September, 2015)"This is an essential addition to the literature and a very useful starting point for further studies in a variety of directions. Gough is a first-class historian and in many ways this represents his best work yet." (Howard J. Fuller, The International Journal of Maritime History, Vol. 27 (3), 2015)Honourable Mention in the Canadian Nautical Research Society's Keith Matthews Award 2014.

"One committee member noted that what he had "regarded as a brilliant synthesis of a bunch of literature ... [was] considerably more than that. Gough book is something bigger - a substantial essay of globalism in the 19th-early 20th century." In it, he really addresses all of the big historiographical issues in studies of British imperialism for the past 50 years, ... including the superb chapters on controlling the slave trade.

Along the same lines, another member noted, "It is balanced, judicial and comprehensive. It also covers a vast topic." In sum, the committee agreed that Gough's book is 'life's work' in the sense that it brings together his reading and reflections over a whole career. It will rank up there with such scholars as Arthur Marder and Gerald Graham." - Canadian Nautical Research Society

'The history of the British Empire, which was once the preserve of either misplaced nostalgia or misdirected derision, has been reinvigorated in recent years by a number of wide-ranging books. Here is a significant new contribution to this literature, enlisting Barry Gough's expertise as a naval historian in restoring a neglected dimension to the story of the Pax Britannica. In its Victorian heyday, he argues, the Pax was underpinned by the Royal Navy, as 'a hoped-for state of affairs' that was to be crucially challenged by the ambitions of Germany - but ultimately displaced by the global reach of the United States.' - Peter Clarke, Professor Emeritus of Modern British History, Cambridge University, and author of The Last Thousand Days of the British Empire, 1944-47

'Attractively written, it is an absorbing, accessible, interesting and enlightening work and deserves a wide readership.' - Navy News

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