Map of Paris, 1850-1870
Map of North Africa

“. . . To the general question of the influence of government upon the sea

career of its people, it is seen that influence can work in two distinct but

closely related ways.

First, in peace: The government by its policy can favor the natural growth of

a people’s industries and its tendencies to seek adventure and gain by way of

the sea… the influence of the government will be felt, making or marring the

sea power of the country in the matter of peaceful commerce; upon which

alone, it cannot be too often insisted, a thoroughly strong navy can be based.

Secondly, for war: The influence of the government will be felt in its most

legitimate manner in maintaining an armed navy, of a size commensurate

with the growth of its shipping. . .Colonies attached to the mother-country

afford, therefore, the surest means of supporting abroad the sea power of a

country. . .Such colonies the United States has not and is not likely to

have….Having…no foreign establishments, either colonial or military, the

ships of war of the United States, in war, will be like land birds unable to fly

far from their own shores. To provide resting places for them, where they

can coal and repair, will be one of the first duties of a government proposing

to itself the development of the power of the nation at sea.…”

- Alfred Thayer Mahan,

The Influence of Sea Power upon History, 1660-1783. ( published in 1890)